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Its About Suffering

I remember when over fifty years ago, before I was age of ten. My Mom would lament, "Do not ask why you are here..." Then she would give me three reasons to live. Yes, that's what she did. She started saying this to me by age seven. 

Funny enough, it was not in response to anything about me, personally. It was as if the thought just crossed her mind. Although as a child back then, I had no clue. 

I had no clue that it was what was inside of her. She was asking herself, 'what was her purpose.?'  

The purpose of Her existence she queried. I can say fully well, she had every reason for that query. I'll explain.

There are a multitude of reasons why she wondered about her purpose. Four years ago, my husband realizing some unrelenting horrors of my mother's life from the word go. He commented, "Your mother had a horrible life." He wagged his head and continued, "She couldn't get a break between her childhood, and her adult life." I nodded, "Yeah. I know. Thats why I do what I do." He truly was aghast upon such realization. And I saw his wonderment of her purpose in his eyes.

I'd seen that look on his face before. And on other people's faces. As if to ask, 'Why this? Why now? How cruel...?'

I remember nearly thirty years ago, I sat with a doctor trying to figure out my physical pain that everyone was misdiagnosing. She remarked, "Anyone else would be feeling sorry for themselves. But you won't do that. Do you?" I replied, "It's a waste." 

Just a few years later, my Dad remarked similarly, "Why don't you just feel sorry for yourself?" I replied, "Why would I?" He shook his head. I continued, "It's kind of negative. You know..."

One day about twenty-five years ago Coach Tom Fleming asked, "How come you don't go away to hide your wounds and recover? You know animals do that for protection. They go into their cave to heal. Then they come back out when they're all better."

I replied, "I'll never give in. If I hide, then my enemies will know I'm wounded. But if I act as though nothing is wrong. No one has a clue. And besides, I want to be a champion. Even if no one else believes I have that potential. I'll only know if I try. So, I refuse to lay down and cry." That same look of wonderment appeared on Tom's face. That same look in his eyes of wonder that I'd seen before from others. 

Throughout my life since my mother told me 'Her' three reasons for existence. The three phrases haunt my mind, in quiet times. I refer to haunting, because they are not my thoughts.  

I've asked myself, 'Why do I have to witness suffering of others?' I know there's a purpose there. And I've wondered if others comprehend such. I witness what I consider the obscure. As if an outsider looking in. It appears I see the world as a whole. I step back and wonder why others exist. Am I in their world? Are they in my world? Is all this so tangible? Am I looking at lies? What is the illusion I am missing? Why are people so insecure? Where are the manifestations of their lives emanating from?

Deep, Huh?  

Going back to my mother. She was a genius. Literally. She was a savant of sorts. Playing the accordion by ear. Picking up a foreign language, easily. Her reading exploits. And her understanding of Algebra. 

And had she lived to see her grandchildren, she would have given them a run for their money. I laugh, every time I think of that. When I get aggravated, I tell our daughters that. 

I think, I could have stood back and let her parent them. Yes, the woman that would have saved a fly's life, climbing up on a couch, nearly falling, damaging herself to calmly get the ant, the spider, the fly, safely out of the house. 

She abhorred any form of weaponry. She was a total anti-gun person. A stubborn Catholic, who loved children. Hated The Pill. But believed women owned their bodies. And she wouldn't stand in the way of any woman's decision that they may make for themselves. She had no opinion. Or rather, she felt judgement of another was an ill event. And a sad commentary of the human condition. 

Meanwhile the childhood atrocities done to her, to set her up for a disastrous future, if any. Lay on her and in her. That may appear deep. But for me, it's plain as day. It's about suffering. There are all forms of suffering. And my wonderment is about how I feel about viewing other's suffering. I have realized that I am the witness to those that suffer. I suffer well at the view of their suffering. 

But yet, I believe in weaponry. The tangible and the intangible weapons. It is from what I've felt deep inside and witnessed. Been around enough weaponry and trained in much of it. However, I do love children. And I have stupidly climbed up on couches to get a bug safely out of our home. And at times feared if it were too cold out, to put the bug outside. Maybe, just maybe that might be the final straw that sends me to eternal hell.---Jody-Lynn Reicher 

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