Sunday, January 08, 2006

Driving by Braille

When I was a little girl, my father would occasionally drive over the center line of the road. Convinced he was the long-lost sibling of Mario Andretti, he had a tendency to drive a touch on the adventurous side. My mom would casually point out the fact that he was hogging the road. By this I mean she gasped at the oncoming traffic, sure we would meet our demise in a fiery blaze of crushed metal, and scream "You're in the wrong lane!"

Dad would simply look over at her and say, "I'm just driving by Braille."

Funny, how a silly little moment can transform into an epiphany. On my way to the grocery store today, I accidentally found myself driving on the little reflectors in the center of the road, the distinct thud, thud, thud under the tires. I heard my father's voice, whispering mischievously. Shel, you're driving by Braille.

When my father passed away six years ago I felt blind-sided, like a Mac truck slammed into me at 70 mph. With my younger sister out of commission due to childbirth, and my older sister frozen in a blizzard of grief, I took on the daunting task of funeral arrangements. I didn't realize until today that, through that week, I had been driving by Braille.

No experience to date has haunted me as my father's untimely death, but there have been many of life's moments I find myself plowing through, oblivious to the answers of the problem at hand. I always manage to find my way into the light, with faith, perseverance, and my father's wisdom left to me in unknown lessons.

Sometimes, you can't see the path before you. Sometimes, you just have to feel your way blindly. Driving by Braille.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

When times are tough...

I read. I watch a movie. I escape the horrible reality, whatever it may be at the time, for a few hours. This method, I have found, is quite rejuvenating. The best antidote to real life is loosing yourself in another's tragedy.

Well, that was my method until I purchased the book, Stories of Strength. I still find it easier to drown my sorrows by replacing them with another's, but this book is filled with... you guessed it. Stories of strength. Stories of ordinary people, in ordinary circumstances, that find inner strength to overcome the adversities of every day life.

No matter what the circumstance, your troubles could always be worse.