Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Surprised by this topic? You may want to ask ‘what’s Ellen doing with a deck of cards? Does she gamble?’ :-) Oh no, not by a slim chance nor for any reason… I do not! Here’s what, hubby several months ago brought home a deck of cards from his Singapore trip. Neither does he gamble but it seemed to him then that it was a good ‘pasalubong’ (in English, a gift) to a close friend who loved to play cards. Well, to make a long story short, he forgot all about it. :-)

I have it now picked up from a forgotten old box stashed away in a corner… and having it in my hands brought back memories of my Dad playing endless games of solitaire after Mom passed away. He too went away several years later. To my young mind then it seemed to me to be a lonely man’s game and toy. It was Dad’s.

Having nothing much to do with the rest of my day, I took the cards and went to the table. Then I began to set out the cards as I have always seen Dad do it in seven vertical rows neatly arranged in careful ascending gradation. It all had their faces turned down hidden from view except for the last ones at the end of the rows which were open and from this you begin to play the game.

I remember Dad saying that ‘you win the game if you can turn up all the face-down cards before you run out of cue cards…… and you lose when you come to a point when you’re stumped with no cue card in sight to work with.’ I lost!

But I remembering him saying too that I can play the game for three times --- the way a person is allowed his three chances. Thus you hope that maybe your luck will change on the second or third try and win the game. I lost three times --- lost my three chances.

Now I began to think. Three chances lost --- three opportunities to win gone. So that ends the game? Can’t I play another one? So I gazed down at the cards which seemed to be mocking me in my defeat. Oh no, you don’t!! I may have lost, maybe down but certainly not out! So I gathered up the cards again and did a very thorough shuffle. Let’s see you beat this, I thought. I set down a new game again and worked my way through the steps as before. Halfway through the game I saw how it was forming dismally. ‘This thing seems to have a mind of its own’ I thought ‘Oh no! I’m not finished with you yet!’ and continued with the game. At a certain point I got stumped seeing no clue card in sight. ‘Gosh, there must be something I’ve missed!’ I thought. So I reviewed each row carefully searching for that crucial card and Lo! There it was – obviously overlooked. With new hope I moved it accordingly and resumed with the game although precariously nearing its end. Then a cliffhanger --- I still couldn’t open the last remaining face-down cards. Apparently the decisive cards were in that last row. ‘I’m missing something again’ I thought. Hastily I retraced my steps and reviewed the defiant rows but with tight scrutiny this time. But my heart raced aware of time ticking away the last few minutes of the game.

Then BINGO! --- There it was right under my nose hidden by a top card which covered it almost fully from my sight. Hurray! I’m alive. Hurriedly I made the adjustments and thereafter sailed smoothly along turning up all the remaining face-down cards! I WON!

Yeah, Dad, I lost my three chances but I took another one -- do I see you smiling?! :-)

If that was life and I lost all my three chances to make it good, is that all there is to it? Must I simply flail my arms in the air in utter resignation and surrender to --- defeat? Oh no, you don’t do that in the game of life. Because, in life, you can take as many chances as you want. If you’ve used up what’s given you or can’t find any left ---- create them. Give yourself the chance you deserve. Don’t be bogged down by limitations, yours or somebody else’s. To have a chance, take a chance --- or create one. What or who’s stopping you from doing it anyway?? :-)

So... anybody want to join me for a game of solitaire? .... and a cool glass of lemonade, of course. And maybe we'll squeeze in a chocolate mousse cake.... :-))

posted on Wednesday, November 01, 2006 11:48 AM

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