When I was around 7 or 8 years old, I attended bible school at the church of some friends of the family. One day, the craft activity was making those landscapes with colored sands in a jar.
Everyone said mine was the nicest one. As I was making my way out the stairwell of a side exit afterward, an older boy and his friend stopped me and commented on my sandscape. One of them said he could show me something really cool. He said to shake the jar, which I did gently at first, instinctively cautious. Unfortunately, I was naive and gullible and shook harder at his urging.
The beautiful layers of colors were a uniform, ugly green. I remember being surprised at how thoroughly ruined it was. The other boys saw that on my face and laughed.
I’m sorry to tell such a sad story, but don’t feel bad. It was an important lesson that stuck with me. I was less naive after that. Maybe it kept me from something worse.
I used to feel like I was that jar of sand. Actually, anyone could be. We all start out pristine and beautiful. Then life shakes us up.
All the teasing and bullying and exclusion left psychological issues to work through, which I have. There were physical things as well that mixed up the colors. I have less than half volume hearing in my right ear due to having a growth remove. It wasn’t a tumor. It had to do with chronic infections damaging the ear drum. I let the growth go for about two years after I knew about it, thinking my boss at the time was going to get health benefits for me, as he had talked about. I was also paralyzed into inaction and indecision by depression, so the time slipped by, though I did get it done with the help of medical assistance and private grant program.
Another thing was the surgery I had for a bowel obstruction and appendicitis. My Crohn’s disease was never diagnosed before that. It should have been. Now I have to mix and drink a powder medication that keeps me from having severe diarrhea 24/7. I basically can’t live without it.
There’s also the loss of self image with the nasty scars from the incision and the colostomy. Everyone said the incision scar would be a thin white line, but there’s an inch wide swath. I was only 28, then, and still in good shape.
All the undiagnosed, unrecognized problems and issues that I spoke of in yesterday’s post, took their toll as well. I remember feeling totally burned out after two years of community college and working maybe twenty hours a week, when I was in my early twenties. I didn’t know yet about the sleep apnea or Crohn’s disease, or even the bipolar depression. That’s a long story, but suffice it to say that I went through a period of personal growth and discovery after I graduated.
The important thing to take away here, is that, I’m still standing! With a God-given resilience and strength, I kept going and learning.
The colored grains of sand are still in there. And, unlike the literal ones, they can be made beautiful again. No one can take your inner beauty, your soul. So, I hope you can feel uplifted from all this. The last thing I want is to depress anyone.
Go live life to the fullest. Don’t worry about what was or what might have been. Discover what life has in store for you.