Mobile: New North
“I’m sorry,” cried fox.
“Please don’t ever apologize,” replied bear, “for how you really feel.”
A single tear. My mom said that’s all she saw. Her little boy in the emergency room with another broken arm. “Does this hurt,” the doctor asked, moving my wrist. A single tear.
To say I was accident prone as a kid would be an understatement. Bruises, broken bones, stitches, and too many pokey things – usually rusty and jagged – finding their way into my little body.
But I didn’t cry.
My grampa who lived a hundred lives and cried heavy tears when my gramma died, read Louis L’Amour westerns. He kept them in the trunk of his yellow Cadillac, right next to a stack of Playboys. They smelled like smoke, and I’ve loved them for decades.
I’ve retreated into those yellowed pages more times than I can remember. In good times + bad times, to hide + to find.
His are simple fairy tales of a west that never was, but that make me want to believe. The same story told 100 different ways, good always triumphing over evil despite impossible odds.
This past week, I was tucked into one of those tales, at home in my safe place somewhere between his high desert + the sun. I was sitting in the backyard, turning pages, when I unexpectedly started crying, thick tears, this deep grief washing over me.
And I couldn’t stop.
This past week, I kept hearing people apologize for “having a hard time,” a litany of “I’m sorrys” and “really I’m fines” and “I have no reason to complains” while simultaneously being shot full of a thousand pokey things – rusty + jagged.
The heroes of Louis L’Amour’s books, men and women, often find themselves shot full of lead. I find it interesting that they always acknowledge when they’ve been “hard hit” – even when they’re not sure how badly – and that they know what they need is to rest, to recover, to allow themselves to be cared for, and to regain their strength, before continuing on.
Imagine that: even just acknowledging – honoring – that you’ve been hard hit. Not apologizing for it. Not pushing it away. Not belittling it. Just acknowledging it.
Can you do that for yourself or help make it easier for another do