Mark Twain said, “The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out WHY?”
And, I say, “Amen.”
For this old girl, it took me a long time to find the absolute why.
I was 6 years old and not the healthiest of kids. I remember trying to hide the wheezing from asthma and the red eczema that covered my arms and legs. I was always embarrassed by the looks I would get from other kids, but I just kept plugging along doing the best I could.
One day the teachers assembled all the first and second graders to form a line to get tested for tuberculosis in the school cafeteria. It didn’t hurt very badly even though some kids cried.
What hurt was a few days later when they called my name in front of the whole assembly and sent me home. I had a reaction to the TB test. Mine was the only name called. I was beyond mortified and scared. Kids pointed. I still remember that day as if it just happened.
“Why me, Mama?” I wailed.
“I don’t know why, honey?” she replied, “But it will be alright.”
Many grueling tests followed. I didn’t have tuberculosis.
When I was 15 and we moved away from our home in Tennessee I was petrified. I remember getting on my knees and begging God to keep us with our friends and near family.
We moved anyway and again, before we left, I got on my knees, and said, “Why me, God?”
I remember as a teen, caring deeply for a boy and I also remember vividly how much he did not care for me. There was nothing I could do. The hurt of it caused me many nights to say, “Why me, Lord?”
There would many more broken hearts, a divorce, tough times and an abundance of “whys” throughout my adult life.
I suffered from debilitating clinical depression and even found myself at times on the brink of suicide. Thank goodness I cried out for help and got it. Thank goodness I stayed in therapy, but still would often ask,
“Why me? Why was I even born? What am I doing here?”
I remember at one of those critical times my therapist said to me, “Lynn, I don’t worry about you as much as I used to.”
“Why?” I was surprised.
“I have learned that no matter how low you get; your faith always pulls you through.”
He was absolutely right about that. My faith was always my shelter during the storms and it still is.
I always wondered why I wasn’t a private person. I would tell anyone anything. I have always been that way. Drives my children crazy. I am sorry for that. But, I figure maybe you can help someone else to see that they can get through things because you were able to.
And, that right there, is the “why.”
During my career in interior design I would talk to clients as if they were my best friends. I trusted them. I loved them.
Once, one of my favorite clients asked me to talk to her daughter who was going through a similar ordeal she knew I had gone through.
I did indeed talk to her sweet daughter, and I think I helped her understand that in life you have to turn sorrow to bravery, heartbreak to faith, and whys to trust.
Every human being that is born needs to find why they were. Maybe they knew from the beginning or early in life.
At some point we all have to figure out how some of our most horrible experiences can turn into the best wisdom one can find.
My lungs are healed but they have scars. The asthma left me at age 17. Scars are just a mark telling the world you survived. So, I like my scars.
When people have to move, I tell them it could be the best thing in the world. It was for me. Those new friends in my new town at 15 are still some of my very best buddies and supporters today.
The young man who did not care for me at all is now my friend. Another that broke my heart is also. How blessed am I?
That is why I write my little stories. That is why I have no fear of doing so. If there is someone out there that is wondering, “Why me?” just give it time. The answer will come because each one of us has a purpose.
Each one of us have a drive to live through even the most horrible of storms. Sometimes you think you can’t make it, but you can and will. Let God be your shelter and when the sun shines again, take a pocketful of its warmth and spread it to someone who is asking, “Why me, Lord?”
Lynn Walker Gendusa is a former LaGrange resident who currently resides in Roswell. She may be reached at [email protected]