by Sherry Hoffcastel
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Her dancing reminded me of a drunken clown. She was wobbly and uncoordinated and hysterically funny. It was a mangled, crazy version of the jumping jacks and my brother and I were in stitches every time she moved. She had a thing for Dan Seals.
“I want to bop with you baby, all night long. I want to bebop with you baby ‘til the break of dawn!”
She also had this incredibly insane way of making us laugh with her impression of our dog, Dutchess who just happened to be gifted at grinning. Dutchess smiled when she was in trouble. She’d rear back and pull her upper lip up baring sharp teeth, all the while wagging her long tail. Mom could impersonate that dog better than the dog itself. Every so often when we caught her on a good day, we’d ask her to “do Dutchess”. She never disappointed us. It was these little things about my mother that made all the ugly things worth going through. She was so good to me when I was sick. She fed me and rubbed my head and waited on me like I was royalty.
For some reason we’ve had a very difficult time understanding each other lately. Most often we’re on two opposite ends of the solar system. Her way of thinking and mine are so completely foreign to each other that if I didn’t know better I’d swear that I was adopted. Yet, I know I am her daughter because there’s nobody in the world more stubborn or spoiled than I. Learning to compromise was a gradual thing with me. It was something I had to ease my way into, like learning to drive a stick shift. It didn’t happen overnight. It took a good teacher and a very beat up transmission.
Such is the way of my world. Usually in all my learning and dealing with life, there’s somebody at the other end in need of an apology or at the very least, an admission of guilt. I am constantly swallowing my pride or zipping my lip after inserting my foot into the cave that is my mouth. Thankfully, most of the people I’ve offended have been gracious enough to forgive me and allow me the privilege to continue learning under their wise tutelage.
If I’ve learned anything at all from being my mother’s daughter, it’s that I must choose my words carefully and when to speak them. My husband often says that just because one feels a certain way, that doesn’t give them the right to say so. Sometimes silence is the hidden jewel in a field of turnips. Regardless of who is wrong or right, I will remain godly if I season my words with salt and know when to put them in the freezer for another time.
I’ve also learned that as I show people how to treat me with respect, they have the same responsibility. Not only that, but I would almost demand it so. Part of being human is making mistakes and learning from them. Without another person to mess up with, it’s pretty hard to achieve any kind of greatness.
I am hoping that as time prances her way forward, we too will be able to waltz right along with her toward new insight and discoveries about each other. Perhaps on some unsuspecting night, we might even be able to teach other and laugh about our scraped knees that once had left us in so much pain. The cut may hurt for a while, but it’s the scars that prove we’re fallible and prone to mistakes. Mistakes can be glorious in their own right. They're what make beautiful things so tangible.
© Sherry Castelluccio
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This is wonderful,we ought to let go..to everyone who wrongs us, we forgive him, as Christ did that through His love we were reconciled back to Him.Thank you sister and keep up the good work of writing.Love sent, Justus