hartley-stevens

 

Just the other day… short

Just the other day I was reminded how much I love and admire tough people. I don’t mean the John Wayne, Jack Reacher, Dirty Harry types… although I do enjoy those characters way too much my wife would say.

No, I mean the everyday tough people who go through life overcoming physical, mental, and emotional pain, the obstacles notwithstanding. I like how they do it with casual indifference to strife. I like how they shrug and lean forward into the heat of battle. I love how they think whining and complaining are dirty sins. A great friend says he loves the fact he has to buy Band-Aids every week and that no family photo excludes the evidence.

I have way too many stories of toughness to tell. My dad got hit by a train. Well, the train hit his truck and knocked it into tree limbs fifteen feet off the ground. He never even went to the doctor much less the emergency room. I was a teenage football player at the time and had to call the team doctor to our home to at least apply some butterfly bandages.

When I was an elementary-school student, at a home Easter-egg, hunt my mom slipped and fell. Two weeks later, after she’d been walking around doing the normal, mandatory farm tasks, her father came and took her to the doctor, who promptly produced x-rays showing both lower leg bones broken. She walked and did the necessary for two months afterwards in a knee-down cast.

My oldest son, Justin, is a United States Marine. I remember when he came home from boot camp and showed us his feet. Ghastly. Truly something from a horror movie. Yet he was just happy to be done and home.

Quick question. What do a Bounce dryer sheet and a banana peel have in common?

Okay, I see the visual assemble in a thought-cloud over your head.

Well, I don’t have to wonder. My wife this week demonstrated that under certain circumstances (laundry day + hardwood floor + hustle) a dryer sheet and a banana peel are remarkably the same. And by God, she was tough. Even when she submerged her injured foot in a five-gallon bucket of ice water to control swelling. Fifteen times!

The meek may truly, eventually, inherit the earth. In the meantime… I’ll put my money on the tough.

 

The End