My 18-year-old granddaughter, Sarah, who lives in Houston, graduates from high school this year and heads for college. One of my favorite memories of Sarah happened when she was 6.
She was visiting with her sister and several cousins. I had given each of them a spiral notebook and pen so they could write down “memories.”
Within the hour, Sarah came to me in tears, showing me she had torn the picture on the front cover and asking if she could have a new book. I told her I didn’t have another book, but we could mend the one she had.
“What is mending?” she asked. And I talked about glue and paste — and needle and thread — and surgeons. I told her how I had been mended just a few weeks before when Dr. James Odor had fused the lower part of my back.
“I want to see,” she said. After looking at the incisions and the scars that were beginning to form and listening to me tell her how for the first time in 21 years I was out of pain, Sarah decided mending was a good thing to do.
We found the clear tape and mended the tear. Soon, she was back asking that we mend all of the page and she covered the entire picture on the front with clear tape. No one had to ask which book was Sarah’s. She made sure everyone knew why it was special.
There are many times in our lives when we need mending. Something gets torn. Bones are broken. Body parts wear out. A job ends. A relationship is in trouble because mistakes were made.
We may have to ask for help or learn a new skill, but to our surprise we often discover when something has been mended, it may be stronger than before.
Granted there may be a limp or scars or pain we will never forget. But the good news is, like Sarah’s book, we become special, because what we have learned can be used to help someone else who needs mending.
Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.