Monday, November 12, 2012

And the Truth Shall Set You Free

I was at a small social gathering Saturday evening.  I'm not much of a social creature, socialization limited to church, family, and shopping at Piggly Wiggly.  It was good to visit with folks at an event specifically for visiting outside the realm of church, family, and Piggly Wiggly.

A beautiful little girl ran up to her grandfather to bid him goodnight.  I'd noticed her giving me looks throughout the evening.  I get that a lot.  She gave her pawpaw a hug and, looking at me said, "You look like a monster in girl's clothes."

What came out of my mouth was "Well, thank you, Sweetie.  It's important for real monsters to dress nicely."

What I was thinking was, "I hope your world never changes and that the ugliness that is disease and illness never finds you;  that you continue to feel the whole world was made just for you and your thoughts;  and that your words will be the only ones you ever listen to or need.  I hope, Sweetie, that you learn to temper a child's honesty (she was, after all, just being honest) with compassion so that honesty without compassion is never unleashed on your incredible life force.  Most of all, Granddaughter-that-I-hope-to-have-one-as-cute-as-some-day-in-the-very-distant-future, I pray you learn to see beyond the distorted monster faces that are sure to come into your life, to look into a soul and find embedded beauty and strength:  superficial imperfections hide much."

She skipped off, taking a year's worth of self-esteem with her.

I'd been soaring high on the events of a good year:  Mama's successful heart surgery and recovery, losing weight (60 pounds {WOOOT - I'm a new creature!}), deciding to go to, applying, and being accepted into a local junior college culinary arts program, a sibling's remarkable return from the brink of catastrophic illness, my sons continuing to make their way (successfully) in the world.  This baby's words brought me back to earth, to see myself in her eyes.  It's silly for an adult to be stung by the brutal honesty of a child.  She hit the one thing, though, that I cannot change.  This warped skewed face is my Achilles heel;  a vulnerable spot that defies all attempts of armoring and protecting with makeup or masking and guarding with temperament.

It is, though, just another side of life to be consumed.  This morning, gratitude is given to a little girl for bringing me down to earth, for a grounding in the sure blessings of an Almighty that loves me despite myself, family, friends and work when so many are unemployed.

I'm thankful to be where I am.  How 'bout you?


  1. Isn't that how it goes? Go contemplate that little clay statue. See you in a week.

    Love you mom,

    1. That Facing Forward statue's place of honor remains, a constant reminder I've come too far to look back. Love YOU, Oldest Fellow!

  2. Mary for those of us that know you and consider you a friend, we can see the beautiful person that you are, loving, kind, considerate, forgiving, creative and I could go on putting in words more explanation of the beauty that eludes from the aura of beauty that surrounds you.
    In Christs Love

  3. wellllllll... #1. I don't see a monster anywhere/anyhow.. #2. I hope the little cutie patootie was given a talkin' to regarding social behavior for any age..#3 After seeing your photo, I don't think you are any less funny, thoughtful or creative than I did before, and #4 I still admire the stew out of your baking skills and even more, the beautiful way you have with words and the ability to describe your surroundings. I wish you would put them all together in a book, perhaps with photos and/or recipes..Your descriptive phrases remind me of the way that James Lee Burke describes the LA Bayou Country, but since I have ties to MS, I'm glad that you are located there. Please keep moving forward and I am so sorry for your hurt.

    1. Awwwwwwww! Thank you so much. The incident wasn't a deep hurt, more like a jostling reminder of the way things are (something that's oft forgotten in the day to day busy navigation of life). And it is true, children should be taught "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" from their earliest understanding - another thing that's oft forgotten. But it's alright. **giggle** I could write a book, I could! Perhaps I will for my 'something big' for a 60th birthday (a good many years off). Thank you for taking the time to comment. I <3 comments on blog posts!

  4. First of all, pretty is as pretty does. That child lost appeal for me with that comment. If she is old enough to articulate that sentence she should be aware that it is hurtful and wrong. You're too kind, really!
    Second, I was struck by the lovely photo of you at the bottom of this post. Your eyes are hauntingly lovely.
    Third, I'm so envious of your weight loss. Yeah you! I'd say shame on me, since I need to lose at least that much, but you know what? I'm okay. I'm inspired to lose, and I hope I do, because it'll feel better. But when I look in the mirror and see my grey hairs, less that perky tatas, muffin top (more like a wedding cake, really) and all the scars that life has given me, I know it's not who I am. It's just the shell that I travel in. Your shell is more than okay, as you have the talent and dexterity to create beauty in your world every day.
    Finally, little mean girls become big mean women. I know it's not right, but, I hope someone shaves a skunk stripe down than child's head to teach her a lesson! XXOO

  5. **snicker** I just love you, Sheri. From a previous life as a home-based child care provider (and day care owner/operator prior to that), I learned that its not the children at fault for improper responses. It's parents that need to be held accountable. I was often told in early childhood development seminars that children learn three ways: By example, by example, and by example. What they learn in the home comes right on through the door with them until they learn something better.

    OOOOoooo! Something finally clicked this year to lose the weight. I discovered that even though I love food and cooking, it was NOT my friend, savior, or anything more than what is necessary for a healthy body. I still love to eat - but not the quantity or constant high fat, high carb, high everything diet of the past. Gray? I wear it with pride.

    Thank you, my coffee chugging friend!

    1. I still feel an itching in my clipper fingers! Maybe I'll got shave the dogs (not like they don't need it!)
      Somehow I don't think that rotten apple falls far from the tree there. Not likely they'd see anything wrong with the little beast- I do think you are on target with the example. Still, doesn't take long for them to learn not to touch a hot stove. She'll likely get scolded at school rather than home. I would't want to be that teacher!
      I think that my feeding frenzy is going to come to an end when I gather up my hobbies (esp knitting) and keep my hands busy. Off to make some coffee...Cheers!

  6. Mary, we all have scars of one type or another, some visible some hidden deep within. When I saw your picture, I can only see a beautiful, caring lady with breathtakingly beautiful blue eyes!!! I only know you through your posts, but have such admiration for your talents, your writings are just wonderful. Recipes that my family loves you for! I also admire your weight loss.. I so wish I could get enthused to start exercising,(really wish the pains of my body would allow it) I do what I can but have too many medical issues that interfere. ( I need to loose about 45 lbs) Hold your head high dear lady, the child needs to be loved by someone with a caring heart then she would see the beauty in others, it is really very sad the way children are being reared these days.
    Thank you for all that you do.. keep the recipes coming, my family adores you!! (my hips, not so much) LOL.