Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Lessons Offered in a Bus Ride

My Grandma Loved Motorcycles!
 A petite elderly woman boarded the bus today and for a split second I saw my grandmother. All I could really make out were soft but distinct lines around her mouth because just like my grandmother she was slightly hunched over, most likely from Osteoporosis, and she too took great care in protecting herself from the sun with sunglasses, a small straw hat, an ankle length loose fitted gray skirt, and a long sleeved teal top.

As the woman sat carefully in front of me I felt as though my grandmother had sat down in front of me; I was a little girl again and I was staring at her in wonder of her ability to always channel strength in the face of hardships. I remembered watching her, waiting for her to break out in giggles over pretty much anything; her face would squish up and she would have a soft cackle when she laughed which was often. No matter what was happening she always kept her sense of humor and even when she was angry she was controlled and smart about it. I felt a wave of emotion wash over me as the old woman on the bus got up to sit next to me at the next stop. Was it my grandmother's way of letting me know she still has my back? Or was it God's way of reminding me that I have her gumption and moxie? Or maybe both?

Grandma trying not to giggle when she saw me taking a picture of us this way. It was a new idea for her. :)

 I got off the bus and just as I began to cross the street at the crosswalk a woman in a Mercedes slammed on her brakes to avoid hitting me after turning a corner too fast. This of course startled me as I looked at the car and only saw the desert sun bouncing off her windshield straight into my eyes. As I looked away from the car to keep walking I realized I was laughing. I wasn't hysterical of course but I had a dismissive laugh with a dash of disbelief. I could look at this two ways, either the universe isn't done testing my resolve after taking so much from me or it is reminding me of the things that aren't happening to me, things can always be worse, I know this for a fact. Regardless of which perspective I chose I felt it was a fairly clear reminder of how my sense of humor has kept me going and I'm thankful to my grandmother most of all for that.

The point of this story is twofold:

First, I wonder how much our perspectives impact everything in our lives. I know we are told that our thoughts shape our world and science is proving this to be true but how often do we take the time to really  look at that possibility in our own life? Is that why I need to be taking a bus for now? Because taking a bus and walking really forces you to see things at a real and micro level and you notice and learn things you normally wouldn't.

Second, my biggest concern is my attitude regarding how many hardships have befallen me over the past few years. When my hard drive crashed the other day I was angry but I was almost more angry at how little it seemed to affect me. I have experienced so much hardship that one more thing that would have devastated me a year ago barely got to me. Is this because I'm getting comfortable with loss and hardship? Because that is something I REALLY don't want to get comfortable with. OR is it because I know that whatever happens I'm going to keep going? Is my perspective being tested? Is that why my treasured grandmother visited me today? To offer her moxie?

Food for thought, I suppose.


  1. I don't think you are getting used to hardship~ it's more that your perspective has changed so that those things that would have been "devastaing" before have now become minor annoyances. You are now more thankful for what you do have and not as concerned with what you don't have....More willing to walk the path less traveled.
    I'm so glad you got a visit from your Grama....know that she will ALWAYS be with you expecially when you need her most.

    1. I appreciate that perspective. I can tell you that my priorities have certainly shifted. I feel blessed to have become so aware of the changes I have needed to make even in the smallest of behaviors. I feel like I'm being primed to be a better and more useful member of society working as a facilitator for others who are struggling in some way.

      Thank you again for your comment!