Candace's Favorite Things

Friday, January 29, 2010

Bricks and Boulders

It all happened so fast. What’s new? It’s as though much of my life is happening in a type of warped mutation of what most would consider a more "normal" paced existence. Warped is a good word. Feels like Captain Kirk is sitting in the galley of my soul and commanding all that's listening, "Warp speed ahead" Scotty. If you knew me, it'd be quite apparent that whatever I do, I do it rather quickly. I think I was born with my “play button” stuck in the “fast forward” mode. It feels like I’m always moving. I can best describe my life as an exhauting, full throttled, never ending perpetual motion. If I’m being completely honest, a self proclaimed adrenaline/accomplishment junkie, for the most part, I LIKE IT! I'm also not so dense as to be unaware that in many cases, I’m responsible for it. Whether on a bike, a horse, or just on my own two feet, “The faster the better”, right? In most cases, that’s just fine by me. Life is short and as I've mentioned, I swear I often hear a quiet whispering, "hurry Candace, HURRY". While I'll admited that fast is my favorite speed, I'll also admit that in some instances, I KNOW that I'm just beening pulled along for the ride. The way I see it, difficult or easy, fast or slow, this life is one funky ride and Thanks Be To GOD... I love every single minute of it!
Having said all of that, it should come as no surprise that I felt as though I’d closed my eyes, clicked my heals together three times and voila! Fast forward and lickety split, I’d been magically transported in time. One day, a slightly cheeky teen, the next, a married woman with a MAN ten years my senior by my side. It was full speed ahead. That’s how I knew to do things. Married, OK, what’s next? It also all seemed so very perfect. Actually, it all seemed a bit too perfect really. In the blink of an eye, I went from having my own bedroom to clean, to having my own home to tend to. I was the woman of the house and I came and went as I pleased. Each day before he left for work, Jerry would ask if I needed anything. “Hey baby. Wanna drop me off and take the car today”? (Ya think?) ” Need money Candace”? You name it. If I needed it, he provided it. He loved me. He protected me. Now, almost 30 years later, he still does the same. Truly, I'm blessed.
Suddenly, there I was, Mrs. Gerald A. Grasso. Faster than you can say “mother may I”, I didn’t have to any more. I was my own person without a care in the world. Everything about it was easy and peaceful. It felt safe, warm and oh so right. In fact, it all felt SO right, it weirded me out a little. Ever felt like that? Even though blissfully happy, I had an eerie kind of uneasiness down in the depths of my soul. It’s hard to explain. You see, in addition to feeling strangely confident at an extremely young age, on the other side of the coin was a inherent certainty that I wasn't supposed to have an easy go of it. By it, I mean pretty much anything you’d want to plug in there, and this, this marriage, this man, it was all so EASY. The idea that times were supposed to be a little rough for me, didn’t come from thin air. It was understandable. Such thinking was based on circumstances and situations that I’ve since let go. Things that for the purposes of this book, are neither here nor there. I just knew it to be true. In my thinking, my birth certificate would have been more accurate to have read: Name, Candace Chatham. Sex, female. Place of Birth, Yuba City, California. Date, December 25th, 1961. Life Experience, Challenging. Overall Outcome, ROCK'IN and WORTH IT!

It’s been my experience that the most precious things I've ever possessed; the most amazing things I've been blessed to see, touch, taste and feel... can best be described as the sweet, sweet fragrance of VICTORY. A perfumed salve that wafts through my soul. It sooths my wounds, renews my spirit and removes the stench that's always left as an aftermath of war. These are the times when through the firey trials of life's most difficulft circumstances , we patiently and unwaiveringly persevere. To me, the battle is always worth the prize. A life that's RICH and FULL of the things you just can't get any other way. These are the things that last after we have gone! SO, I choose to Battle on and I highly recommend it. TO retreat is to Die ..even while upright and breathing still. To really live and live large, we must continue to fight the good fight! More on that later...

So, I married the love of my life on July 10,1982 and 6 months later, in Feb. of 1983, at the ripe old age of 21, I received what I would consider to be the first installment of my post marital, “challenging” circumstances. It came by way of what felt like a brick to the head. Before I continue, I feel the need to issue a disclaimer of sorts. Please know, that from this point on, I fully and completely understand that while I may have and still do receive “challenging” bricks to the head, I acknowledge that we ALL will, sooner or later. The size, frequency and actual impact of these objects, well that’s a different story. In addition, there are people out there who have full fledged BOULDERS hurled at them. This one thing I know for sure, I’d rather take my bricks any day, than some of the boulders I’ve seen hurled at many of my fellow sojourners. There are always folks out there who’d pay to take what you’ve caught instead of what they’ve received. BUT, I’ve had my share. Having stated that for the record, it’s also important for you to know that before my first “grown up” brick came flying, I’d never felt that I possessed a nervous bone in my body. Remember, I was the 12 year old girl who asked to go flying as fast as I could over huge hurdles on huge, strong, flighty horses and called it fun! Crash, burn and get back up again. Loved it! The word anxiety or even an educated guess of what it really might feel like to be anxious was completely foreign to me. Maybe it was just a bit of youthful arrogance. Looking back at it now however, I really think it just wasn’t and still isn’t a part of my psyche. Everything will always, ultimately, eventually be OK. With that as my mantra, what’s there to be nervous about! It was more like a kind of, faith? Back then I didn’t know what to call it. It was just there. Go figure, Faith! It was this same faith based confidence that also told me that SURLY there were answers to be had for every question, every problem and every situation, difficult or otherwise. I didn’t’ believe in happenstance.Still don't! I also knew that I didn’t know for sure what all the answers were. Still don't. What I did know, was that my dad had given me a pretty good idea where to look. Good thing cause later, when though turned to tumultuous, I ran there and never left.
Ordered with good explanation…that set well with me. At the time, I wasn’t what I’d call a spiritual person, but if you asked me, I’d have said “God is real and that’s that”. I can’t explain why, but I’m quite sure that with the little I had to base that on, if pushed, I’d have fiercely defended the idea. Odd really, as I didn’t even think that it had meant all that much to me at the time. I was just a little kid. A kid who respected her dad enough that if he believed it, well I did too. He told me this one simple “truth”, and apparently, it stuck. You see, my dad was a P.K.! Ever heard that expression? It’s short for Preacher’s Kid. My Grandfather was a Baptist Preacher. He was the preacher, the school teacher and the Mayor of Smithville, Oklahoma. You’re thinking, “That’s gotta be one SMALL town.” You can’t imagine how right you are. Small is just a bit too big of a word to put it into perspective. To paint a picture, you could assume that “Welcome” and “Come Again” co-existed on the only sign in town. Most likely, it was on a dirt road by a cow pasture. Being a P.K., my dad taught me to have that “It is what it is” kind of faith. It also really went no further than that. We didn’t go to church more than once or twice that I can ever remember but something about that pure simple truth…”God is real, and that’s that”, apparently settled it for me. I didn’t give much credence to it at the time but later in life, it evidently took hold of me! Today, 43 years later, that one simple truth, shared by a P.K. father to his little girl, has become a powerhouse of faithfulness that has sustained me through BLIZZARDS of BOULDERS! I wish I’d understood it all back then, but I have a hard head if nothing else and I was going to have to learn it all the hard way......

Until next time (THE DENTIST MADE ME DO IT), COMING soon,
Send me your comments, I love reading what YOU have to say!
Power On,

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