As I open my sleepy eyes, the radio is pouring out its news. The big story is the removal of a boy from his home because of abuse. Unexpected emotions sweep over me. The world flashes before my eyes, and I see and feel intensely. I catch glimpses of a world I do not recognize. Panic rises in me, tightens my throat and I whisper, “It’s happening again. What in life am I missing this time?”
What triggered the last such emotional storm? Now I remember – it was when my old friend talked of his childhood, living with an abusive father. Hearing of the pain, physical and mental, that he endured, introduced me to realities I did not know existed. Despite it all, my friend grew into a well-adjusted, loving man. He also gave me a beautiful glimpse of the other side of his troubled childhood – his wise and loving mother. She enabled her sons to handle their troubles and grow into strong family men.
Life is unpredictable. Often uneventful, its patterns can change without warning. Something extremely good or bad can happen. As the storm clouds build and my panic rises, how critical my reoccurring flashes are for me. Remembering past crises helps me to be calmer about present ones. Acting as life’s lamp posts, they illuminate the path ahead, offering me Beauty and Hope as my companions through my remaining years.