It’s a formula of sorts.
One that includes the following components:
1) Wait until an impending snow storm is nearly upon you.
2) Give yourself a window of fifteen minutes to purchase it.
3) Take two children with you (one of whom is not even yours.)
4) Go to the only drugstore you haven’t tried.
You cannot wallow. You cannot second guess. You cannot even pause for consideration.
You just blessedly do it.
The inaugural test of said formula began with a dialogue.
“Okay, friends, we have one more thing on the list, a cane.”
“Miss Sara, what is a cane?”
“Um, well it helps you wa…”
“Wait, Miss Sara, I know, it helps the old people.”
“Why, yes, buddy. And Miss Sara.”
“Gotcha, I see them over there.”
(An important aside: a little kid helping you find the cane aisle is WAY better than the lady with the carts at Walgreens.)
Now back to the formula testing…
As I eyed a little leopard-print number, I heard Sophie shriek, “THIS IS AWESOME!” It seemed little man had picked up a purple and pink orchid option and asked his cohort for some input. He examined it for a moment, then handed it to me and said confidently,
“Miss Sara, this is one GOOD-LOOKING cane.”
Well, I ask you, how can you argue with that?
Especially when he follows it up with a how-to-use-a-cane tutorial all the way to the register.
THE. PERFECT. FORMULA.
Cane buying band aid expertly ripped off.
But PFFCB (Perfect Formula for Cane Buying) aside, I then wondered, how would the rest of the family react to this styling assistive device?
Enter Grace who finds it in the van.
“Oh, mom I am so glad you bought something fabulous and not some old ladyish cane.”
Pause. Turn. And spew.
“Andrew Michael, for the record, this is NOT a weapon. Only mom can use it as one.”
“What in the world, sis? Why would I use it as a weapon?”
“If someone attacked you, you could just go all ninja on him and hit him where it counts.”
“MMMmm….kay….hey, Christmas lights!!!!”
Explanation to the youngers diverted.
Fast forward to walking into the house where each one of the kids “practiced” being old people and my hubs subsequently aimed it at the Christmas tree and said, “Say hello to my little friend!”
Apparently he did not receive the “not a weapon” admonition.
Seriously, y’all, how could I not love this cane?!?
Now, I’ll admit, I’ve been self-conscious and red-faced and convinced the whole world is looking at the girl with the cane a time or two as I’ve been out and about.
But I have also left the “This stinks!” ashes for the beauty of pink orchids.
You see, years ago I was an ash-jumper. If something tough happened, I wanted to launch myself straight into the beautiful part. Barely even grazing my feet in the dust.
And then, for a bit, I became an ash-swimmer. Where in the heartbreak, I had this need to stay. I got all-over ashy and I even think I tried to throw it at other people so it would be easier to wallow.
But both rob you of the beautiful.
When you jump, you miss the contrast of the orchid against the ash.
When you swim, you get ash all over the orchid.
But when you experience the hurt, let Jesus clear your eyes, dust off your knees and lift you out of the ash, you can see clearly the beauty offered.
You can walk into a ballet recital, cane held tight.
Until you nestle it at your feet and close your eyes, just for a moment, to see you dancing with your girl. Free and whole and graceful. Just you and your ballerina dancing in a forever waltz.
Pink orchids blooming.
You can walk into Target, cane in two hands, one little, one big.
With it hiccupping all over the road. Drivers waiting on both sides for ten minutes. Giggling at the sheer absurdity of it all and loving this little girl who wants to be a cane walker just like mama.
Pink orchids blooming.
You can sit in a restaurant, cane at your side.
Laughing with friends who love you so ridiculously it hurts. Grateful you can joke about being their Ninja bodyguard with a premier pass to handicapped parking. And delighted that the cane could go out for a night on the town and see the Plaza lights.
Pink orchids blooming.
What once was a sad little thing next to a toilet lift or two or ten has become a part of my beautiful.
And with each giggle and story and memory (even the ones that fade), I realize that this is WAY better than a candy cane.
It isn’t brittle or sticky or temporary.
Found the moment he called it “good-looking” and she called it “awesome.”
Pulled out of the ash and given to me with love.
So that I could pick it up, own it and say with even a little sass,
“For you, sweet Jesus.”