Tuesday, August 14, 2012

sam, joan, gustav and zelda

i've got a story i just typed out to a friend. it's one of my favorites that i pull out of my
pocket at certain moments and i thought i'd share it here!

the names and whole scenario have been changed to protect the innocent.

sam and joan were working hard to take care of some people that they loved.
they were in crisis and sam and joan wanted to help them and be there for them
until they could get strong.

thing is, sam and joan never really thought thru the help.
they just ran in and started doing everything that needed doing.
not realizing that they weren't allowing the people to stand up and find their

it was done out of love. (or so they thought) (that whole concept fascinates me....
if the other people aren't really seen, is it love?? ahhhh...that's a whole 'nother blog)

at some point, sam and joan began to live a life of walking on egg shells around one
particular person, zelda.  zelda seemed particularly fragile and sam and joan were afraid if
they did the wrong thing, if they upset her, zelda would have a break down.

eggshells were walked upon over and over. and zelda got more and more into her own
world, shutting out the rest of the world, doing nothing but sitting and watching tv
and sleeping.

sam and joan were getting pretty frazzled, and finally decided to take a weekend off
and go for a little trip with their wise and wonderful friend, gustav.

they found a beautiful overlook on the drive, pulled over and sat in the grass,
gazing at the view and talking. sam was telling gustav of his worries of zelda.
gustav could see that sam and joan were worn out and trying hard. he listened quietly
and patiently.

when finally sam said that he couldn't leave and go back to his own life because
zelda would have a break down, gustav looked him in the eye and asked one little
question. one little word of a question.

gustav asked 'so?'


sam looked at gustav.
'so?' he repeated.

"so?' gustav said again.
so she has a break down? so?

that was it.

and that one tiny little word changed joan's life forever.

suddenly she saw that maybe it'd be fine if zelda had a break down.
that zelda had her own path to follow and figure out. and it wasn't hers
or sam's. that they could be there in healthy ways, but that this wasn't
healthy for any of them.

suddenly it became clear to her.

break downs were okay, cause sometimes you needed to have them.
and sometimes you got close enough to having one that you pull yourself
into whatever direction needed following.

that there is no running the show for anyone else.
that joan couldn't even run her own show  for her own self smoothly.
why on earth did she think she understood anyone else's deal??

sam and joan did end up going back to their own lives. and it was hard.
there was a lot of pressure not to. the people didn't like the feeling of change
and abandonment that they were feeling and they let that be known.

and yet.....there was no breakdown.
things moved on.
and life continued.

i do believe, for me, that's the first story i ever got about doing what's right for
you and letting other people do what's right for them.

so much harder than we think.
and so much healthier than we know.

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