The Fabric of Our Lives

Neil - Rexburg, Idaho
Entered on January 21, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

The Fabric of Our Lives are weaved together one thread at a time. Each strand draws strength from the next until, as a whole, these threads become a network of infinitely more strength. So it is with each failure we experience. Every time we struggle, we grow, adding a thread of experience to the tapestry of our lives. I love my family, however, they have added more than a fair share of treads to my fabric.

I love Little Debbie Nutty Bars. A perfect blend of peanut butter, wafer and chocolate makes them –in my opinion- the only divine candy on this good earth. With that being the case, of course I had to have a full box of them on almost every family vacation. Like good parents, my Mom and Dad refused to fund my addiction by buying them for me. This meant that I had to scrimp and save an eight-year-old’s meager allowance for two whole weeks before I could purchase them myself. Having made such a sacrifice, I became overly proud and protective of my precious little snacks.

You know how kids want to have something just because their older siblings have them? Enter little sister. Her name is Gina, and at six years old she was a class “A” brat. She could whine and complain for anything, and would get it. This time, she had her eyes on my Nutty Bars. She played every card she had. The pout, the smile, the anger. All of it fell on my deaf ears; she wasn’t going to get a Little Debbie snacks from me.

However, she found it. It was the cord that made me snap. With a victorious smile she spewed out the words, “well I’ll just get parents to buy me my own box of Nutty Bars, and I won’t have to pay for a single one of them like you did.” Her eyes looked so smug, as if to say, “Ha! I won.” In my eight-year-old mind, that required retaliation, so I punched her in the face.

She cried; a lot. I tried everything I could think of to get her to stop. I hugged her; I apologized profusely; I tried to convince her that it was her fault, but nothing worked. In the end, I resorted to giving her my Nutty Bars just so she wouldn’t tell parents. Well, she ate my Nutty Bars, and then told parents.

It is remarkable how well I remember the sharp pangs of regret that I felt that day. Yet, in the face of that, and many other spectacularly bad events in my family, we remain strong. I believe that it is in our failures that we find our greatest successes; in our families, in our jobs, and in our lives as a whole. We fail, we fall, and ultimately we learn to overcome. The thread of our lives, our mistakes, weave together till they form a beautiful masterpiece of experience, strong, and ready for life.