I just finished the book Pollyanna. It was published in 1910 and is a fabulously cheerful book. It’s all about how to be ‘glad’ no matter what the circumstances. You may have seen the Disney movie starring Haley Mills. This story suits my situation to a tee and has encouraged me to find the gladness all around me.
Pollyanna was a little 10 yr old who lost both her parents. Her father was a minister in a Western state. They were very poor but he taught his little girl how to be glad. He called it the ‘glad game’. Because they were poor, they were forced to turn to Christian charity for clothing, toys, and household decor. The ‘mission barrels’ were kind of like Christmas. Pollyanna had hoped for a doll in the next mission barrel. She prayed and prayed. When the mission barrel came, they only found a pair of crutches inside. Pollyanna was so disappointed. She began to cry. Her father said they should play the ‘glad game’ and try to think of something positive about receiving crutches. They finally thought, “I’m so glad that I don’t have to use the crutches!” And so began the lifetime game.
Father died soon after this incident and Pollyanna was an orphan. She was adopted by a stern aunt in Vermont. Pollyanna, with her cheerfulness and positive outlook on everything, changed not only her sour aunt but the whole town!
Before I even read this book, I had been starting to make a list of things in my mind that I am thankful for.
- My home is paid for! Even though it’s only a mobile home, there is nothing owed on it. It’s at the end of a street; I’m the last trailer; the view I have is wonderful! A 3-acre field that the owner keeps nicely mowed, is my constant view. It faces south and the 10×20 sun porch gets the sun all day.
- My primary care doctor believes in me and is the reason I have disability.
- Since I am on disability, I have Medicare with a private MediGap policy that takes care of the 20% that Medicare doesn’t pay for. I’ve been able now to have so many tests run and hopefully I’ll be able to have another surgery soon.
- I have a car I can drive when I have to. My dad traded me one of his big Lincoln Towncars for my BMW. Now I have a comfy car that I don’t have to shift.
- I have friends & family who have let me know they still love me, even though I have changed so much from the outgoing, decisive, energetic person I used to be. It takes love & patience to stick with someone who is sick all the time. Thank you all!
Before I had these things, I was dependent on others for everything! Independence is so precious to me. I really enjoy living alone – most of the time. I’m so glad I have people around to fix my car, mow my lawn, move a heavy box or take me to lunch. What a privilege!
I’m playing ‘the glad game’ – if I hadn’t gotten sick, I would never have been empathetic toward people who live in constant pain. I understand them now; I’d like to help. Perhaps someday soon, I can start a support group locally or on the internet. It is so important to know that you’re not alone. It’s so comforting to know that someone hears what you have to say & believes in you.
It takes awhile to bounce back from a tragedy, whether it is a death, an illness, a divorce, or abuse. But it IS possible to live through it, rediscover yourself, and then find ways to be a blessing to others who suffer from a similar pain.