Posts Tagged ‘Jodi Picoult quote’

Maybe who we are isn’t so much about what we do, but rather what we’re capable of when we least expect it. (Jodi Picoult)

I read the notice, but my brain interprets it in its own way: This road will be closed from April 23 until it is ready for the landing of the Apocalypse ship. Sure, I know another way to get to the Y. But, I’m not certain where the construction begins and ends. And part of that road leads to our friend’s auto repair shop.

My car is running okay, but it is a 1997 model—old by mechanical standards. And I have no idea how soon the ship will land. Okay, I’m exaggerating. However, the detour sign has become the new travel standard.

Expect long delays. Great! I need to pick up my granddaughter. At least back streets are available. And my direction-deprived brain knows them.

Life detours are another matter. An old friend learned her cancer has returned. Another friend battles a second bout of sepsis, cause unknown. I talk to someone I haven’t seen at the Y for a long time. She moved to Arizona, and then returned to Ohio because her daughter developed MS. The daughter needs constant care.

Even on a less serious level I woke up last week with pain in my shoulder. Too sharp to go back to sleep. Fortunately, I was able to figure out that movement made the discomfort worse. I had no shortness of breath. No heart problem. No reason to wake my husband.

Nevertheless, I had no idea what had caused the muscle pull. Even holding a book caused pain. I tried anyway. A day and a half of heat and rest revitalized me. The perfect time to notice the beauty of the moment. I fought the urge to get up, clean a dirty corner, work on my next book, jump through the next hoop, cross the next bridge, or detour, before I came to it.

Rest. Sometimes I get lost in my own overdone good intentions. Maybe the good intentions don’t matter as much as what I can do when the detours appear. This is the season.

enjoying scenery on a detour

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Man has never made any material as resilient as the human spirit. (Bernard Williams)

I have just shared the news that my youngest granddaughter is doing extremely well. Her joy has leaked into me. All is well in my world. However, within minutes I learn that all is not well in another person’s world.

I greet the young woman I introduced in my April 14 post: A Child’s Wish: I Hope You Never Git Hert. She tells me she has stage-four cancer. My hug feels tense, overprotective; I wanted to relay hope, a huge cancer-crushing hope. She ran a marathon last week. That run was her choice. Chemotherapy doesn’t fit anyone’s desire.

I would reach for a second hug-try, but the lack lies within me, not within her. I haven’t processed her news yet. This can’t be real—it is. I sense frailty in her body and I want to change it. Make her well. Now.

Platitudes go nowhere. But I tell her that I thought about her at two in the morning again last night. I did. Perhaps she had taken part in an immediately forgotten dream. It doesn’t matter. Something about her inspires me. An ordinary kind of sacred. I suspect that this girl is planting seeds in people simply by being herself. She demonstrates how courage works, but the kind of growth she initiates in others doesn’t necessarily appear until later—sometimes years.

Philosophical banter is too lofty for someone who is suffering. It isn’t what she needs right now. I tell her once again that she is incredible. She smiles, briefly, as if a little light has gotten through to the part of her that doesn’t see her beauty. Enough for now maybe. Incredible is such a vague word. It doesn’t say as much as I want it to express. At some place every analogy limps. My words can only be a representation of a thought, chosen to celebrate a spirit I want to see thrive as long as possible, the life of a common hero.

She is that hero, with seeds left to plant… and she knows the fight is never easy.


Heroes Jodi P PIQ

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