Resilience

“I ab dot really hungry. I think this cold has taken away by appetite. Are you–”

“No–APPPPHHOOOO!” My knight in shining armor spray-sneezed all over me. He sniffed. “Sorry. I didn’t doh you were standing there.”

“Robantic.”

This has been the past few days. We spent alot of time watching movies and eating soup prepared by whoever happened to feel most well at the moment. We used steam, salt-water gargle, homepathic remedies, not-so-homeopathic remedies, tea with honey and lemon, chicken noodle soup, and eventually it just ran its course. We both agree that what finally kicked it out was Rachel Ray’s recipe for green tortilla soup. It’s chicken soup with jalapenos and green tomatillo salsa. It’ll clear your sinuses. And maybe disinfect them.

In the end, we are well. But of course, one has time to reflect. While watching a PBS special about emotions, I learned about the story of P.O.W. Bob Shumaker.

During Shumaker’s time in prison, when he wasn’t using the tap code to connect with other prisoners, he was planning his dream house. He moved walls and fixtures around in his head for years, drawing out the floor plan in his imagination. He sought out what no one can take away in the human spirit–the ability to relate and hope. This is resilience.

It was an encouragement to me in the middle of my own small hardship (temporary sickness) and within the larger hardship that is life on a broken planet. Everyone experiences pain and loss. Some pain is greater than others, but there is pain for everyone. Will I spend my time trying to prevent it? Or will I flourish within it? Shumaker survived his time as a P.O.W. The tap code has become a revelation of human relationships for social scientists. And the dream house that existed only in Shumaker’s head has become a reality. Shumaker flourished.

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