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The "Wu Word" Blog

October 2017

It Could be Me

I am unable to watch the news anymore.  I do not remember the last time I picked up a newspaper.  The most I can muster is quickly viewing the headlines that leave me depressed and sickened.  I must say that I like and prefer my rose-colored glass that shields me from reality in all its unabashed ugly.    Behind my rose-colored glasses, I escape and go to places of sanctuary and safety where I try to do good and be good in the face of the blatant bad and just life plainly sucks sometimes.  These places revolve around my volunteer work that remind me “It Could Be Me.” 
Volunteer work at large venues to try to register people as life-saving organ, eye, and tissue donors.  Volunteer work at the animal rescue events to advocate for animals.  And, above all else, my favorite volunteer work: The Midnight Run.
It was at least five years ago that I attended my first Midnight Run where I participated and assisted in giving food, drinks, toiletries, and the absolute necessities that we take for granted to those who are labeled as ‘homeless’ and having ‘mental disorders.’   I had never been so physically exhausted yet emotionally charged than that night.  I did not hesitate to assist again a couple weeks ago, but I knew my aging over 35-year-old body could not take on staying up until past midnight.  So, I did what I did best: I prepped.  I made sandwiches.  I bagged food.  I organized toiletry bags.  I matched shoes and tied laces.  I talked.  A lot.  To a room full of people—some would go out late that night to help the homeless.  Others as myself would not and would prep and prepare.  One woman I met this night of prep and prepare made a comment that it was typically those with mental disorders that were out on the street, but this was not always the case and shared with me about this woman who made an impression on her:
“She had a full-time job, but her daughter got sick requiring around the clock care.  She had to leave her job and the healthcare bills kept piling up.  Eventually, her daughter died, and she was all out of resources and out on the streets.”
I commented, “It could be you.  It could be me.” 
“Yes,” she responded, “We all fall on hard times.  Life can be cruel and sad and painful, but also so beautiful.  It could be anyone of us.” 
When I am at Midngith Run and all my other volunteer gigs and when I see what is happening around the world and to the people I love that is of pain and suffering, I am filled with this odd and unexplainable feelings of empty and full at the same time.  Always, always, the sentence that follows after “It Could Be Me,” is “Dang, I am so blessed.”  I sense a shift in the world we are living in.  Cries for help.  Heads buried in the sands.  We all see and experience what is going on in the world—whether it be directly or indirectly, but this is all about us and we.  We are all trying our best to get through our lives and this world day in and day out.  We all have a part to play in this world that can be for the better and greater.  What are you doing for this world?  Perhaps I do not always cling and wear my rose-colored glasses after all.   
I think we all are more fragile than ever, needing and craving more compassion and gentleness in these tumultuous times. We all fall on hard times.  We can be quick to kick someone when they are down.  When have you looked at someone on the outside only to think ‘wow, that could be me,’ making you even more full of gratitude?  When have you been at your most vulnerable to receive compassion as the ultimate reaction rather than disdain?  When have you experienced the utmost kindness and gentleness that meant the most to you?  When have you given compassion that meant the world to someone else? What is your positive part and purpose to and in this world?  
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,
Mary ;-) 


The Locksmith

“Do you know Mike?  He can help you out.  He is the key master.  If he can’t get the keys right, then no one can.”
My patience was wearing thin.  This was my THIRD (yes, THIRD) visit to the hardware store to get a copy of my keys.  By now, I knew the names of the three people who had tried unsuccessfully to copy my persnickety keys.  By now, they were tired of seeing my face with the dangling keys on the key ring saying in defeat, “Sorry, it didn’t work.  They key goes in, but it doesn’t turn. “
On to the fourth try, I received my refund and headed across the street to this Master Key guy named Mike.  When I walked in, I felt like I was pulled back in time to some other planet.  Plastered on every single wall, nook, cranny, and crevice were keys, keys, and more keys.  There were some other sections of safes, key rings, key labels, and also doorknobs, and locks.  On the countertop, there was a big basket of chocolates and candies.  I immediately went for a cherry-flavored Starburst. 
A thin balding man with a caterpillar moustache that lifted upwards into a smile greeted me.  His pale blue eyes lightened up when I presented the challenge, “Are you Mike?  Can you make a copy of my keys?  This is the fourth time.  I heard that if anyone can make a copy of my keys that it would be you.”   
“That is correct!!” he boasted gleefully, took my keys before I could say anything else, put on goggles, and traipsed happily to his vibrating key machine. 
Polished, shiny gold keys that twinkled in the light were the final product.  With a hammer, he engraved his name simply as “Mike” into the keys.
There was not a single doubt in my mind that the keys would finally work.  When I returned home, I gently put one key in the mailbox and one in the doorknob.  Again, neither key worked. Yelling at the doorknob and mailbox, “What the heck??”  I immediately contacted Mike who was completely baffled. “That is extremely odd.  That can’t be right.  Come back again.”
On my fifth time and in this visit Mike, I went for a Twix snack size bar while he examined my keys in the utmost of scrutiny.  He said, “Do you know I made this mailbox key over 20 years ago?  I used to work out of the Ossining Hardware.  I remember making this key.”
In mid-chew with caramel blanketing the roof of my mouth, I said incredulously, “Really?”
“Yes.  This will work.  You will see.  And, if it doesn’t, I’ll come to your place for free to check on the doorknobs and locks.  We will find a way to get it to work.  The thing about keys is you have to get them just right….you cannot force the key and they have to just be the right exact fit.” 
Returning back home, I took a deep breath as I faced off with my mailbox and doorknob.  I closed my eyes as I stuck the keys in, expecting them to get stuck again.  Imagine my shock when the keys finally worked!  I couldn’t believe it!  I was absolutely elated!  Fifth time was the charm! 
What seemed so simple to do turned out much too complicated until it was the right person who got it right for everything to work out. It often takes many tries until it works out. It is always who you get.  There will be people that will give up on you and easily, and then there will be people who will keep on going and trying and go the extra mile for you.  It never comes easy.  There are no shortcuts.  It will often take many tries and tribulations to get it just right and work how it needs to work out.  You can never force anything or anyone as it has to be just the right fit, timing, and circumstances. Even when it isn’t working out, it is actually making its way to working out. 
When have you had to keep on trying and depending on others to get it to work out?  When did everything seem like it was falling apart only to eventually and finally fall into place for you?     
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,
Mary ;-) 

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