Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ain't Nuttin But a Flesh Wound

Oh, how my youthful heart fluttered over Rowdy Yates. His real name is Clint Eastwood. If you are younger, he is Dirty Harry to you, I guess. To me, he will always be Rowdy Yates, the cowpoke, of Rawhide fame. Back in the day, I longed for trips to my Mammaw and Pappaw's house. They had a TV, and we didn't.

Man, oh, man! Nothing was finer than climbing up in Pappaw's lap to watch Rawhide. I lived for the day and hour that I'd hear the theme music. I was too young to know the word salivate, but I'm pretty sure that is what I was doing over the heart throb who would later utter the phrase, “Go ahead...make my day.” Lord knows, he made mine!

Long before he made that tagline famous, he uttered one more common to most heroes of old time Western's. Having been winged by an evil cattle stealing marauder, he gritted his teeth and spat out, “Aw...ain't nuttin' but a flesh wound!” Don't ask me which probably happened about 3 times a season. He was invincible even before he was Dirty Harry.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
As I've surveyed the damage of the last decade as well as the emerging recovery underway, I've realized what I always knew. During the awful years when we lived in limbo between relatives' homes waiting for life to begin again, I'd say it over and over again. “This situation is temporary. We will pull out of this dark time. We will have our life back. Only death or disfigurement is permanent, and all four of us are alive. There's still hope.”

As any faithful reader of this blog knows, I kept on saying, clinging to, and believing that mantra for a long time. I kept on until I guess I ran so far out of steam that I might as well have been a dead woman walking. I sure felt dead on the inside. I'm so thankful to feel like I'm finding life again.

Over the last couple of months, I've often hesitated to keep on writing my way thru the worst of times. I know Lemony Snicket is a HUGE bestseller. My hunch is, however, that no one really wants to read a real life Snickett-tale. Does it evoke too many familiar emotions? Does it evoke fears that if I 'caught' all that disaster, you might 'catch' it too like a contagious illness? Debbie Downer is funny, sort of, on Saturday Night Live, but who REALLY hangs out with her archetype by choice? Yea, that's what I thought! So, it was really, really scary to start at the beginning and write all the way through to the end.

If you hung in there from start to finish, you do not qualify as a fraidy cat. Therefore, I must consider kicking you out of this part of the blogosphere. Nah..just kidding...I'm sick in love with my blog clicks. I ain't chasing nobody away tonight!

I hope it was as good for you, or will be if you have to go back and read from the beginning, as I think it may have been for me. Last night, after I packed up my laptop and called it another blog post, I think I caught the 'big picture' for just a minute. When I did, I shrugged and found myself thinking, “Aw...ain't nuttin' but a flesh wound....” I LOL'd as we say on Facebook. And then, I looked around to see who was making all that racket. LOL. ;-)

I was stunned to see that it was ME! I thought of kidnap victim ELizabeth Smart. After her rescue, she took her family back to the scene of the encampment where she had been chained like an animal. As horrifying as it is, she was close enough to her home that she could hear them searching for her. As she recounted some things to her folks, they asked how she felt. As her mom retold it to the TV journalist, Elizabeth raised her fist above her head, shook it slightly and said, “I feel VICTORIOUS!” Last night, I understood what she meant.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
I cannot say that I feel victorious every day, but I look back now and realize..I survived. I survived. I survived to tell the story. I survived to evade the monster in the shadows of our life one more day. I did not survive completely intact, but I survived enough to tell the story, look back, and laugh with relief.

When I compare my life to Jane, the courageous survivor of septic shock, I realize life is relative. When I think of my friend Sunshine, who daily deals with a medically fragile child that has survived the dreaded MRSA and this week has battled a horrible staph infection, I realize life is relative. I am humbled, almost EMBARRASED to admit to you that by comparison to these 2 brave women, I have sustained but a flesh wound. And a measly one at that.

So, here's the deal fraidy cat. Take it for what it is worth. All the stuff we carry with us that holds us back and pins us down...ain't nuttin but a flesh wound, relatively speaking. If we have the courage to turn and face ourselves long enough, we eventually realize the scariest thing about what has scared US. Well, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it. For tonight at least.

I sure will miss you if you don't come back again soon. Cause you know how fraidy cats are...soon as you evict one, another one comes rubbing up agasint you trying to get all cozy and stay awhile. Evicting them one by one is a lot less scary if you are along for the ride. Help a girl out? 

Phillipians 1:6 (God's Word Translation)
I'm convinced that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it through to completion on the day of Christ Jesus.


  1. One of those cliches that rings true... "if we put all our troubles in a big pile, once we saw everyone else's we'd snatch our own back up real quick!".