Scattered Peas

Posted by M ws On Sunday, September 2, 2012 4 comments
I am at that stage of life when blood tests matter more than IQ tests, health more important than wealth and a good memory is more important than the RAM of my PC.

When meeting up with old friends, we talk about the benefits of probiotics, supplements, the aches and pains we are experiencing and gel/cream or medication for such ailments.

Then there are those whose parents or spouses are sick or bedridden and we try to give words of support.

I do confess that there are many times when I forget that I am in my sunset years, especially when attending classes at the gym. It is only when I reach home and have aches and pains here and there that reality hits and I realize that much as I want to, I cannot be moving at the same pace as before.

The time will soon come when I will be in an empty nest. My younger son turns 14 next week and in a few years, he would have left home. My older son has already declared that he will not settle down in Penang and if given a choice, neither would I. Under such circumstances, I have had to accept the reality that given my reclusive lifestyle whereby I have only four friends with whom I connect with in Penang, it is likely that the years ahead will be very quiet ones. 

Events and experiences that I experienced this year have taught me to be very selective with my communication with so-called friends/acquaintances and volunteer work, even teaching engagements.. Eccentric me does not prioritize money which is why I live a humble lifestyle, drive a small car, earn ZERO ringgit from my blog and have to spend lots maintaining my computer. 

To me, life is precious. As the days go by, I treasure life more and more and look back at how I fumbled and fell in various circumstances in my interaction with some. I look at those scattered fragments of broken relationships and try to see how to mend the cracks in existing ones which I cherish greatly.

At the end of the day, one thing is for sure. Family will always come first. When I remember again how some of my friends are struggling to cope with sick spouses or parents and I go on bended knees to pray for them  while being thankful for how I can learn and be inspired by these friends who are so devoted and loving to their loved ones.

For sure, I am aware that at any point of time, my life can fall apart like the protagonist in the following story. But I will, for now, make sure that the peas and pieces of my life are safely and securely contained in the right places. Then if ever that bag bursts, I hope to collect them bravely and as stoically as possible. Easier said than done.

Take care and may the following true story inspire you. Have a blessed day!


Life Is A Bag Of Frozen Peas

A few weeks after my first wife, Georgia, was called to heaven, I was cooking dinner for my son and myself. For a vegetable, I decided on frozen peas. As I was cutting open the bag, it slipped from my hands and crashed to the floor. The peas, like marbles, rolled everywhere. I tried to use a broom, but with each swipe the peas rolled across the kitchen, bounced off the wall on the other side and rolled in another direction.

My mental state at the time was fragile. Losing a spouse is an unbearable pain. I got on my hands and knees and pulled them into a pile to dispose of. I was half laughing and half crying as I collected them. I could see the humor in what happened, but it doesn’t take much for a person dealing with grief to break down.

For the next week, every time I was in the kitchen, I would find a pea that had escaped my first cleanup. In a corner, behind a table leg, in the frays at the end of a mat, or hidden under a heater, they kept turning up. Eight months later I pulled out the refrigerator to clean, and found a dozen or so petrified peas hidden underneath.

At the time I found those few remaining peas, I was in a new relationship with a wonderful woman I met in a widow/widower support group. After we married, I was reminded of those peas under the refrigerator. I realized my life had been like that bag of frozen peas. It had shattered. My wife was gone. I was in a new city with a busy job and a son having trouble adjusting to his new surroundings and the loss of his mother. I was a wreck. I was a bag of spilled, frozen peas. My life had come apart and scattered.

When life gets you down; when everything you know comes apart; when you think you can never get through the tough times, remember, it is just a bag of scattered, frozen peas. The peas can be collected and life will move on. You will find all the peas. First the easy peas come together in a pile. You pick them up and start to move on. Later you will find the bigger and harder to find peas. When you pull all the peas together, life will be whole again.

The life you know can be scattered at any time. You will move on, but how fast you collect your peas depends on you. Will you keep scattering them around with a broom, or will you pick them up one-by-one and put your life back together?

How will you collect your peas?

-Written by Michael T Smith-

4 comments to Scattered Peas

  1. says:

    walla "How will you collect your peas?"

    Let's try a tangential answer. Since 'as like as two peas in a pod" implies peas come in pairs, therefore when we collect one, the other won't be far away, in fact within reach.

    Now where did i put those pesky clothes pegs?

  1. says:

    cin2tan Hey, 30 LONG years ago when my daughter was 5, she picked up all the peas for her mom in laughter & joy for about 10 minutes !!

  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Dear Walla

    Whooaaaa!!! That is a very sharp and meaningful answer which can be interpreted in so many ways.

    Thank you for sharing!!!

    Big hug for you!!

  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Dear cin2tan

    You lucky man!!! Such a wonderful child!!

    What a blessing!!


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