Kicked happy, fallen grateful

Some people say I’m too damn cheerful. They assume I haven’t been knocked around enough in life. And it’s true that I’ve been more than averagely blessed in many ways — but, I’ve also known a lot of struggles: sharp, excruciating, gnawing, vicious; external, internal; brutally quick and achingly ongoing; lightning strikes and hammer blows, tripping falls face-to-ground. I drag heavy fears, and I’ve been through many forms of pain.

But why nurture the negative? With each adversity and graying year comes a brighter, giddier laugh and a more sincere, deeper smile. My heart gets both weaker and stronger with each blow, and every knockout convinces me that I don’t want to spend any more time, not even mere seconds, being miserable or resentful or smeared with the filth of the past.

I wash myself clean each morning and try to brave the new day. It’s better than wallowing in the stink. I’ll take what I can get in lessons and give whatever I can in smiles. And yes, I hug and I love! — my comforts amongst the ills of life.

—Terri Guillemets