This I Believe

Cathy - Bronx, New York
Entered on June 21, 2007

I will never profess to know everything there is to know about life or what to expect from it. But through out my 33 year journey so far life has thrown me a few curve balls and by surviving them I have learned some things that I believe to be as true and constant as the sun rising and setting each day. Little girls love their Daddy’s. Most pain heals with time. Our parents are fallible. The bonds of family are resilient yet fragile. People you love will die. Mothers should never hear angry hateful language towards her from her own child no matter what her error was. People despite some of their bad deeds are for the most part good. To find the answers to why people do things that sometimes defy logic we have no further to look for the answers than to analyze what resides inside ourselves. Tears should never be viewed as a sign of weakness. Being tired from a long and hard days work guarantees a restful night of deep sleep. Understanding is the only true path to forgiveness. When the only emotional response to something is to laugh or cry, always choose to laugh. Especially when it comes to death, you have to laugh. And perhaps the most important thing I have been able to cling to as a known truth in my life is that no matter how bad you hurt or the perceived depth of the darkness that may surround you that if you use your intelligence, don’t recede into hysterics and create a plan, it will all work out in the end.

I never spend too much time thinking about all those ‘hard knocks’ that I had growing up. I always figure someone out there has it worse off, so who am I to complain. And that is not me being modest. Seriously, there is always someone out there that would be grateful to have what you have. Plus, I’m also very aware that for every time I was thrown a proverbial blow and landed on the ground, I was also very lucky to have been given a hand and to be lifted back up to my feet. I’m not very religious, so I don’t have any grand idea that what interceded to help me was divine. Most people at their core are good. So amongst the things I believe, the one I believe the strongest is the overwhelming power of goodness that resides within people. So, usually when I look back and think of the various faces that belonged to the cacophony of hands that reached out to me they are full of kindness. So, when my mothers alcoholic rage was evident on my small body when I was girl, that face was that of my guidance counselor. When my father was a few years later diagnosed with a fatal illness, it was the faces of my Aunt and Uncle who took us in. When I needed a confidante during the troubled teen years, it was my older cousin. When my brother began clearly following my mother’s foot steps, it was the face of my friends. When my mother fell victim to suicide, it was all the faces of my co-workers. When I had a miscarriage, it was the faces of my friends. All these moments of kindness changed my life. Allowed me to have my moment of sadness but reminded me that tomorrow is another day.

My life is littered with what others would consider sadness. And yes, there are some obvious moments that are. But through simple kindness, those moments were transformed into periods of great strength. So as I move forward in life, I take my knocks. And throughout, I try to reach my hand down towards others just when they think they can’t stand up on their own.