when i met her for the first time in person,
she looked me straight in the eye and said
'we have got to talk.'
i never forgot that moment.
almost a year later, she and her daughter
met me for coffee.
that was this morning.
she had been having health problems, so that
was the first check in. but once we covered
that ground, i reminded her of what she had
said to me. and i smiled at her. 'i want to
hear your story.'
she looked at me, started with something like
'briefly...' and began.
but i wouldn't let it be brief.
i wanted the details, wanted to know more here,
what did she mean there, tell me for real.
and i listened with amazement.
she told me a story filled with abuse that
i hear more and more.
and she told me of how she survived.
i asked her about value and self worth and
all the self doubts that would have to fill
she told me of the years of work in therapy.
i asked her what insight she got from it all.
and i don't think i've ever been so delighted
with an answer.
her whole face got this really awesome look...
and she said 'i was one hell of a strong kid.'
i beamed with pride across the table at her.
yes, you certainly were, i agreed.
she saw it. she saw how she coped and did what
she did to get thru. and she valued it.
i wonder how many people with abuse can look
back and say that? and i so wish every single
one of them could.
i wonder how many people WITHOUT abuse can
look back and say that?
look back and see the beauty that they were...
that they are.
her daughters are grown, she raised three daughters,
put them all thru college on her own.
she says she has a plaque hanging in her home.
she won't be without it. it matters too much to her.
it says 'love lives here.'
and that's all she allows into her home.
she looked at me at one point and said 'when it
comes down to it, it's all choices. what you do
with what you've got is all a choice.'
she chose love.
it was one heck of a coffee break.
i've been smiling ever since....