It was Sunday morning, on Mother’s Day. I was wrapped in a blanket of depression. Holidays are difficult, but especially this one. Instead of focusing on my many blessings, I was despondent. In the three years since my son died, I now have more good days than bad. On Mother’s Day, I was missing him, instead of being grateful for my husband, my other sons, for the richness of my life, and for the incredible people I call friends.
Sunday Morning is my favorite weekend show to watch as I putter around. There was a segment on a teacher. You know that caught my attention. She wasn’t a citizen, but was going through the process of becoming one. She has to show her worth before she will be able to call herself an American. She had become bogged down with paperwork to show her desirability. I came in the room in the middle of the segment, so I can’t even tell you her name. I went to the show’s web site in hopes of watching the entire clip, but couldn’t find a listing.
The story wasn’t about her quest for citizenship. In the writing business, we’d call this a subplot. This young woman teaches aerodynamics, and according to the interviewer, and the award she has recently received, one of the best in the United States.
The interviewer talked about how she inspires her students. I got the impression she teaches at a tough school. Yet, her students got up before the crack of dawn in preparation of an upcoming competition. They finished eleventh in a field of over fifty competitors.
At the end of the segment they were interviewing one of her young students. They must have asked him something about his teacher’s attempts at becoming a citizen. This young boy, who couldn’t have been more than eleven, said, “Never give up.”
I was surprised at my reaction. It was a punch to my stomach. I caught my breath and tears pooled in my eyes.
He could have been talking to anyone. His message was clear and to the point.
He was talking to me. My life has taken a path I would not have chosen. I’m trying to make the most of a horrific situation. There are times I want to give up.
As we go through this journey, it’s easy to get discouraged. It’s easy to look at what has gone wrong. It’s easy to pull the covers over our heads.
No matter the obstacles thrown in your path, take a breath. You can get around it. It may take some work. You may have to scale high mountains, or swim shark-infested waters, or deal with editor and publisher rejections.
We need to listen to that child. “Never give up.” Never give up on yourself, or your dreams. Never give up.