Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Broken Survivors

As I brought in groceries from my car, I looked like a bag lady. I carried as many bags as I could to cut down on the number of trips from the garage to the kitchen. Yesterday, I juggled four bags into the house and prepared to set them on the counter. I manhandled the gallon of milk and a sack of cans onto the counter. I lifted the lighter bag with a carton of eggs in it and prepared to set it beside the other bags. The plastic bag slipped out of my hands and the eggs fell to the floor.

I heard a distinct splat and knew that some of the eggs had prematurely met a sad end. I picked up the carton and at first glance, they all looked fine. One by one, I plucked the eggs out of the carton and examined them. Of the eighteen eggs, fourteen were broken on the bottom, but four had survived unscathed.

The eggs all suffered the same disaster and all the eggs were fragile. It seems to me that the fate of the eggs is a life lesson. Not one single person makes it through life without catastrophe.

Your struggles are different from mine. Your heartaches, failures, insecurities, relationships, health problems, and worries are different. Everything that happened in your life—good and bad—made you the unique person you are. Your ability to overcome adversity determines whether you are a survivor and not a victim.

I’ve noticed that ninety-nine things can go right, but the one thing that goes wrong will haunt me. I can remember how hyped I was when the Alzheimer’s Association chapter office decided to give Alzheimer’s Anthology of Unconditional Love to our state legislators. I had collected stories from caregivers and persons with dementia, and the chapter staff chose the best stories to include in the book. I spent about a year on the project and invested my energy into editing these heart-felt stories.

I was recognized on the floor of the Missouri house and received a House Resolution from my representative. What should have been one of the happiest days in my life was ruined when a fellow advocate met me in the hallway. “If my chapter hadn’t told me to give away this book, I wouldn’t have because…” She went on to say something that wasn’t true. I tried to show her where she was mistaken, but she wasn’t interested in what I had to say. She had already made up her mind and didn’t even hear me. That one negative comment stung, and I came close to deciding in that moment that I wasn’t going to publish any more books.    

It’s obvious that this one negative Nelly did not change the trajectory of my life. I overcame my self-doubt and began blogging shortly after this experience. The day I started my blog, I thought long and hard before pushing that “publish” button.

One of the biggest hurdles to overcome if you want to leave the past behind is self-doubt. We all fail and fall short of our aspirations. If you notice someone who apparently leads a charmed life, just know that appearances can be deceptive. Survivors are often broken people who pick up the pieces and glue them back together. Human survivors may look fine on the outside, but inside, they hurt from unhealed wounds.

I cracked one of those “survivor” eggs into the skillet this morning. The egg looked perfect on the outside, but the yolk was broken and it was scrambled on the inside.

Copyright © February 2019 by L.S. Fisher


Unknown said...

Such truth and wisdom here, Linda. We are all broken somehow and just trying to survive. Bless you in all your endeavors!


If becoming the caregiver of an early onset dearly loved husband has taught me anything it is that things are not always as they seem. Less often do I assume that peoples actions are a reflection of what is going on in their lives. There are as you say a lot of hurting people out there.

Christine said...

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