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I am proud to say I am an optimist. I see my glass half full. If it’s half full, there is more to drink. Yeah life could be tough at times and certainly situations happen to all of us that we wish hadn’t. But in the big picture we are a lucky few. I once read that if you have spare change you are richer than most people in this world. Think about that for a second. More people than not have nothing or close to it. There are thousands maybe even millions that live in extreme poverty. My heart breaks every time I see a clip of a young child starving, standing in line for a cup of rice. They are not complaining that flies are circling their lips as they try to take a mouthful of mush. They are grateful to have something to eat. We all have bad days and there are times I myself can become pessimistic but on those days I try to remind myself just what I do have. I have a home to shelter me. My home is no mansion and can use a lot of work but it keeps me safe. I have choices when I open my refrigerator, sometimes the choices are less than the week before but still there is food. I have a cookie jar filled with loose coins that I can cash in on a rainy day. I have friends that I can call or write to when I need to vent. Even if the topic I am venting about is so silly I have people who will listen. I have a direct line with heaven and I call it everyday. Though I don’t get a verbal response there are many times I know my prayers were answered. I accept when the answer was not the one I was hoping for. I will not judge a person because I have not walked in their shoes. I give them the benefit of the doubt when they are miserable and hope there are valid reasons for them choosing that mood. I know there could be many reasons behind their behaviors including depression. I acknowledge this as a true sickness and sympathize with someone battling the terrible disease. But for those of you that are crabby simply because you like to make other people miserable I plead with you to step outside of yourself and watch from a bystanders eye how you look. If you see your glass as half empty, pour it out and fill it back up. There is but one life, at the end of the road you may look back and regret not recognizing the blessings you received. Call me a fool for seeing the bright side, but if living on the dark side is the alternative I will take it as a compliment. My cup is half full; there is room for much more.
Sometimes dreams feel so real that it’s hard to believe they’re not once you awaken. Last night I had one of those dreams. When I woke up my cheeks were damp from tears I must have shed while dreaming. I dreamt someone I loved died. I can recall the emptiness I felt when I was told she was gone. It was as if I was drowning, but the water I was swimming in was life. I panicked and grabbed at air trying to pull the reality that I knew back into the reality I was now in. The same way a person would grasp for air to fill their lungs. But the air this person gave me was gone and my lungs collapsed, metaphorically speaking. I sat up in bed reassuring myself. I was relieved to enter back into the world I knew. I remembered the last image I saw in the dream. It was the girl walking out a door, I only caught a glimpse of her. By the time I saw her she was already on her way out and I knew she’d never return. A sentence kept repeating in my head which prompted me to write the following poem.
I caught a glimpse of her, she didn’t see me.
She carried a bag and walked through the door, it was her exit.
She wouldn’t be coming back
Her silhouette glided
The light of her existence turned black.
Like a hole with nothing I am empty.I reached for her, she never knew.
She was gone. She passed through the door and entered eternity
Emergency rooms are filled with people waiting to be seen. As well as people waiting with the people waiting to be seen. On a busy night the brightly lit room can be the source for all kinds of characters. On Saturday night I observed many interesting people and wondered what stories they could tell. There was a teenager in a very short blue fleece robe. It was decorated with snowmen. Her hair was plopped on top of her head in a floppy ponytail. She struck up a conversation with another girl in interesting attire. The other girl was wearing baggy pants adorned with hot sauce bottles and a man’s loose-fitting white t-shirt. Because you sit in such close proximity of other’s in the waiting room you have no choice but to hear the conversations going on. The girls talked about children and how many they planned on having. The robe girl said she would have seven. She didn’t care if anyone thought she was crazy. She wanted seven children because she was an only child and hated it. The hot sauce bottle girl explained she was pregnant but lost her baby. She was in the emergency room due to complications from a miscarriage. I listened a bit and played out scenarios for them in my mind. I pictured the robe girl with a screaming baby rested on her hip and another in a high-chair throwing food and wondered if she would really make it to seven. The hot sauce bottle girl had a bit of an edge to her. I envisioned her as the type of girl that ran the show and refused to take smack from anyone. What kind of mother’s will they become? I will never really know but I had fun making up a life for them. My attention shifted from them to an older man sitting by himself with his palm rested against his chin. I thought he looked familiar but couldn’t place where I saw him before. Worry and sadness painted his face. He was obviously concerned for whom ever it was he was waiting for. I later realized he was a customer of mine that frequently visited the restaurant. In front of him was a young couple. The boy scrunched down in his seat, his legs were spread out in a carefree fashion. He didn’t pay half as much attention to the girl as she did to him. She kept affectionately rubbing her hands against his legs. As if she was warning the other girls of his status. My eyes shifted to the floor and what caught my attention surprised me a bit. It was no longer faces I was studying. It was toes. Seven out of nine of the girls in the waiting room were wearing flip flops. There were casual flip flops, sequenced flip flops, flip flops with stripes and flip flops that have seen better days. And if there are flip flops then you know there must be toes. If you are going to wear flip flops I think you have an obligation to your toes or shall I say toe nails to keep them presentable. Don’t put flip flops on if your nails are curling past the skin of your toes. It does you an injustice. Wearing flip flops is like buying a house on an Avenue. You have a responsibility to keep them clean, primped and maybe even decorated. I know, the fact that you are in an emergency room may mean you didn’t have time to focus on what you were wearing. But keep in mind you probably will be waiting for hours. The other people in the waiting room with you have no choice but to focus on the other’s in the room at some point. I will remember the faces and toes of all of the people in the room that night. Mainly because of what they were wearing, whether it was a snowman robe, hot sauce pants or flip flops. They made a statement and didn’t even realize it. I wonder if someone else looked at what I was wearing and thought, what was she thinking? I was one of the two that didn’t have on flip flops. My toenails were not ready to be seen. They needed an emergency room of their own, preferably one in a salon with a nice comfy chair and deep bubbly foot bath.