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Friday, July 14, 2017


Kimberly D Miller 07/15/2017

For twenty-four (24) years I have been a single mother.  No time however, seemed more challenging than when I was in my mid thirties struggling to work, pay bills, raise my son and fight the chemical depression that was to be my constant companion for the rest of my life.  It was during one of these challenging days that my mother handed me a laminated card the size of a playing card that read, “Don’t Quit.  When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, when the road you’re trudging seems all up hill…When the funds are low, and the debts are high, and you want to smile, but you have to sigh…When care is pressing you down a bit, rest if you must, but don’t you quit.  Life is queer with its twists and turns, as every one of us sometimes learns…And many a failure turn about, as you might have won had you stuck it out…Don’t give up though the pace seems slow, you may succeed with another blow.  Success is failure turned inside out, the silver tint of the clouds of doubt…And you never can tell how close you are, it may be near when it seems so far…So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit, it’s when things seem worse that you must not quit.”  It was on that day, the day I think my mother must have known deep down in her soul could have been my last, that she saved my life with this card quite literally, as it was the very day I had been contemplating suicide.  What was it about this card that meant so much as to turn my decision around?  Was it that the words on the card were just what I needed to hear?  Was it the mere gesture of receiving the card or a combination of both?  Who knows, but I choose all of the above.  My mother was nothing if not my rock, and this small gesture was tantamount to the giving, caring person she always was…she didn’t quit.  Even at the end she fought cancer with all she had and, although it won, she didn’t quit…ever.

          The line of this card that stands out to me is this, “Success is failure turned inside out, the silver tint of the clouds of doubt,” as it reminds me that our attitude toward things that happen in our lives dictates our “successes” and our “failures.”  Who is to say that the way we approach any and every situation one at a time is either a success or a failure?  Our friends?  Our families?  Our neighbors?  Strangers who stare?  Who is to say?  We are!!!

          If you begin to feel that a situation you are dealing with could be termed by your definition as a failure, then stop.  It’s time to redefine…time to turn this inside out as we remind ourselves that success is our only option.  Maybe the path we were on took a wrong turn, maybe the decisions weren’t quite right at that place in that time.  Maybe many other things could have been done or…maybe you only had to view the positive aspects, the things that went right, the little moments in which you filled yourself with pride…all of the little successes strung together to produce one big definition of success.  You might ask, “What if I didn’t get the results I wanted?  What if there were sad and angry outcomes created by this?  Again, it’s all in how you look at it because even if you didn’t get the results you wanted, maybe you got the results you needed at that point in time.  Maybe you got the results you were supposed to have in order to lead yourself down a better path somewhere in the future or maybe you didn’t get any results at all, but in any case…stop and adjust…find the good, find what did work out.  How can you change your thoughts into positive thoughts in this situation?  How can you tell yourself that this is a victory?  Turn any and all negatives inside out and stay in the moment…then forgive yourself for almost quitting…because you didn’t…you didn’t quit.  In time, you will understand how each and every situation plays a part in a future decision or path and how one really needs the other to happen in order to occur and by keeping it positive and finding the good, you make it easier to move forward with less regret and guilt…two words I try to eliminate from my vocabulary.

          Many years later, now in my mid fifties, a new friend recently handed me the same type of small, laminated card that read, “Chipp on my shoulder…Love.  Lord, please help me to begin each day with a big chip on my shoulder!  Compassion Humility Integrity, Patience, Peace.”

          My wish for you is that you never quit and that you begin each day with a chipp on your shoulder. J

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