My “I will never”‘s date back at least to my teen years, when I proclaimed “I will never speak to my child like that!” referring to one of the many phrases my mother used frequently. “If you kids don’t start behaving, I am going to turn this car around.” “Keep it up and I will give you something to cry about.” or in response to my, “everyone is going.” she would say, “if everyone was going to jump off a bridge, I suppose you would want to go along.”
I don’t remember the exact moment it happened, but one day, after enduring just one two many, “He touched me.” “She won’t quit singing.” and “He always gets the window.” from my three backseat kids, I snapped and pulled out the big guns. Gripping the steering wheel, I swung right, pushed the gear shift into PARK and yelled like a fish wife, “If you kids don’t shut up right now, I swear I will yank you out of this car and give you something to cry about.” SILENCE! I glanced in the rearview mirror to find all three of them staring wide eyed at me and I swear I saw my mother looking back at me.
The plus side to my outburst was a relatively quiet ride, which is probably why my mother used it on her four children. I could not, however, live up to the “I will never talk to my kids like that.”
Unfortunately, I did not learn to bury the all encompassing “I will never…” Some notable examples from over the years include:
I will never pay more than a dollar a gallon for gas….now, I get real excited to get it below $2/gallon using every Winn Dixie, Kroger, or whatever credit or even below $3/gallon, now that I think about it.
I will never take pills on a regular basis more than once a day…HA! Now I have alarms that signal when to take my medicine…twice a day now, but who knows in the future.
I will never take my medication in a ziplock bag as my list of medications, so the nurse in the doctors office can check them off my chart…I may one day need two bags and that does worry me a bit.
In 2002, a friend of mine, Rita had colon surgery to remove a large cancerous tumor. Because of the extent of the surgery, she had a colostomy. She handled it with grace, but it required an adjustment both mental and physical. She told me that once she had thought that would be the worst possible thing to endure, but living with a colostomy was doable. Because of that surgery, treatment, and yes, that colostomy bag, we had two more years with Rita…and those were precious times.
In 2010, with a throat and mouth burned raw by radiation Terry had lost more than 25 pounds so a feeding tube was inserted. For six months that tube became his source of nutrition, hydration, and medication. He could barely endure a few sips of water by mouth. He did not want the tube, but it became his best friend and helped him to recover his strength after treatment. It like his port for chemotherapy made the difficult time a little easier.
Over time I have observed people isolate themselves because they had to use a walker, carry oxygen with them, use a wheelchair or because they could not hear or see well. I have also observed folks using walkers, carrying oxygen, etc. at church, the grocery store, restaurants, and a variety of other public settings.
We limit ourselves with all our “I will never”‘s…and admit it we all have a few stored up. In my seventh decade I desire to live positively.
I will take every opportunity to explore new things, meet new people, cherish old friends, love my family and LIVE!
I will take my medication as prescribed, see my doctors, get my teeth cleaned, get that mammogram and bone density…even if it means I have to take pills more than two times a day or use a walker or wheelchair…God Forbid! but I will.
I will go outdoors and breathe fresh air, as long as there is fresh air to breathe.
I will do what I can in spite of the restrictions of body, mind or spirit to the best of my ability as long as I have sense enough to do it…God knows my mind may go before the rest of me.
I willlaugh with others and even by myself and I will cry with others and, yes, even by myself.
I will say “yes” more often than “no”.
I will not be ashamed to love or to declare my love for my God, my husband, my family, my friends and my country.
And yet I am basing this on the Great I WILL NEVER:
Your conduct must be free from the love of money and you must be content with what you have, for he has said, “ I will never leave you and I will never abandon you.” (Hebrews 13:5 NET)
With that I can live free until He chooses to take me home.