Sunday, April 11, 2010

A New Day—A Fresh Start

The only good thing I can say about a long, hard winter is it makes me really appreciate spring. A spring day gives me renewed hope and vigor. I now feel capable of tackling those obstinate problems that seemed insurmountable when the wind chill was below zero.

It is refreshing to open the patio doors and have a spring breeze flush out the stale breath of winter. The sound of twittering birds and barking squirrels are infinitely more welcome than the sound of sleet against my bedroom window.

To me a spring day is like the joy of Easter after the gloom of Good Friday. It is the rebirth of my spiritual wellbeing. How could I be depressed or sad when redbuds, dogwood, and lilies provide color against a backdrop of shades of green—grass, leaves, bushes, and evergreens?

Words cannot express the glory of the sun’s golden rays. No one even complains much when driving into the blinding morning or evening sun.

I feel like a flower, turning my face toward the sun, and showing bright spring colors. I am tired of dull and drab. The winter blahs already seem like a memory, and I walk with a spring in my step.

I can even forgive spring its sorrows and the sad days of remembrance. Jim died on a warm April day five years ago. For a time, I thought that would make me dread April and the memories of that moment when dementia took Jim away. In reality, death gave him back to me. In the midst of losing Jim to dementia, I learned to accept the changes in him and to love him for the person he had become. It was too painful to remember him as he was before dementia.

After Jim died, I could embrace the memories of the man he was before the disease stole him away. In April 2005, the youthful Jim, the fun-loving man, the person who cherished me and became my best friend was reborn in my memories.

Life goes on and although my babies are grown to men, my four grandchildren bring joy into my life with the dependability of flowers breaking through the soil to brighten the days of spring.

Last weekend, my six-year-old granddaughter handed me a sheet of paper and asked me to sign up for art classes.

“I can’t sign up for art classes,” I said, “because I can’t draw.”

“Grandma Linda, you don’t have to draw, I just need you to sign up.”

“Okay, then . . . if I don’t have to draw, I’ll sign up.”

In a few minutes she handed me a marker and a sketch pad. “Draw a picture of a flower,” she said.

“Oh, I can draw a flower,” I said, and quickly drew a circle surrounded with loops, a stem, and threw in a few blades of grass at the bottom.

Ever the encourager, she said, “That’s a good picture, Grandma Linda. It looks real!”

“Smell it,” I said. “I bet it smells like a flower.”

She held the sketch pad up to her nose and took a whiff. “It smells just like paper!” she declared. Let’s face it, there is no substitute for the real thing.

No matter how dead plants and trees may look during the frigid days of winter, they flourish anew with the passage of time. A spring day is a new day, a new chapter in life, a time for a fresh start, and a resurgence of hope.

copyright (c) April 2010 L. S. Fisher
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