This I Believe

mary - cold spring, Kentucky
Entered on January 1, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65

You could cry or die

or just make pies all day

I’m making pies

I’m making pies

Lyrics by Patty Griffin

Woke up this morning, December 31st, and thought “Oh, shit, I’m alive”. Some days are just like this. I know it will pass, but here’s the thing: I believe I have the means to make it pass.

Living with the MS Monster is like walking around with four bricks duct-taped to each leg, and some days it feels like oatmeal is slogging through my veins. Do I have pain, people ask. Well, only when I’m standing and sometimes sitting. Laying down, I’m fine. I can’t take the heat and humidity, so I’m homebound all summer. It never really goes away, even when I sleep. I could go on, but I’m boring myself.

I’ve never seen the glass half full or half empty, just wondered, how and when can we fill it up. Or, if its not possible to fill it up, how can I preserve and utilize what’s left. So I woke up today, cried, pulled myself out of bed, without calling for a crane, and into a chair with a blessed cup of fresh ground coffee. I allowed sadness to be with me for the first hour. I try to see myself as others see me. My children, ages 26 and 22, don’t feel sorry for me. And for this, more than anything, I am most proud. My children know me. And they see me as a person with capabilities.

After an hour or so, I began to prepare for a New Year’s Eve party, by making a pecan pie. Years ago, my mother-in-law taught me how to make pies. She was country born and bred, so lard was a necessary ingredient in making the crusts. We cleared the kitchen table, spread out two large pastry cloths and we (meaning I) made countless throw away batches before I got the feel of it. I got to “know” the dough that would almost roll itself out waiting for the rolling pin to catch up. I learned lattice patterns, perfectly crimped edges, brushing the tops with egg whites for a shine. For this I believe: Making pies is an art form. Art is therapy.

I believe Forrest Gump was a figment of someone’s twisted imagination. His talents far outweighed his minor disability, yet people pitied him. I believe pity is like deadly quicksand to the differently-abled. So I made my pecan pie today. I added a couple teaspoons of Bourbon to the filling. This pie brought back memories as it filled the kitchen with aroma, and it was offered to my dear old friends with love and received by them with love for a person who rode horses, planted gardens, remodeled homes, raised children and chickens, worked with hundreds of dying people, and now can do none of these things, but she is capable, and can make a hellova pie. Cause you can cry or, or die, or just make pies all day. And I’m making pies!