Toes…and How NOT to Use Them

“Blessed are those who have all their toes and know how to properly use them.”  That was said by me this past weekend as I managed, yet again, to use my toes in an improper manner.

You may not often think about your toes (aka foot digits), as something very important, but they truly are.  The “proper” use of your toes is to provide support while you are walking.  “Proper” walking starts off with your heel to floor then you start to roll forward, heel comes off the ground, and the weight gets transferred to your wonderful toes.  Heels to toes.  Repeat.  A very prestigious job for those stubby digits.

Then there is the aesthetic aspect of toes.  The plain, boring nails on your toes can be painted up with polish to give a sophisticated look or maybe you’re feeling frisky and fun so you paint little pictures on them.  How glamourous!

You might have my special talent with toes.  I myself have used my longish toes to pick up items from the floor.   Why bend down and use your fingers when you can pick up a dropped pencil or pen with your foot digits?

I, however, most often use my toes as a guidance system.  As I wander around as a normal human being, I find my Toe-Guidance system sometimes goes into hyper-drive, thus forcing my toes to make harsh contact with various solid objects:  wooden sofa legs, coffee table legs, wall corners.  Oh, you know the feeling?

The magic moment when you stub (what a short word for something that causes remarkable pain and suffering for hours…even days) your toe.  During my teens I managed to stub both baby toes on my left and right foot.  Different years, different days, same pain.  That was the beginning of the arduous life of my toes.  As I grew older and my toes grew longer, almost finger-like, the toe-to-hard-object-ratio increased. Interestingly enough my large toe never suffered any disfigurement.

The main defender of my Toe Family is the second toe (the one next to the big toe). It is longer than all my other toes and prefers to forge unabashedly forward into the unknown. This second toe will invariably find itself in the undeniably defenceless condition of being slammed into a wholly hard object (i.e. bed leg, chair leg, couch leg) thus bowing in a way as if to prostrate itself in defeat to its opponent (i.e. couch leg). The intense toe-to-hard-object impact creates a fantastic world of blinding white light which transforms into a circle of stars before my eyes. After the visual effects subside, there is the introduction of a foreign language. I have used some of these words before, but the way the words are strung together in a sentence would make the devil blush.  My ears cannot believe that it’s my usually cheerful and melodic voice spewing such vulgarities!  After the visual and audible sensations comes the grand finale.  There is a hot, burning sensation in my toes (usually two of them). After that subsides a wee bit, then my toe(s) seem to create a new life force as I can almost feel a heartbeat within my toes as they thump-thump within the searing pain.  Then, to make sure that this theatrical extravaganza cannot be undone…the skin itself decides to join in the grandeur of the show and begins a four to five day progression of metamorphosing into a colourful and motley display similar to a spectacular rainbow. Oh yes! A grand purple bruise progressing to a royal blue one.  How divine!  From that it transforms into a gangrene-ish green then a pallid, sunset orange and on to a vaguely, mouldy yellow. Ahhhh the miracle of pain and punishment.

It is then that I wonder aloud:  HOW THE HECK DO I ALWAYS RUN INTO STUFF!  I know how to walk. I’ve been walking for almost 50 years! Has someone replaced my feet? Has my depth perception changed?  Why don’t I know how to use my feet properly in order to avoid such colourful and painful occurrences?

And so it was that this past weekend, I quickly whipped around from one room to venture into another and my third and fourth toes decided to give their big brother (second toe) a break by forcefully ramming themselves in the corner of a doorway thus giving themselves a break, literally.  WHAM!  The fireworks in my head, the blaspheming from my vocal chords, the rainbow coloured foot.  Once again, I found myself in the abominable position of looking down upon my mangled toes, whimpering and wondering, will this finally be the last time?  Yet, I know in my heart, (and also the second heart throbbing in my injured toes) that, alas, this will not be the end.

“Blessed are those who have all their toes and know how to properly use them.” Obviously, I am NOT part of that enlightened clique.

Goodbye … for now

The time passed so quickly.  I look at pictures and see your beautiful smiling face.  You did that all the time.  Your bright smile lit up a room.  Your laughter was part giggle and part ha ha and it always made me smile.  I will miss that smile.  I will miss your laughter.  I will miss you.

You came into my life as a well kept secret.  You had been dating your love, my stepson, for a couple of years before I had even heard about you.  One day, when I heard that you were in town for a visit, I decided I had to meet you.  Being Christmastime, I knew my chance had come to meet the elusive girlfriend.  As I walked into the house I heard your voice.  It was very soft and lilting.  I heard you laugh for the first time.  I turned the corner and saw you.  There you were, sitting demurely on the sofa.  Your long black hair framing your beautiful face.  You looked meek and shy.  I introduced myself.  We exchanged a few words.  Then I went merrily on my way.  I loved you already. Our brief introduction led to a beautiful mother / daughter relationship and friendship.

As months and years passed, I got to know you better and better.  My love for you grew and blossomed.  How could it not?  You were a free spirit.  A happy spirit.  Someone who loved life.

Being part of your wedding planning was such an incredible joy.  Just seeing your eyes shine with happiness and excitement and surprise.  It was wonderful bringing your dream fairytale wedding to life.  Such a stunningly beautiful bride.  An incredibly happy bride marrying her true love.

Then you were with child.  You poor little dear, carrying such a large bundle of love.  Again, I can only be honest and describe you as beautiful…and adorable and cute…a petit large momma.  Pregnancy was not easy, but you loved every minute of it.  You welcomed your beautiful son into the world.

