Gulping down that lemonade
Now this picture may seem like nothing to you, but to me it means the world!!! The ugly bathroom of the past is gone!!! It also means that burning ache in my shoulder blades is for a reason, and a damn good one!! I wish I had a picture of the old bathroom to highlight what a signifcant transformation this is.
Little things like changing the inside of the house, is a reminder to me that moving forward is hard work, but well worth it in the end. That you can take a lemon, remove that bitterness...add a little sugar, and drink up some sweet lemonade.
Although there has been some rough spots in my life, I've managed along the way to find that lemonade. In doing so something I've learned is it really doesn't matter what other people may think of my walk in life, as long as I know I am walking the steps I need to.
This past weekend was another time where "Everything Happens For A Reason" smacked me in the face. I was on my way home from Walmart in Tomah with my paint in tow, and I told my youngest we needed to stop at the Goodwill there. I am not really sure why I wanted to, just did. He grumbled, "but Mom, Blake is waiting for me to get home and play." I told him it would just take a moment or two.
He went off his merry way when we walked into the store. I really wasn't sure why I was there, so I just strolled the aisles looking. I ended up by the curtains, and decided maybe I should look for some that may match the paint sample of the paint I just purchased.
So there I was holding up that cardboard paint sample next to the curtains and drapes, and it was then a woman walked by and said, "Oh that one! That one will work!"
I laughed and thanked her for her opinion, and told her I agreed. The next thing I knew this stranger started opening up to me. She told me how she wished she could redecorate her home, but her husband wouldn't let her....that he was very "strict" with her.
Tears formed in her eyes, and she told me how he tells her she doesn't do anything right. I told her I understood, and that one of the reasons I was redecorating was because I finally could without hearing much of the same from my ex husband.
I could tell she was hurting, it's that type of pain you have when you've been emotionally battered...parts of her was bursting at the seams to tell someone...purge it all out, and then other parts of her were saying,"what does it matter it wont change anything." Her eyes conveyed this to me...it was a look I was familar with, and one I often saw staring back at me in my own mirror.
I don't know if she sensed my understanding, but all of a sudden she purged her emotions to me. She told me about the abuse her and her child lives with. She told me about her fears, and how much she loved this man. This stranger told me her story...right there...in Goodwill....
We stood there talking for about 15 minutes. I told her that I understood how isolated she must feel, that I had once been there myself. I explained to her about what I now do...the survivor network I am trying to get off the ground, and how "Everything Happens For A Reason."
Before I knew it I was giving her contact info for the group, my email and number...she gave me hers. That is when I realized why I had that urge to stop at Goodwill...call it what you will..intuition.. or God's will...that moment in time happened for a reason, and for both of us.
I don't know if I will ever hear from that woman again...maybe I will...maybe I wont. I do know this, neither of us will forget that time we shared together...two strangers bonding over something we both were surviving. Yes, I believe she is on that road to surviving ...she reached out, and that's a first step. She may not be ready to take the next step for a while...but one day she will, and I know she will remember our conversation much like I remember it as for me I got to see just how far I've come from just a few short years ago...when things seemed bleak.
So as I painted that bathroom and my living room this weekend, I thought of that woman. I thought one day she will know the freedom of being in control of herself, and her actions. She will know how freeing it all is to actually change and move forward in life...and one day...she will meet a stranger and together they will share some lemonade.