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One Woman's Opinion

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No Matter What

by Mary Wakefield Buxton

Urbanna, Va.— What joy to see the blue sky, glorious sunshine and spring blooms! Daffodils, forsythia, plum, apple and cherry tree blossoms . . . how happy such sights are after a long, cold and rainy winter!

The rain seemed unending. Poor little one lane Kent Street with no curbing or drainage turned into a virtual quagmire with one flooded driveway after another gouged in deep, ugly and muddy ruts. I could barely walk my cocker spaniel Dandy amongst all the puddles. To put it as nicely as possible, Kent Street was a mess most of the winter.

But what was worse than one downpour after another? Politics, that’s what. Over zealot partisans only made the winter season worse. The nation has now become so polarized and active members of both major parties with their constant written or spoken diatribes attacking each other are so tiresome. Who can withstand their unending drumbeats attempting to defeat the other party’s candidate? Not me. I have turned them off. In my mind our two party systems and their uncompromising advocates’ insatiable lust for getting and keeping power are destroying the country.

Then, many of my friends suffered terrible losses this winter. Several lost adult children to tragic diseases, some suffered the loss of a spouse, and many have struggled with unending pain and numerous surgeries. Some days I heard one piece of bad news after another concerning my friends and sometimes it even seemed to me all the bad news would never end. 

Then, I had my own share of health challenges in the last year. But how can I complain? My first 76 years were mainly healthy ones and perhaps I didn’t appreciate enough that rare good health I enjoyed. But aging offers new challenges and many setbacks. I read somewhere that age 75 is about the time when our organs start to fail. That’s a grim thought, especially if you are 77.

Yet, when one thinks of it, it’s truly amazing that the human body lasts as long as it does. Every day we can rise and dress and take on the responsibilities of the day is good news. Just a few months for me having difficulty in walking taught me to appreciate the simple gift of being able to walk. Sometimes we need reminders of just how fortunate we are. And if we can walk today, the truth is we are the richest man in Babylon!

But now spring has arrived. The sun is out and all of nature is experiencing that magical rebirth. Nature seems to be rejoicing at the eternal mystery of life with its cheerful plethora of flowers and blossoming shrubs and trees.

And is there anything lovelier than the tiny and delicate emerging baby green leaves on our trees after the long winter’s sleep?

Here’s my position on life: I’m determined to be happy, to find humor everywhere I can and to laugh as much as I can no matter how difficult life might become. I invite readers to join me in happiness. No matter what.

My father’s favorite quote . . . and I always loved hearing him repeat it because he said it with such passion, was . . . “Damn those torpedoes, full speed ahead!” This famous line which was actually an order to his crew came from the first admiral in the U.S. Navy during the American Civil War—David Farragut. 

That quotation is exactly how we should be about life . . . we can accept the pain, grief, aging, illness and finally even our death simply because we have no alternative. But in the meantime, let’s promise ourselves we are going to be happy anyway. It’s our choice, our decision, to choose happiness over despair.

Another famous quote that I like came from Abraham Lincoln, in my opinion American’s greatest president because he saved the Republic and ended slavery. Lincoln said he thought most people were just about as happy in life as they decide they are going to be. I agree. And I hope my readers are going to decide along with me to be happy. No matter what.

So, grab your umbrella when the April showers begin and take a walk anyway. Just walk around those muddy ruts and enormous puddles. Turn off the partisan pundits on TV and don’t listen to the depressing and unending partisan squabbles. Think happy thoughts. And when you receive another batch of bad news either for yourself, family or friends, remember that everyone has to bear some troubles in life. Look for the bright side of the day. Concentrate on being grateful for life itself and staying positive.

And one last thing. Resolve now to appreciate every lasting minute of each day. No matter what.


posted 04.10.2019

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