Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How deep are your roots?

  I know after reading my blog entry a while ago, about my Aloe Plant adventure... you are probably wondering why I am even talking about roots and flowers again. I was on the phone to someone the other day and when we were talking about my childhood, family and  life. After sorta introducing myself to her and talking about all this, she made the comment "wow, you certainly seem to have come from a very strong family". I have thought about that comment lately. Did I come from a strong family?  In some ways I would have said no, because of the circumstances that happened but then again I would have to say yes. We had a lot of trials and obstacles in our family life. Although maybe I would have chosen to have handled some things different, if I had been the parent and not the child, still I do believe that I did come from a strong family and that my parents did the best that they knew how. 
  In my families life... there was a brother with cancer at the age of 3, a mom who had surgery after surgery on her back and neck, a dad who had to work long hours and out of town a lot because he didn't have a college education, a little girl (the only girl) who had way too many fears and was sick a lot, a brother who was sick a lot, an older brother who was hurt in the Vietnam war and on and on. Still we held together as a family and my parents did teach us right from wrong. They did teach us a love for the scriptures, that God does live and will always be there to fight our battles with us. So no matter how hard my life gets, I need to remember to dig a little deeper and find those roots that my parents and life taught me. I wonder now if I am raising my kids to have deep roots of kindness, charity, faith and on and on?  I sure hope so. I realize how I handle this cancer is more of an example to them, than any words that I can say. I have to admit some days, that is the only thing that makes me get out of the bed. I know if I don't, my kids will be watching and how can I tell them to keep going each day, don't give up and never lose your faith....if I do?

  So I am grateful for this day, for getting up and looking in the mirror and ONCE AGAIN telling myself that I can do this. Thank you for telling me that too each day... in your thoughts, cards, e-mails and phone calls. I do have deep roots, and that's what will help me survive this terrible storm called CANCER.

  Here is a story that I found which is exactly what I was talking about...enjoy!

It was a bad day.  Nothing was going right.  My boss came by my desk, dropped a stack of papers and said, "It's not your best work, do it again!"

Three months of work down the tubes - that was it!  I just wanted to quit.  Why was I busting my bottom at this thankless job?  I'm not married, I don't have my own family, heck I don't even own the apartment I live in.  I deserve so much better.
I glanced out the window and realized I wasn't the only one having a bad day.  Traffic was backed-up and the relentless drought forced the once lush landscape into a pale, dying brown.  There was nothing good about today - I had to do something.  I picked up the phone and called home.  Mom answered with her usual hello; she always says it in such a way that makes you believe everything is fine.  I told her I'd like to come home for dinner because I had some "things" I need to talk about.  She was thrilled I was coming home (she always is).

I set out for home.  I was bored with the radio, bored with the scenery and bored with my life.  The landscape was dying, and my career was dying.  In many ways I believed I was dying.  I decided to tell the family that I was dropping out of corporate life, I was going to quit my job and move home.  Maybe I'd go back to school.  Maybe I'd get a part time job.  Whatever I did would be better than today.
I rounded the corner of my old residence and saw green - Mom's azaleas standing tall in a sea of withering life.   But then, I really  wasn't surprised they were green, Mom always takes such good care of people and things.  Being home was where I needed to be.  Things thrive at home, I thought.

Mom ran out to meet me, it was as if she hadn't seen me in years. She's always so happy.  We almost made it to the house when Mrs. Lolley (the neighbor) called us over to the hedge.  I thought, "I don't have time for this neighborly chit-chat," but I smiled at the neighbor nonetheless.
She asked, "Mrs. Holmes, how do you keep these azaleas so green? Mine are dying and there doesn't seem to be anything I can do."
Mom put her arm around my waist, and said, "I raised these azaleas like I raised my children.  I knew I may not always be around to take care of them so I didn't pamper them too much.  They had to grow deep roots to survive - they take care of themselves."  We laughed, but  my laugh was as dead as the grass.
Just as we were out of ear-shot, Mom asked,  "What are these 'things' you have to work out?"
I thought for a moment, looked her in the eye and said, "Today was a bad day, but I know what I have to do."
She winked and said, "Then get in the house - your supper's getting cold."

"Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light" ___Theodore Roethke

"Storms make oaks take deeper root"    __George Herbert

"Deep roots are not reached by frost"   __J. R. R. Tolkien

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