A comment on a recent blog referred to me as an "oblivious Polyanna." I didn't mind the "Polyanna," but I rather resented the "oblivious."
It's not the first time I've been referred to in such fashion; at least the Polyanna reference. The inference being that I have never experienced problems or griefs. Balderdash! Hogwash! Baloney!
I simply operate on advice given to me by my father when I was 14 years old. We were walking together downtown, when I asked him what the Cleveland Clinic doctors had said about his heart. The news wasn't good, and Dad shared it as gently but truthfully as possible.
He told me as well that no human being could choose or know his time of death, but it seemed to him that he would die while he was still comparatively young, and it seemed he would die "with his boots on" without a long period of suffering. He saw that as a blessing not always given by God.
But, he said, if he should die while I was still a school girl, I should keep walking forward, keep my head up, keep looking toward the sun, doing my best, doing what needed to be done, and things would always get better at some point.
Dad knew what he was talking about. His own father had died in the 1918 influenza epidemic, leaving my father as the eldest of six children and suddenly the wage-earning man of the family. Dad said his greatest sadness, other than the loss of his father, was leaving school, giving up his studies, dropping his music lessons... He was an award-winning student, and just MY AGE at the time!
All the way home, Dad and I talked about the "sun"; the many happy things he'd known in life; and the greatest of these, he told me, was Mom and us kids.
"Just keep walking toward the sun... looking for the good things."" Those words would become his legacy to me. He died very suddenly on the job just two weeks later.
I have followed his words all my life, and life has proved that he was right. In the darkest of times, I have found, there are always blessings ahead.
So here I am... Polyanna... if you choose to call me that. I choose to see the sun, and not just the rain.
Thanks, Dad, from R.A.T. (rose about town), your daughter