My father taught me the heeling power of laughter.
His favorite motto was,“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Of course, after listening to one phrase for 15 years, I began to think it was a bit cliche.
However, It didn’t take long for the universe to prove me wrong.
A year later, we couldn’t tell where the Susquehanna River ended and our neighborhood began. After the flood subsided we attempted to recover any setimental pieces we could find.
What we found was nearly all of the furnature dismantled and scattered around the house. Everything was disgiused with thick coats of mud. Also caked in mud, was the sword I won in Niagra falls. It was the first place price for a brutal continious sparing match against an aweful brown belt. This girl was ranked two degrees above me but somehow remained blizzfullly unaware that hitting opponents in the face is illegal in our league.
Anyways, the sword was way cooler than the usual plaques and wayyy better than the weird bobble heads they gave out at our tournaments (I hope my coach had nothing to do with those). But seeing my award caked in mud had left me beyond bummed.
My father must of caught my reaction out of the corner of his eye because within seconds he started cracking jokes about how brutal the brown belt was. A 6’1 brown belt who choses face contact as a stragegy looks alot like the air-dancing ballon guys that sit outside of car dealerships.
So there we were. My dad and I- standing in the center of nothing and everything- picturing my old competitetions flalling arms and laughing togeher. Suddenly, my mud crusted home didn’t look so scary.
It was in that moment that I realized what my fathers motto meant to him.
There will be moments in life that we cannot control. Moments that for the most part freaking suck. Those moments are not nearly as significant as our reactions to them.
So, there are two types of people in the world. There are the people who sulk over a muddy sword and then there are the people who celebrate the fact that they won the sword in the first place.
I don’t know what your muddy sword is today, or what it will be tomorrow. But I do hope that you are blessed with an ability to see the good in life. And perhaps even moreso, I hope you have the opportunity to celebrate it with the people you love and care for.
My Fathers Daughter