Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Yesterday, I overheard bits from the conversation of my daughter and her friends out on the lanai not so far from me and my book. The gist of their chatter filtered through to where I was and inevitably caught my attention that I turned my ‘radar’ on to them. Oh, mothers do turn-on the radar on their kids (young and old) occasionally – not to spy on them but to seek out ‘potential seeds of concern’ they may not be aware of themselves. My radar was picking up just that. So I had my ears peeled on them while pretending to read my book.

Friend #1:

“Can you believe this?!! Here I am in the midst of a difficult thesis due Monday and struggling through the finals, and here Dad wants me to set up a sales and product presentation for this client on Friday?!! Gimme a break!” (Jake helps his dad with the family business)

Friend #2:

“This is the pits! I gave the boss my report and he tosses it back to me and tells me to do it all over! After all that grueling hard work and sleepless nights??!! Sh___!! I’m getting out of there, you’ll see!” (Sam is a computer nerd graduating top of his class a year ago.)

Friend #3:

“So you guys think you have it so bad huh?! Have you tried having no job and coping with an ailing parent on the side? I’m way up to here and don’t know if I can take anymore!!” (Sam is the eldest of four siblings and a widowed mother)

Yes! I just couldn’t sit back and simply watch them wrestle with those concerns-- shortsightedly. So reluctantly (because it was really a good book) I put my book aside, stood up, and went over to them. My daughter obviously knew what was coming LOL but I silenced her with one look (mothers are good at using this ‘look’ lol).

I began.

“I’ve overheard everything said here. You’re in my house and here you will stay for the next few minutes and listen to me. (And decent and respectable kids that they are, they obeyed. Phew! lol).

Rough, isn’t it? Difficulty, dilemma, predicament—we can pick out lots of terms in the dictionary which would mean the same thing-- ‘rough spots’. It comes to us in many different ways. And when it does happen, we turn scared–angry–frustrated–disappointed–depressed–annoyed–discouraged.

But you see, Life is not all fun and pleasure as it also hands out on the same platter a dish, one or several, of ‘rough spots’ that test our patience and endurance. Often we perceive them as blocking progress at work. And true to our nature, we react to that in a most predictable way – we rage and wail or stomp out of the room slamming the door behind us! Now where does that leave us? What does it do to the people around us? It does this-- it leaves us back to where we started and breaks the hearts of those who have unshakably stood by our side.

What to do? Go through the fire! There’s no other way to do it but to go through the fire. Like gold is tested through fire, so too must a person prove his mettle by taking on the tough challenges, working through it and come out in one piece— maybe shaken in some parts, but still shining through. The real triumph lies in becoming a much better person because of the whole process. Only by going through the fire does one see and learn his strengths and peel off layers uncovering his fullest potential. These things one can’t get in an easy and comfortable environment. Now, you all have it in you. All that you need to do is make it shine—through the fire-- and while you’re at it, quit complaining, will yah?!”

“Now is anybody up for an apple pie?”

Jake stood up, came to me, and held me tight in a warm bear hug “Yeah, auntie, if we guys are going to the ‘furnace’, we might as well go on a full stomach!” With that everybody howled with delight, jumped up and hauled me into the kitchen. Later that evening, my daughter kissed me and said “Thanks, Mom!” J

posted on Monday, February 06, 2006 11:48 AM

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