Sunday, March 28, 2010


I promised you my Shelle blog yesterday and here it is as it was written all of those months ago. I have not made any changes to it. Well, I added a comma where I realized one was lacking. It is killing me to post this as is. Timing is everything and a friend made a comment on yesterday's blog that speaks directly to this one. I love life. I really do. So here it is untouched:

Most of our lessons are understood only in hindsight. Rarely do we recognize the gift we are being given in real time. Shelle was my exception. She gave me a gift and I actually got it and was able to process it when she gave it. More importantly, I was able to use it. Wow. As I write this I realize how amazing that actually is. I don't know if you have ever had a problem that you were attempting to solve and actually had all of the pieces laid in front of you but couldn't figure out how to fit them together. That sounds rather silly, but it happens more often than you think. Having the tools and knowing how to use them are two very different things. I am digressing...

I met Shelle in 10th grade and was awed because she still had a sense of wonder. It wasn't because she was slow or unaware of the ways of the world. In point of fact, she was very smart and more interested in politics than I will ever be. She was still able to access her own inner child. I carved pumpkins at Halloween with Shelle for the first time in years and actually had fun. She showed me that magic markers and crayons weren't just for kids. I found myself rereading my old books buried in my closet and falling in love with them all over again because Shelle proudly displayed hers on her bookshelf. I bet you're thinking that Shelle gave me the gift of wonder. Yes, she did. But that was only the first part of the gift. It turns out that this was a multi-faceted gift. It was wonder that I admired in Shelle and my admiration for that helped me to access my own wonder. Did it manifest the same way in me that it did in her? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It definitely made me happier.

The real gift was that it started me thinking about who I was versus who I wanted to be. I realized I had role models everywhere. I was surrounded by people that admired. I would never "be" them, but I could try to access my best by watching them and learning from them. By and large, it truly was a wonderful gift because I didn't want to become someone else; I wanted to become the best me that I could be, which was a better friend, a better student, a better daughter, a better sister, a better listener, a better citizen, and the list continues to grow. I haven't forgotten the gift and whenever I meet someone that I admire who seems to have gotten hit with a magic stick that passed me by, it is an opportunity to sit at the feet of the master, so to speak.

That was the blog as I wrote it. I want to add that Shelle and I maintained contact through my freshman year of college. We wrote letters occasionally. The best one was this letter that she sent me that she had cut up into puzzle pieces. I had to put it together, tape it in place, and then read it. We reconnected recently through her sister who is on facebook. That reconnection has consisted of a couple of emails. She has two kids, a new house, a part-time job, and a husband. I wondered if that spontaneity had survived all of the crud that life reigns down. How do you ask that in an email? I really hope that it has and that she has passed it on to her children. I have a hard time imagining all of that zest for life just dwindling into the ether.

In any event, I can always gauge how I'm doing with my own inner child by my reaction to a brand new box of 64 count crayolas. Do I want to smell them? Do I feel the slightest bit tingly at how the ends are cut just so because they have not yet met the paper? Do I feel compelled to line them up by color? Yeah, I do stuff like that. If there are no stirrings whatsoever, well, that isn't a very good sign, because I really like the smell of a brand new box of 64 count crayolas. I'd forgotten how much I liked that until Shelle reminded me. Oh, she was also the person who read Richard Bach's ILLUSIONS in Sunday School. One of the best quotes from that book...."Learning is remembering what you already know." Thanks again, Shelle, for jogging my memory.


  1. I thought I was the only one who loved the smell of a new box of crayons...I love the papery waxy smell.
    And lining those suckers up isn't easy...especially orange and then yellow and then cream and then what...grey. I always end up having problems with what to do with that white. lol. After the creme, before the grey going into black.
    My colored pencils are sitting in a bucket according to color...cools..blues and greens, then reds and purples, orange and yellows.
    color rocks.

  2. I love the way you see life. It is often the small things that turn out to be what really matter. Sharing your connection to Shelle helps me focus on the people who touched my life and opened doors to awareness of these gifts.

  3. Shelle sounds wonderful - like a fantastically inspiring best friend! I hope she knows how lucky she was to meet you and that she inspired you to be the person you are today :) If you haven't told her already, you should!

  4. To inspire someone that way is a gift more precious than most of us ever realize.


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