Stronger Than Dirt

“What are some challenges you’ve encountered that you were unsure you could handle but then surprised yourself?”

Where do I start???

It seems that every time I have thought, “I don’t know how that person did that/does that, I could never handle it”, God says,

“Oh, yeah?”

Then He drops it right into my lap and I know that He is saying, “WE will handle it.”

Pray like it all depends on God and work like it all depends on you.

That pretty much sums up my life.

From being a Scout leader,teaching a class, to breaking up actual adult fights,(one at a child’s funeral), to staying behind to sell a house while The Husband moved out of state for a job, personal and professional betrayal, calumny, living away from family, living away from a city, moving away from friends, to financial problems, handling car accidents, (mine and those of others),to chronic health diagnoses, another chronic health diagnosis, then another, handling traumatic health problems, (mine, and those of others), to surgeries, procedures, pain, (chronic and acute), without ‘real’ pain meds, to son in war, son in dangerous fire situations, sons hurt in some way, suffering in some way, difficult in-laws, more difficult in-laws, emotional problems of family, people who have used me a  ‘whipping boy’, those who have done everything they could to try to shock me, deaths in the family, witnessing death of a loved one, problems that are beyond the scope of imagination, either directly to me or to family members, all of which I have had to deal with.

I have been through the wringer,

and as you know, there is never an end to ‘laundry’.

The problems with my parents, my generation, my children and now grandchildren, my own personal problems, and the world situation in general, I have to find ways to cope,

and I do.

When you don’t feel like you have a choice, you need to just do what needs to be done.

I owe many apologies to family members and others whom I once I saw as weak because they did not refuse to do certain things, or they put up with misdeeds and poor behaviors from others. I know now that they were taking the big picture into account and handled things as they saw fit, and they were mollifying the others to protect those who would suffer from the fallout of confrontations. They chose to disregard their own needs and pride, and were actually stronger than I realized by doing so. I have found out that a person can face anything if there are others, (or just someone), depending on them, relying on them, who will be harmed if  the person doesn’t do whatever needs to be done,

and that a  person can face any pain, (emotional or physical), if they have no way to alleviate it.

ANY pain.
I have zero tolerance for the common comments made to me such as, “Oh, you are such a strong person, but I am weak. I don’t have that in me.” It’s rather a type of  ‘Blame the victim’:
“Oh, so, I deserve this because I am strong?” or “The person/people around me is going through this because I am strong?”

In case no one has noticed, I am not really strong.

I am terribly weak. I am afraid, I am a wimp. I have to fight those inclinations every day,
and I sometimes, even often, I lose.

I just have to go on. I expect a mental head-smack when I pass from this life that I did not see the whys of what I have gone through, but I get through them.
I have often had no choice. Let the chips fall for family members who need my help? I could never live with myself if I did not try to help where I could.
No matter which generation, these people were put into my life for a purpose, and I have seen things that I could do to help, I do. I have not always done them right, but I tried…most of the time. I have wimped-out a few times, or not done my best job, but that hasn’t happened often.

I was actually in a discussion recently where people were afraid of not receiving medications because of the problems in the world right now, since most components of meds or the meds themselves come mostly out of China and India. It is a concern, (may God help the entire world), but pain medications came into the discussion, and a couple of people were extremely fearful. I told them not to panic, and that all though history, people have had to endure pain, and that they could. I hoped that they did not have to, but anyone can endure most pain if they need to, and I went into my own pain-med allergies.

They said to me, “Some people have no choice.” (No choice but to use opioids, etc.)

I replied, “Do you not understand that I am the one who has no choice?”

Have you ever wondered how people survived the pain, anxiety, and mental torment of a prison camp? I used to, but I learned how; not to the fullest extent of course, but I do know.

Courage is not the lack of fear, it is the knowledge that something else is more important than your fear.

It’s usually someone, not something, but it holds true.

 Someone, or some people, are more important than my fear.

I’d like to be more frank, but it involves the lives, secrets, or the overcome pasts of others and it would not be fair to them.

One of my doctors told me that just one of my surgical procedures would have put many of his patients into a tailspin, but I was hanging in there.
Falling apart would only make things harder, and ‘harder’ is something that I do not need in my life.

I read that any of the problems listed below are earthshaking to most people and it is enough to cause irreparable damage to their mental health:
Loss of health/life altering diagnosis
Loss of a business
Loss of a job
Death of a loved one
Family trauma
Child in trouble

I had all of those within a few months. A couple of years later, things got even harder.

But I never would have guessed that after a bit of failure I would have works published, I would be writing a great deal, (let alone write a romance novel!), that I would be contributing to two blogs?  Never would I have thought that (previously) I would have had my own business, and would have been ready to go on with it, but, again, God had other plans, and I needed to be free for others.


It’s always for others,

and that is how I always manage to surprise myself.



About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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7 Responses to Stronger Than Dirt

  1. kathleenbee says:

    Wow, you have been through so much, Tonette. I understand that thought that it’s hard to understand the why and that hopefully one day we will know. That’s what I hang onto too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life is tough on almost everyone, Kathleen. I actually think God for much of it.I see how insensitive people who have not been through difficulties can be to others, and was guilty of some if it myself.
      Thanks for joining in; I appreciate your concern.


  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I think your quote about courage sums everything up nicely: “Courage is not the lack of fear, it is the knowledge that something else is more important than your fear.” This is very similar to Ambrose Redmoon’s words. Nelson Mandela and Mark Twain also weighed in on the topic. We do what we need to, especially when others we love are affected by what we do or don’t do.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Jeff Salter says:

    You’ve definitely been through the wringer. And it appears, you were sent back through … just in case those previous occasions were not enough misery.
    Yes, falling apart helps nothing.
    Love this very perceptive quote: “… they were mollifying the others to protect those who would suffer from the fallout of confrontations. They chose to disregard their own needs and pride, and were actually stronger than I realized by doing so…”

    Liked by 1 person

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