Getting past the hard stuff

getting past the hard stuff graphicHave you ever stopped to notice how some people just seem to cope better with life's circumstances? Is it because they're lucky or is it because they've just learned how to accept the blessings that life has given them?

Recently I had a lively conversation with an elderly gentleman; who out of the blue, began telling me a little bit about his life story. The dialogue began over a young girl wearing flip-flops in less-than-warm conditions, and he light-heartedly inquired, "Are you so poor that I need to buy you a pair of shoes to keep your feet warm?" Needless to say, he began speaking in a soft tone about his travels around the world - how at the mere age of 19 he'd served in World War II and had lost his whole battalion except he and his jeep driver (who were lucky enough to have survived); how he'd jumped over 100 times from a plane during the Vietnam war in '68, and about the pride he had in his son, who was now going to be a retiring colonel in the military. I recall listening to this individual with wide eyes and an open heart. As he spoke, he had a gleam in his eye and he never once complained about the troubles he had seen. He was such an inspiration, in fact, that words escaped me. As I continued to listen to this apparent widower, who was well into his late 70s, I could feel a sense of happiness - and a sense of radiance. Suddenly, it dawned on me that this man was walking with a rolling walker. I guess he noticed my catching the sight of his walker, when he said, "Yep...I got this when they had to take half my leg in Vietnam," he continued, "The docs have done all they could for me, and I'm just blessed to be here today."

The dialogue was one of those, "I wish you could have been there" moments where others could have shared in this inspirational conversation. Getting "past the hard stuff" had apparently been his motto in life; and here he was today walking with half a leg, and never once blaming anyone or anything. I imagine that through all his trials, he had never thought of them as such. Challenges, maybe...but never bad luck. Then I began thinking about how during the entire conversation, I had never noticed his "handicap;" presumably because the man never let on that he had one.

You see, getting past the hard stuff in life is what makes us grow and learn. It's not that God is punishing us for being who we are - He's merely giving us a push to get us going to where we need to be in life. I never got the older man's name, but I assume wherever he is right now, he is glowing in his radiance, and enjoying the life that God has given him. Shouldn't we all be thankful for the life God has given us?

Joan Marie Ambrose -- Author, Creative Writer, Motivational Speaker
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Blog Date: 
Monday, February 17, 2014
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