“The best thing about the future is that is comes one day at a time” Abraham Lincoln
One of my Facebook ‘friends’ recently wrote a comment on Facebook that really tugged at my heart. She had clearly lost two people close to her. I sent her a private message saying that although I did not know the details, I felt for her. She wrote back and candidly told me that her son had been murdered and then nine months later her husband had been swimming, had a heart attack and died.
I felt I had been kicked in the chest. What a horrendous thing to have happened. I wrote to her:
“Oh, shoot, oh, oh, oohhh! What unbelievable pain to have to endure. Yes, they are fine now, together with God and, I believe, happier than they have ever been. It is just sooo difficult for the ones left behind. People can say all sorts of good and wonderful things but no one can understand your pain. Except you. You must deal with your loss in a way that is right for you. I don’t know how long ago this happened, but just take each day as it comes…..”
Later that day I was crossing the parking lot of our flats when I was stopped by this man, Rhinehardt. We had often smiled and greeted one another but never actually spoken. “Gaynor, I saw yesterday’s newspaper article on you.” I had been a runner up in the 2013 Blogging Awards and The Herald had written an article on me. “I had to congratulate you.”
Before I could say a word he went on. “Each day I see you with your stick, limping to the gate and I think ‘There goes the Bishop of Art and Culture!’
“What?” I began to laugh.
“You were an artist when you had your fall. Your theatre “art” was killed off that day. But you have remained an artist. Now your art is life! And what an exceptional artist you have proved to be.”
I had stopped laughing and was now listening closely. “I know of your accident and I have read articles of your fight throughout the years to get back to “normal.”And…well, do you know what you have come to mean to me? To thousands of people?”
I was dumbfounded by his sudden intensity.
“We look at you and see guts, perseverance, determination. I think you have far more “Art” in you than you had before your accident! That is why I laughingly refer to you as the ‘Bishop of Art and Culture’. Thank you for being such a true life artist.”
Lying in bed that night I thought back over my day. I had told my friend who had lost both husband and son that nobody knew her pain. Except her. She must take one day at a time. One- day- at- a- time………
That was something I did. That I had to do.
I thought of Rhinehardt’s words and smiled. The ‘Bishop of Art and Culture’!
I used to go through very bad times. Forever that unanswerable question reared it’s ugly head. ‘Why me?’
Mum said to me:”Gaynor, you have touched more hearts through your inspirational speaking and your writing than you ever did as an actress.”
And she is right. But I often think: But I would rather not be a toucher of hearts. I would rather be…me.
I have learned that being just ME carries with it baggage; baggage that I have learnt to carry. So yes, Rhinehardt might see a gutsy, persevering, determined limping girl with a stick. That girl is also someone who laughs, loves and lives this wonderful thing called Life.
The ‘Bishop of Art and Culture’ who tries to live..one day at a time!