Sunday, February 24, 2013

Anonymous Reader Question

Diana Ross at Studio 54
Diana Ross: credit

February 19, 2012

Question: "It takes so little to please you.  Why?"

Dear Anonymous,

This question, like a drum, has been pounding with each step I take.  A rhythm.  It's been weeks since you typed your question, here, and hit submit. When I read them, the words starred at me, stinging off the screen.  Hinting at the alternate choices surrounding me.

The answer didn't come and the tempo began to surge inside me.  The drum pounded as I waited to pay for my groceries.  It throbbed as I cheered my daughter on at softball try outs.  I pulsed in my chest as I ran around the block, banging on my cortex demanding an answer.  Why? Why? Why?  Why?

The answer came to me today.

I opened an email, it was a voice from the past.  An old college friend wrote, "I've got some sad news.  James took his life Sunday night.  I don't know any of the details but thought you'd want to know.  His funeral is Friday.  He was a good man."

My life crossed with James’s for just a minute.  A blip.  A summer, while I was a kid at college.  I’m not sure he’d even remember me.  I was just a friend of a friend but I remember him.  He did something for me I will never forget.  This news instantly brought me back to that clear memory I have of James.

One college summer, I was at a party.  The house was packed and the party began to escalate into confusion.  Even the air felt dangerous and I found myself being herded down the hall by a pack of boys.  Just as I knew I was in the wrong place at the wrong time James reached out and said, “You’re with me.” I remember those words.  He pulled me to the side and we crouched behind some furniture in the darkness and deafness of the music, waiting.  The room cleared and the party went back to normal.  We never spoke about that moment.  In fact, it wasn't until years later, with the clarity of adulthood that I realized what he had done for me.

A small thing.  A simple moment.  A moment that could have been so different for me.  A moment that James may not have remembered.  After that summer, our lives parted ways and here I am years later heartbroken over this terrible news.  It was a lifetime ago that James and I walked in the same circles, but that small act has crescendoed into something deeply profound for me.  And, it is the mantra which pulses the blood through my heart.  Life is about love.

The drum has shifted pace, it's thrumming to the pulse of what I have learned from James' life, from your question and from a conversation with another friend.  I called her on the phone.  We talked about James and she said, "Sometimes we don't recognize how valuable we are."

That is your answer, Anonymous.  That is why I am pleased with good little things.

"Sometimes we don't recognize how valuable we are."

People are valuable.  Mr. Scabs is valuable.  I am valuable.  The man/woman who hurt you is valuable.  And you, my Anonymous friend, you are valuable.

I love you.



  1. I hear that and can't agree more! I have learn't to value small authenticity's versus grandiose and meaningless, as it speaks volumes more than we could ever comprehend.

  2. The little things are what make me the happiest. I love small acts of kindness, simple dates with my husband, small successes of the people I love. I have a sex addict husband who doesn't even know how or where to look for happiness. He has realized that he has never known how to feel happy for as long as he can remember. He instead has searched for pleasure hits his entire life, trying to fill a void. For him to feel like something is meaningful, it must be some sort of grandiose gesture. He is now becoming aware of this and this is a first step in the right direction. He is also beginning to feel emotions and empathy. I hope and pray he finds his own value and learns to begin to have compassion for himself. I think he will truly begin to heal as he does this.

    1. i think gaining empathy is a huge key into recovery and becoming a new person. It has been huge for Mr Scabs.

  3. I think Mara's (A Blog About Love) re-post today of Vulnerability: Step 3 speaks well to this. But I love your response too. I think it is a good example of healthy detachment (which I'm currently working hard on). If you don't need someone else to make you happy, than any gift they offer, no matter how small, can be accepted with gratitude.

    -victory will wait

  4. Great post:) So very true Scabs! You've made my day valuable. I have been in a funk lately with sick kids, never ending housework, and no real time for recovery. You just inspired me to do something for me. I am going to go running:)
    Love you!

    1. take care of yourself Sparrow. its the most important thing you can do.

  5. Great post- and so true. Why shouldn't we pleased with even the small gifts other's try and give? Why shouldn't we look for the best in others? It doesn't make us a doormat, it makes us charitable and strong. Thank-you for your thoughts! It's always important for me to remind myself through the darker days that not only do I love my husband- but so does God.

    1. didn't someone once kindness is ever wasted.

  6. HOLY CRAP!!!! Truth is BEAUTIFUL!

    1. truth is beautiful...and so clean and so simple

  7. I still have a lump in my throat. I knew James. It was a complete shock. It is so true, we get so lost in our pain, that we forget that someday the pain will subside, and that we will experience happiness again, and that we have so much to offer this world, so much to learn and so much to gain. My heart breaks for those who feel such despair. I know I have felt quite a bit of that the past few years, and at times it really did feel like the pain would never let up, but it does. I am so glad to know you Scabs. You gave me so much hope in the midst of my despair. I know God loves me because He sent me you.

    1. i know, my lovely friend, i know. He sent us each other.



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