Friday, October 18, 2013

When Someone Doesn't Love You As Much As You Love Him

"Mom, it's just because he doesn't feel good."

I'd traveled 1,300.2 miles to see my grandson and he could have cared less. In fact, he went out of his way not to sit on my lap. And it wasn't because he was afraid of a "stranger." He placed books on beloved grandpa's lap and begged to be lifted up. It's been like this from the beginning of our relationship-he seems to tolerate me. And so I back off, not one to be pushy anyways and, I understand love and devotion are a tricky pair.

I have enough resilience and love that it sort of doesn't bother me. I know I've been the best grandma, albeit from a distance,  that I could have been. I don't smother him. I patiently try to play with him, try to win his love but am always defeated. It's just the way it is.

It is unrequited love.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Cherokee Wolf Legend and Me

The grandson of a Cherokee chief, came to him because he was troubled by the pull or fight between good and evil in his own mind.  His grandfather told him there were two wolves constantly pulling us to do good or to tempt us to do bad. The grandson asked, "Which one wins?" The chief responded, "The one you feed."

I was aware of this good wolf/bad wolf conflict the other day in the most simple situation of possible intolerance.

For months, I had tried to replace a pair of favorite boots stolen from my suitcase on a flight from San Diego to Salt Lake City (the third pair of boots stolen in this situation-yes, there is a boot loving, boot stealing baggage handler in SD-beware). I had ordered the second try-to-replace-pair from Nordstrom online. They didn't fit. I was going to Chicago and I knew I'd have time to exchange them and given the Chicago weather, I figured I'd even have a better selection. I was right and the boots were even on sale!

The shoe department at Nordstroms was buzzing with business.  Every shoe salesman seemed to be occupied, stacks of shoe boxes beside him, women testing new shoes around them. Everyone except a little old man who seemed to be wondering around. The man was VERY old, and my initial reaction was to not want the old man to help me. I was in a hurry, .....I noticed my unfounded intolerance immediately and felt ashamed. Old? I'm old, why would that bother me? I assumed his age made him less competent--I didn't need a doctor to operate on my eyes, I needed a pair of boots.

There were two wolves in my heart that day and when I recognized my intolerance, I immediately switched; the old man hadn't noticed me, so I sought him, and he was more than I had imagined.

The gentleman had been in the shoe business for 40 years. He had once been a traveling shoe salesman from Brooklyn and he had chummed with the best. I learned that Cole Hahn shoes were created by Cole Kahn, an old friend.  I learned that 9 West shoe company was sold for a bundle and the shoe designer started Vince Camuto Shoes. Both were favorite brands and now I knew why. Irwin (we were on a first name basis now) had been a part of the reserves in WWII, had grown up in Chicago (but didn't know Phillip Hallie), had 9 grandchildren and his wife's health was ailing. Irwin was a delightful man. And....I was helped by the oldest shoe salesman in all the Nordstrom stores. Irwin was 92 years old. For a shoe loving girl and especially a Nordstrom department shoe loving girl, this was a momentous occasion meriting a photo. And to think, I'd almost missed out on the encounter because I was tempted to feed the evil wolf within.