Read In Case of Emergency

28 Jul

*A very dear talented friend of mine showed me her “Read in Case of Emergency” letter and today, after a serious case of the “F*ck-its” (F*ck everything) and a good cry, I decided to write my own. Also, it’s my long awaited re-entry to this blog, and to trusting myself to love again.*

Dear Helen,

Before you go diving off of a metaphorical (or literal) cliff, or decide that the one marble that you do have is no longer worth keeping remember what you went through to keep that marble.

Remember the day after your Grandpa passed and you came home to chaos. You threw on your runners and blazed a trail on the outskirts of town. You pushed yourself up that long sloped bastard of a hill till you reached the top, cheeks stinging from sweat and tears. Feel that gutteral scream that came from the place where sorrow dwells when you reached its top. It was there, looking over the gentle green valleys and a crimson sunset you knew you could make it through anything.

Recall the small fingers of your son as they wrapped themselves around your index finger for the first time. Feel that love that overflowed from within you when you knew that you had done something right. Now fast forward that a few months to him laying on the couch holding onto colourful string attached to balloons that danced above his head. Can’t you hear his first laugh escape loudly from his lips? You swore you had never heard anything so damned beautiful.

Think about the people in your life who have loved you unconditionally and as best as they could. Be grateful you are not alone and acknowledge that fact when you feel like you are. When you feel like you’re drowning in a sea of insecurities and senselessness, reach out and ask for help finding your breath again.

Before you think about giving up, remember the stars that were painted on the wooden treasure chest your father gave you when you were a misguided teenager. Picture the words with me now, they said “Reach for the Stars“. He gave that to you when you were a notorious alcoholic and were failing middle school. Even then, he knew anything was possible for you, and nothing has changed. Now picture those same stars upon the chest floating above your head. Remember you will never lose your way because you have stars that will guide you upon your path.

Feel your mothers arms wrapped around you like the branches of a giant old tree on a summers day. When she envelops you with them, you are blocked from the heat, and the rest of the world falls still. Hear the words she said, “You don’t need to be a super hero in order for me to love you”, when you feel like you’re not doing enough. What you do does not define you.

Think about the wind and how you love to imagine all of the places it has been before it reaches you. Close your eyes and hear the laughter it carries, see the hair it has whipped through, and the tears that it has dried. Now let it dry your own and carry your worries away from you.

Stop for a second and backtrack to when you and your 4 year old cousin watched an old Superman flick. As Superman lowered down to the ground, holding his distressed damsel, your cousins eyes grew large and she asked, “Did he just take her to Christmas?” Well, he didn’t. The lights she seen were just fuzzy out of focus city lights but you told her yes. She told you that she planned on living there and that you could live in the world of Birthdays or Easter if you’d like. You chose Birthdays. Damn it, live right now as if your living in the world of Birthday, where every day is a celebration of the first time you sucked back air because you truly do not know when will be your last time.

You’ve talked to countless others before about the spirits resiliency and you swore that things will always get better. You swore. Feel that heavy conviction you said it with and tell me you don’t believe it. I dare you.

If you’re still feeling out of sorts then think about when you gave up on God. A lady showed up a few hours after that and started talking about her Spirituality out of NOWHERE. You lost and regained your faith within a day! Remember how you stood in the rain that day and you just KNEW the rain was there to refresh you and give you a new beginning. Well guess what baby? You got that new beginning at the dawn of each new day.

Stop letting your past become your own imaginary elephant in the room. Don’t be afraid to say the first word or to cross unseen social boundaries. Remember what it feels like to love people for the sake of loving them.

Go back into the vault and pull out the first time you volunteered at the soup kitchen. You were terrified and you worried that the old Catholic ladies you cooked with would hate you for your unwed-youngmother-tattoosporting-peircingwearing-rockandroll-self. The year you spent there was one of the most life changing eras for you and those ladies, they loved you. You loved them. Get over yourself and get out there.

Never let anyone make you feel like an inconvenience or that your presence is an imposition. If this is happening, give your head a shake. Now hear this young lady, YOU are a GIFT to the world. And so is everyone else. Treat them as such and that love and respect will come back to you.

Smile like you’re 7 years old again and toothless, and you just don’t give a damn because the magical world of being 7 means you don’t have too. You still don’t have to care what other people think, find that magic again and see the world through your kid selfs’ eyes.

Surrender your grief and resistance to LOVE. Just like that time you were packing up your tent in the rain. It was raining fat kitties and doggies that day and by the time you were finished not an inch of you was dry. Relive that moment you shrugged your shoulders and decided to jump in the lake fully clothed for a dip because you did go camping to swim after all. Stop fighting and learn to enjoy what you can.

Most importantly, give thanks for the shit you’ve been through and the shit you’re going through right now. Shit piled on top of shit brings you higher and closer to the heavens. Closer to God. Just don’t breakdown baby, not now. Believe me, you got this.

I forgive you for having your moments. You are not perfect and I damn sure don’t expect you to be given your track record. But kid, you got heart. I love that about you.Now please, put your chin up and promise me one thing…that you’ll never stop loving.

Signed and Sealed with Love,

Helen Knott


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