I went back home this past weekend. Sometimes I need that trip back home so I can re-gather my strength. The streets of the ghetto were covered in ice and slush, and every corner I turned seemed to be colder than the first.
I saw a guy try to make a right turn out of a gas station, only to stall halfway through the turn. Half his car was in the busy four lane street, the other half, slanting down out of the parking lot. Frantically he jumped out his vehicle, trying to push his car back into the parking lot,to no avail. I guess it was too heavy for him, or maybe he just didn’t try hard enough. I’ll never know. I sat there in silence, just watching. Wanting to help, but what could my little self do against such a huge piece of metal. Then I noticed the child in the back seat, and it did something to me. Suddenly I wanted to open my door and ask the guy if he needed help. If there was anything I could do for the child. Fear kept me planted inside my car just watching, and I began to feel helpless again.
Sitting in that cold parking lot I began to wonder why I come back. Maybe it’s the hope I hold inside that one day after my journey home I can actually believe that it was worth it, and not just tell myself that for comfort. I do believe it is. I guess my struggle comes from loving so much and not seeing lives lived to full potential. I see it all the time. But how to get one to see it for themselves, that is my forever fighting battle. The pain, the lost hope, and the belief that life is meant to be lived in burden and struggle. If only they could understand their true self worth, maybe they’d love themselves enough to live. Sometimes I feel I am fighting a losing battle, for how can I show others love, when I’ve never really loved myself. I’m beginning to understand that people everywhere have the power to overcome all, through love. All we have to do is love, and everything else will fall into place.
My aunt tucked me away in the little room in the attic. I couldn’t sleep that night. I woke each hour on the hour. I stood in front of the attic window staring out at the dark night against the white icy grounds. It was as if I felt the burdens of all those that surrounded me, and every time I closed my eyes, the burdens would grip my soul violently until I could not breathe. I’d wake up afraid, and in wonder.
I sat staring at the night sky, recalling the earlier conversation that I had with my aunt, about Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa only allowed certain things into her universe. My aunt showed me the wisdom in Mother Teresa’s decisions by bringing to light the way Mother Teresa freely attended Peace Rallies, but wisely chose not to attend Anti-War Rallies. Isn’t it the same thing, some would ask. It was the choices that Mother Teresa made, through her courage and love, that allowed her to live life so free. She freely chose her happiness, and she chose what she let into her own life, despite what others felt or thought.
Is this something I can do, I wondered to myself, as I stared at the vacant street below. Can I find my Mother Teresa within me?
I was finally content with accepting the fact that I can not control how others feel. I have to let them live. I always look to my elders for advice. I could spend hours on end talking to those who have been down the path already. Though the things they say may not always comply with my own way of thinking, they are wise, and they know more than I do. I’d be a fool not to use such wisdom when it is given. Sleep finally overcame me.
I was awaken the next morning to homemade tortillas for breakfast. I didn’t want to go home. So I stayed. We talked, and we loved, and we laughed, and I felt my spirit getting lighter. They provided me the strength I had been searching for, when I arrived at their door the night before. They took me into their home, and wrapped their love around me, until my strength was refilled.
As I drove back North that Sunday night, I was amazed at the wonders of this power we call LOVE. It fixes everything.