It's not easy for me to write on demand, in fact it's extremely difficult and it's even more difficult to be funny at the same time. So I dredged my memory banks for a story that might put a smile on her face.
This is for you Maryann:
Right On Target!
While going through radiation and chemotherapy, the skin on my neck began to break down. The radiation burns were causing redness, swelling, bleeding, and excruciating pain. I used all kinds of products to help ease the pain, keep the skin moist, and a blue patch with a gel to keep the skin cool. All highly uncomfortable, but useful in someway. My world was nothing more than my Houston apartment, a medical bus, and the hospital during these many months.
Because I was on a feeding tube and all of my supplies arrived by UPS, it was almost unnecessary to leave my apartment. I had a lot of help from a wonderful nurse, and friends who had flown in to stay with me during the roughest times. I was very self conscious of my appearance because my face was so bandaged up, skinny as a rail, and fatigued from being poisoned and micro-waved.
One afternoon, I needed to venture out for some simple things. I was alone and no help was available. With my face and neck covered with bandages like a patch quilt, my weary body boarded the bus and ventured off to the local Target.
While shopping I noticed many people staring, but it wasn't as bad as I assumed it would be. I found people to be kinder, more helpful, but also very curious. I get so tired repeating myself to strangers. Sometimes it can be annoying, but being a curious person myself, I understand that their questions are harmless and more concerned in nature.
Except for one young man being pushed around the store in a shopping cart by his obviously frazzled mother. This boy was maybe four years old and extremely unruly...AKA: a BRAT! I followed behind as the frantic mother pushed the cart while her boy attempted to pull everything off the shelf he could reach. He was loud and obnoxious, demanding, and disruptive. He protested loudly, "I want that! I want that! Give it to me!" as his mother picked the items off the floor and kindly said to him, "You have enough for now. No more for today."
Personally, I would have beat the crap out of the kid at this point. I've NEVER been a big believer in "time-outs." Give him something to remember! Guess that's why I've never had children.
As his poor mother bent over to pick up the plethora of items strewn across the floor, he got a good glimpse of me all bandaged up in my Sunday finest. My expression was of displeasure for this young man as we had an eye to eye showdown.
He was seated in the shopping cart, facing backwards, looking directly at me. He stared me straight in the eye with a sneer and said in his bratty voice, "What happened to you?"
So I told the little boy my story. I knew I had to be gentle and make sure I chose my words carefully, so he would thoroughly understand..."My mother beat the crap out of me because I was acting up in a Target store, and now I have to be bandaged up the rest of my life!"
The expression on his face was sheer horror as he put back what he was holding in his hand neatly back on the shelf, as if in slow motion, without ever losing eye contact with me. At this point his mother wheeled herself around, probably readying herself with a "how dare to talk to my child that way" until she saw my bandaged face. Her expression went from anger to almost pity. Then, with a gentle smile, she silently mouthed the words, "Thank you!"
When she turned back around to face her little terror, her son's hands were clasped calmly in his lap and not a word out of either one of them as they continued down the isle in a slow calming bliss. I probably scarred him for life and his mother has me to thank!
The Good or Bad Quandary
by Brian N. Walin
Who is to say if you’re good or you’re bad? You have to know now, with the life that you’ve had. You want to be good. You know that you should, but sometimes do bad things because that you could. They weren’t the right things, I’m sure you must know, and you could have changed them, despite what you show.
You are in charge of your destiny. You have to be wise and not choose poorly. You have the ability to help those in need. You have to try hard to do a good deed. It’s not all that easy doing things well. It sometimes takes longer, only time it will tell.
We all have our choices, they’re good or they’re bad, and sometimes the wrong ones can make you quite mad. But curbing your anger and channeling it well can help you immensely when going through hell. Learn from your anger and try to be smart. It’s not all that easy. It’s kind of an art.
But as you keep going through life you will see, that if you keep trying it becomes quite easy. Good or bad, it’s really your choice. You will soon learn that you have your own voice. The choices are yours. There’s no one to blame. Don’t make that excuse. It’s really quite lame.
The riches of life come from choices we make, the good and the bad, and paths that we take. So, if you choose paths you know that you should, you can answer yourself, if you’re bad or you’re good.
©2005 Brian N. Walin (All rights reserved)