You have been a wonderful wife and mother.  You have been an incredible daughter and friend.  And with your illness there was a new side of you that came out.  You became a warrior.  I have never seen someone struggle through so many challenges and keep such a positive attitude.  You went months at a time in pain with many sleepless nights, yet you were always finding the silver lining.  You would say that “it could it be worse” when I oftentimes thought I would’ve given up and surrendered if this were happening to me.

You were a fighter.  I don’t think I could’ve ever fought as long and hard as you did.  You were my inspiration to see all the good in my life when I took it for granted.  Even when it looked like you might succumb to your illness, you came back stronger, daring fate to come at you again and again.  Your determination, your strong will, your desire to live kept all of us rooting for you and praising your heroics.  There was nothing you couldn’t beat.  Nothing was going to stop you.

Then, in a blink of an eye, everything changed.  Now, you are gone from our midst.  But I like to believe that it’s only your physical body that is gone.

Your spirit is out there somewhere jumping and running and being happy and free.  There is no more illness.  There is no more pain for you.  That is the only thing that makes us try to feel better about having to let you go.

We, the ones who are left behind, are now the ones with the pain and the suffering because we miss having you physically present in you lives.  Our hearts are broken.  We feel such an emptiness, a void that is your absence in our lives.  We miss you so much because we love you so much.

Thank you for being in our lives.  Thank you for changing our lives.  Thank you for all the memories you have given us.  Thank you for loving us.

With love…

Goodbye…for now.

 

Forgive and (maybe forget)…but move on

Life is interesting.  A simple,  blasé thought perhaps, but true.  Life and the meaning of life is so different depending on where you find yourself on this so-called journey.  Is life about finding the “why am I here?” answer.  Is life about just having fun?  Is life about suffering so that you can live in a wonderful afterlife?  There are many schools of thought.  In the quest to figure out what life is about, I have been introduced to two specific types of people and I have been incredibly lucky to have met both types:  help you and hurt you.  Both of them have provided me with life changing experiences.

Through years of living (lucky me) and having my life journey cross the paths of others, I have learned, I have taught, I have lived.  I have had the pleasure and honour of meeting people that have helped me move forward in a happy direction.  I have also had the displeasure of meeting those that used me, abused me, and discarded me like a piece of refuse.  I am truly grateful to have met both.  Why?

There were those who appreciated me and helped me.  They showed me that there are true “givers” in the world.  These individuals taught me that kindness exists.  There are people willing to unconditionally assist you and help you grow.  There is no need for paybacks or “owe-sies”.  It’s about being a kind human, with feelings of love for their fellow man. A desire to let others grow.

Then there were the selfish folk.  Those who pretended to be there for me, but were really trying to figure out how I could help them out and make their lives better.  It usually ended with me being shocked, injured, scarred, and with a feeling of great injustice.  Lies, accusations, leaving me feeling worthless, dejected, lonely, unloved.   My extreme hatred of them negatively affected me, both physically and emotionally.  Why would I be grateful to these dregs of society?  They taught me to love.  Crazy?  Maybe, but I became a happier person when I learned to forgive and move on with living my joyful life.

Forgiveness…sounds simple but is oftentimes so hard to actually fulfill.  Forgiveness is not about condoning bad behaviour.  Forgiveness is about letting go of the anger and the hate you live with.  Think about it this way, you are hurt and angry and cannot believe that someone you trusted would hurt you.  You hate them and want to ensure that they suffer as you did.  You obsess about it.  How do these spiteful, vengeful thoughts actually hurt them?  Do they care that you are hurting?  No.  Do they feel any of your pain?  No.  Who is actually hurting?  You.  You are holding venom inside you and only damaging yourself.  The ones who betrayed you don’t even think about how they treated you and really couldn’t case less about how you feel or what you think about them.  They used you and then removed you from their lives.  In forgiveness, you are actually freeing yourself.  You are going to let bygones be bygones and go on to live a happier life.  If anything, these transgressors will probably be even more upset to learn that you are happy and are not affected in any way by past incidents.  That is the “giving” part of forgiveness.  You are “giving” yourself freedom; to love, to trust, to find joy, and your own peace of mind.

Those that rejected me were there to teach me that I did not need their approval or love to exist in a happy life.  Loving myself was and is most important.  Letting their misdeeds go so that they didn’t affect me emotionally was critical to my future happiness.  Forgive and forget?  I would forgive.  The forgetting was not something that I would or could easily do.   I truly believed it was important to remember past misdeeds so that in future I wouldn’t fall into the same circumstance …a.k.a. “Life Lesson”.

Thank you to those wonderful people in my life, past and present, who have been there for me when I didn’t have the strength to live by own convictions and beliefs.  You held my hand and guided me out of the muck of negativity that was sucking me in.  You brought me to the surface and breathed new life into my soul.  Words really cannot express my gratitude for having you in my life.

Thank you to the leaches and the soul suckers who made my life miserable.  Your thoughtlessness and selfishness taught me that I am worthy of love from others and especially from myself.  You made me work harder to live my life in the polar opposite way that you live your life.  Thankfully, your kind has disappeared from my life and I am surrounded by beautiful spirits who appreciate goodness, kindness, happiness, and a joie to vivre.  Truly, without my trials and tribulations that you exposed me to, I would not be living the great life that I now live

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” ~Maya Angelou

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” ~C.S Lewis