I remember a time when meeting someone who was just as damaged was a bit of a relief. Everyone walking…
When I think about it, there have been very few people I have come across that have genuinely shook me in all the right ways. My mother, a goddamn saint and an example of how to weather unimaginable shit storms like having to drop out of high school at 16 to work and raise her parents and sister, being kidnapped, beaten, having her husband shot through the throat, and having her father and son killed – and after all that still managing to wear a smile and being adorable as fuck every day. All I know is that I don’t think anyone would blame her for walking around screaming fuck you and throwing punches at strangers.
But she doesn’t even swear and she is soft spoken and wears mom sweaters from places she’s visited over the years.
Whenever I drop by, there’s always moment where I pause and just sit back and marvel at how she does it. Like she will be talking about my nieces or asking if I have enough to eat like she hasn’t seen the worst of humanity and I’ll just stare at her thinking, how in the living fuck do you manage to keep moving forward? Like, what is it in you that keeps your chin up? I can’t even imagine how fucking tough someone has to be to have made it through all of that and still possess the ability to smile and hug people and hold the door for strangers.
I’ve had the chance to meet so many of you over the years and hear your stories. – whether in person or in an email and sometimes when I meet you and I hug you I think the same thing. Like, what do you know that I don’t. What is it that’s inside you that keeps you moving and breathing and loving? Who gave that to you? Because someone did. You weren’t born with that kind of strength because most people fold and opt out or disappear into a haze of hatred and addiction. And I understand why. Hell, wouldn’t blame you if you did, but so many of you didn’t.
Pain is relative and we have all had our fair share. Some more than others. Some an unfair amount. And some where it seems like someone is out to sink our ship. But somewhere along the line, someone managed to infect you in all right ways at the right time. Like they whispered secrets in our ear to help us make it through the small battles and gave us what we needed to keep our chin up, the courage to still believe that someone out there is worthy of loving, and most importantly that we are worthy of being loved. Because in the end, that is probably the most important lesson we will ever learn.
And while sitting there across from you, on the other side of an email, while I’m hugging you – all I can think is, I hope you’re infecting people in all the right ways at the right time.