Friday, March 16, 2012

The Colors Life Paints Us

Every emotion has a color that represents it.  Each of us has a Life Book in our hearts.  Each event in our life paints a page of that book with colors.  Please, Please, Please, do all you
can to make each of your pages happy, pleasant colors.

Below is an example of what I mean.

The day of my oldest son’s (Sam) 19th birthday, I got off work at the regular time.  I picked Sam and my younger son up (Chris, 16), and then we headed off to pick up Sam’s girlfriend.  I needed to stop at Wal-Mart® to pick up a few things.  When we arrived, Sam and his girlfriend went their own way through the store and Chris decided to shop with me.

(I have to explain something to you at this point.  Sam is my independent son and Chris is outwardly independent, but has always been my touchy kid.  Since he was a toddler, he has always had a habit of reaching out and briefly touching me or “accidentally” bumping into me.  I have never minded it and I don’t think he was even aware he did it.)

I was in the sewing aisle looking for a curved needle and some filament thread to fix our camping tent.  So, there I stand, looking for just the right needle with my hand on the cart.  Chris was standing nearby.  He reached out and touched my arm…ZAP…he gets shocked by static electricity.  He, of course, said, ’Geez Mom!’ like it was my fault and I can do nothing but laugh.  I go back to searching for the needle and thread.

I found the right needle and began checking out the thread selection when,…ZAP…he has touched me again, and again he gets shocked.  This time he said, ’Mom, you got batteries in your pocket or something!?!’  My cheeks hurt as I was laughing so hard.

I found the right thread, put it in my cart, and we began to walk towards the sporting goods department when,…ZAP…he gets it again!  He stopped me and said, ’wait a minute, we are not on carpet, you are wearing tennis shoes, how are you shocking me?’  His diagnostic was that the lovely wheel that all shopping carts have these days…you know…the ones that stop your shopping cart IMMEDIATELY after you have gone just over 10 feet from the front door of the store…yeah, that one…it had a short in it and had electrified the cart with just enough electricity to create a very nice shock.  About this time, Sam and his girlfriend rounded the corner.  Chris put his hand on the cart and said…’Sam, come here for a second’.  The unsuspecting older brother walked right into a shocking moment.  Now that was funny!  Chris shocked him again.  That was even funnier.  Sam asked how he was able to shock him like that.  Chris let go of the cart, took a step, and began to explain the problem with the cart.  During the explanation, he reached forward and touched his brother again…SHOCK.  Aw…the shock remains with the body even when the connection to the cart is no longer…hmmmm...both boys grabbed the cart to charge up and then began chasing one another up and down the aisle to shock each other.  By this time I am rolling!

After a few moments of this, Sam has just recharged and then looked at his girlfriend.  It didn’t take her long to see in his eyes what he was thinking.  Off she went with him close behind.  Chris took off the other way and they both caught her in the next aisle.  It was so much fun to watch them have fun and play like kids.

Well, the game got old after a little while.  Chris and I headed off to the sporting goods section and Sam and his girlfriend were off to somewhere else in the store.  We hadn’t walked far when Chris bumped into me and…SHOCK…he said, ‘that’s it! I am getting a new cart.  This one is going to stop my heart!’  I waited while he fetched another cart, transferred all the stuff, and said, ‘I will push!’

Chris and I browsed the sporting goods and then we went to electronics.  As we got there, we saw him.  Sam was playing the demo games.  Chris stopped, pointed, and said, ‘will he ever grow up?’  I said, ‘probably not, just like you won’t’.  I had a smirk on my face and he understood what I meant.  I have always told them, people get old and sad when they forget how to be a kid and have fun.

We finished our shopping and left the store.  And, yes, the cart froze up and came to a screeching halt 15 feet before we got to the car.  Thought I would let you know that those wheels still work, just in case you were wondering.

Once in the car, I asked Sam where he wanted to go for his birthday dinner.  After many possibilities, he finally decided on the Chinese buffet.  We arrived, got seated, filled our plates, and that is when the fun began.  Chris, who, I swear, is Jerry Lewis reincarnated, said something that made everyone laugh and iced tea nearly came out Sam’s girlfriend’s nose.  He then took this as a challenge…how many times could he make iced tea come out of her nose before we leave.  So needless to say, dinner was fun, I am sure her nose was sore the next day, and the people in that restaurant were convinced that I have the most uncouth children on the planet!!  I don't really care what other people think; I just love those times with my kids!!

We had a great 3 hours together.  The color of my page was a bright sunshiny yellow!!

I told you all of that, to tell you this.

Sam was attending a junior college at the time.  Every morning I would take him to school.  I didn’t mind at all being the taxi.  I enjoyed the time with him.  Most mornings we would play along with a game on one of the radio stations.  They asked mind-bender questions and people would call in with answers.  It was fun.  They were questions like…”Monday is the most popular day for people to do what via text message?’  The answer was…”break up with someone”.  It was a fun game.  We would discuss the questions, give our best guesses, and then he would call the station and give one of our answers.  He has won the game a couple of times and we had tons of fun doing it.

Well, the morning after Sam’s birthday was like any other morning.  We were driving to the college on our normal route.  Every day our route took us past a telephone pole that has plastic flowers carefully placed at the base.  On this morning as we passed, I saw her, she was just standing there.  She looked so very sad.  She was staring at the flowers and was crying.

I said to Sam, ‘is that his Mom?’  He said, ‘Yeah, and you know why she is there today?  Today would have been his 19th birthday.  We had several classes together both junior and senior year and we used to think it was so cool that our birthdays were only one day apart.’

That young man died in a car accident several months prior.  No alcohol or drugs in his system…just 18, thinking he was bullet proof and made of Teflon.  He was driving too fast on a country road and lost control of his car.  He was a good boy with his whole life to live.

If has been a handful of years since that day.  Now both of my boys are grownup and have little boys of their own.  I think of him and his mom often when I play with my grandsons or watch my boys as they interact with their children.  These are moments in my life that I thoroughly enjoy.  I remember how lucky I am to have these moments and I cherish them.  He will never know what it feels like to rock his baby to sleep.  She will never know what it sounds like to have a little one say ‘gamma’ instead of grandma.

Enjoy the small moments everyday brings.  See the magic that life offers.  Life is short, treat is as such.  Do all you can to make your pages bright and happy colors.  Life has its challenges, but it is how you deal with those challenges that determine how you feel about them and in turn, what color your page becomes.  If you spend too much time dwelling on the speed bump life has handed you, you become blind to all the good things you have to be thankful for.

Thanks for reading.

Brooke Ryter



    And you looking for the sewing materials to fix the camping tent reminded me of when we went camping with you all. That July 4th weekend is a bright orange and green color in my book.

    Thanks for brightening my day with this story. = )


    1. Monet-

      Thank you for your comment!! I am thankful that spending a little time camping with me and the family made a page in your book such wonderful colors. Your pleasant nature and kindness certainly made the time happy for us as well. We will need to do it again soon!!