“7-letter word: Coming together again for the first time”
I love those Hallmark Channel movies. I call them “feel good movies”! This is from The Irresistible Blueberry Farm. I’m sure they have a profound meaning but I’m not focused on that, they just make me feel good. Most of us have enough of a difficult time in life and it’s just an opportunity to feel good. “Coming together again for the first time” was a riddle or crossword example in this movie. I knew what the answer was immediately when I heard the clue! I know the first time many hear this, it feels very foreign. But think of a person you haven’t seen in a long time and you cross paths — all of a sudden you’re talking like no time has passed and you pick up right where you left off. Later one of the characters in the movie says “it’s like coming home again, only I never lived here. So it’s like coming home for the first time.” That is a great way to summarize the whole post-stroke adventure!
There is a woman named Mary Maxwell who did a great bit after she gave the invocation at a Caregiver of the Year dinner sponsored by one of the agencies that provides caregiving and other services to people in their homes. She has a very quick wit and as part of her talk on aging she says “the thing about old age is you don’t get a chance to practice!” The same can be said of a stroke. Remember a long time ago when I did the post on ‘act as if’? I get that most people know exactly what that means. I’m thinking that many can describe the process as ‘pretending’, but it’s more than that. There are many things that I do to remember. For the most part, it is association I use to make things work. So the idea of reunion makes sense to me.
I’ve said that the concept of reading is an important one to me. There are a few books that I’ve re-read post-stroke — mostly to check my memory. Was it as good as I remember? One of the books that I re-read is Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins. (It’s one of Matt’s ‘Good Reads’.) I love the way Robbins uses words and the visualizations he creates. One of the quotes at the end of the book is “it’s never too late to have a happy childhood”. It’s been linked to many sources of origin, but this is my reference. Now I don’t mean it from the standpoint of denial. Let’s face it, life is difficult for many. But in reality that’s a perfect saying and outlook. The book is really about how we make love stay (and also about writing the great novel). There is a line that says “we waste time looking for the perfect lover instead of creating the perfect love”. There are other lines from the book that stand out to me like “Price Charming really is a toad and the beautiful Princess has halitosis” and then there is the one that says “there are only two mantras … yum and yuk. Mine is yum.” This fits right in with my philosophy that it takes the same amount of energy for any outlook on life. As I’ve said, it all takes effort.
Last year we got an art piece by Brian Caraway called The Convenience of Forgetting. Isn’t that a great title? We got the piece through the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art. The piece is fabulous and it’s the very notion that forgetting is a convenience that is a big deal to me. (And that’s the story with which I’m sticking!) I saw another Hallmark movie recently where they said “life is the art of drawing without an eraser”! We all have things in our life that we wish we could erase. Sometimes we can’t and so we make something out of the experience. I often call my post-stroke life, my adventure. (Turns out it’s Matt’s adventure also!) The point is, it’s about our outlook. It’s a reunion.
In the U.S., the college basketball championship happens in the month of March. It’s called March Madness and it’s a big deal. 68 teams get picked to be in the single-elimination championship initially, culminating in a championship game between the two top teams. As a family, we have always been into the whole March Madness event. I personally am not a huge college basketball fan, but my association is this … when March Madness times comes and it’s time for the championship game, the baseball season is about to start! It’s new every year. Lots of things don’t feeI familiar, but that’s a big part of being a stroke survivor. No chance to practice. I’ll just act as if it I’ve been there or done it before (especially if I’ve forgotten) so I can have that reunion.