Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"Let me be Frank"

I wish you could meet Kevin, also known as Frank.  When it's his turn to speak he says "Hi, my name's Kevin, but let me be Frank."  He tells his joke, every time, like it's the first time.  It is as old as he is, but to know him is to love him..... bad jokes and all.

Thirty-five years ago, Kevin fell 40 feet to the ground.  After awakening from a coma, he had to learn how to live all over again.  He had to relearn how to speak and walk, and train his brain to cooperate with his body.  Because he could not get a driver's license, he had to ride his bike everywhere, and that in itself, carried it's own complications.  When Kevin wanted to steer to the right, he would go left.

So we got to talking about why bad things happen to good people.  Ah, the age old question of which we never get the answer.  Well, my friend Kevin can see good in everything around him.  We believe that we who have suffered are special.  We were chosen for greatness.  If we had a life of no pain, it would be impossible for us to grow.  Even worse, we would be incapable of gratitude.

Think about the two-year-old.  Everyone can see that the two-year-old is rotten.  They haven't experienced pain, made stupid mistakes, or suffered the consequences of bad choices.  Their favorite person in the world is themselves.  Ungrateful, greedy, selfish little terrors.  They only begin to grow as they experience pain.  Burning their fingers on a stove teaches them to use caution.  A spanking teaches them that a bad choice has consequences.  Losing a friend teaches them to be a better one.

Once again, the age old cliche emerges that "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."  I prefer "With Pain Comes Growth."  We just don't grow without it.  Or how about the Aerosmith song, "Don't know what you've got 'till it's gone."   Well, my friend  Kevin has learned the value of walking on his own and being able to speak well enough for people to understand him.  I never realized how spoiled I am to have never worried about wanting to steer left on a bicycle and instead, going right and landing on the pavement.

Pain reminds us to be grateful when it is absent.

Without pain, we would  be grown up, rotten two-year-olds.  Selfish, greedy, lazy and entitled.  Well, Kevin is teaching me that the pain and suffering I experience (which is very minor, I must add) is molding me into the person I am meant to be.  It sure would be inspirational if we could  say "Bring it on."  We are all growing up to be something special.   Despite our pains, we are destined for greatness. We just have to search for the good in everything and be more like Kevin.

Or was it Frank?

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