So, just as my pity party was getting underway and I had my big bag of Cheetos all set to be delved into ... along comes a huge dose of reality that got my knees all twisted up and my foot stuck in my mouth. Oh I didn't say anything wrong (for a change) but I did get a great big slap across my face.
And I deserved it, too.
At my church is a young woman who is close to losing her husband to cancer. Brain cancer. I lost my best friend to brain cancer three years ago so I'm painfully aware that that is not the most desirable way to go. Not at all. I was told of this young woman's plight about a year ago and my heart went out to her. But I didn't know her. I felt her pain, but I didn't have a face to go with the name and vice versa. As her husband lay dying, she was struggling to find a new place to live for her herself and her teenaged daughter Emily. Very very soon, she would not be able to afford the home that her little family was now living in. And Emily was not accepting the family situation very well and so was acting out... and as the young woman looked for homes to move to, she would tell people that she needed room for her daughter to have her own space.
Compound all of the above with the fact that the young woman is also suffering from Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis. But I don't know this lady so I went about my own life quite nicely. It's easy to separate yourself from other's doom. It really is.
And time passed and my life went on. My husband just had his second hip replacement and was having some trouble recovering from the recent surgery. But he is recovering... so much so, that I have been able to go off and direct another dinner theatre play at my church. So much so, that when I learned that we were short one dancer, I was able to jump in and twinkle my toes a bit. And yes, I was having fun again and enjoying life. No time for pity here... directing and corralling actors can be hard work.
I met a new friend, too. As we put together the dance troop, I was told that a girl named Lisa wanted to join us. And we welcomed her to our little troop of tappers. Lisa was definitely a bright spot among us. She worked hard and she smiled all the time. And, most importantly, she kept me in step. She and I were partnered together and since I tend to be on the wrong foot a lot... Lisa kept my feet untangled and did it all with a smile. Lisa was and is a delight.
We rehearsed every other night for several weeks until Lisa told us that she needed a break. Her bones were aching. And... her Fibromyalgia was acting up.
But I still didn't put two and two together, yet. On one of our breaks, I learned that Lisa was also busy looking for a new home to live in because she could no longer afford the one that she and her family were living in. And she needed to find a place big enough that her daughter could have her own space.
About then, it dawned on me who my new friend was. Lisa was and is the girl at the beginning of this story. Lisa is the girl who is living a scary life right now... and yet, here she is dancing her heart out in our show. And, might I add, doing it with a very pretty, very sincere smile on her face.
My eyes were opened last night. My heart was stretched a bit, too. Lisa didn't slap me across the face... she didn't have to. Her amazing attitude amidst her turmoil is what knocked me upside the head. And boy did I need it.
My new friend has a most difficult life at best. I feel her pain, I really do. But I feel her warmth and love, too. And when my life closes in on me... I can see Lisa's smile as she dances an old-fashioned Charleston with me every night. And without an ounce of pain showing on her face.
I needed Lisa in my life right about now. My pity party has just come to an end.