Six weeks ago one of my favorite friends had a stroke after an operation. She flew to California for the surgery and was too sick to get home again for over a month. She made it back to Charlotte a few days ago and I was dying to go visit but I was afraid. I was afraid that seeing her unable to move or talk would make me burst into tears. I was afraid I would upset her with my mobile hands and flapping lips. I was afraid I would say or do exactly the wrong thing, at all the wrong times. I was afraid. Period. But I went anyway because I really missed her and I HAD A BALL. I didn’t cry, well not much anyway, and I had a really great time. She laughed at our stupid stories. She shook her head in mock horror at my 2346 pictures of Momo in his costumes. She showed me how well your manicure holds up when your hands don’t work. She communicated remarkably well, actually. She was brave enough for all of us. On the inside, where it counts, she was 100% her totally fabulous self. I hope and I pray that the outside of her will catch up really soon.
So now I realize I have another character flaw to work on – I’m a chicken, coward, yellow bellied lady sometimes for no reason at all. My fear of doing the wrong thing often prevents me from doing the right thing. It is easier to do nothing at all than to make an ass of myself sometimes. The next time I’m afraid, I’m going to try to consciously see it as an opportunity to do the right thing, rather than something scary. If the right thing turns out to be the wrong thing, then at least it will be real and not just in my head.