17 minutes | Aug 21, 2017

Stand-up Eight: A Lesson in Resilience

Resilience: 1. The capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress. 2. An ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change. I learned a hard lesson at the age of 4 that I carry with me to this day. I learned how to bounce back after a fall and be relentless in the pursuit of life. This is one of my earliest memories and a lesson that I still carry with me to this very day, resiliency. I can literally remember this memory crystal clear. The year was 1983, a time when it was acceptable and normal for kids to play outside with other kids. This was a time when constant adult supervision was not a requirement. My family had recently moved from my birth state of Louisiana to the place that will forever hold my heart: Texas. We lived in some apartment complex where there were a lot of other kids. I was extremely hyperactive and my Mom could not keep me in the house. I was always outside playing. On this particular day, I was outside playing by myself. My brother, Marcus was inside doing whatever brother’s do. He didn’t like playing with me, because he probably thought he was too cool. Anyway, I didn’t care. I went out to play on the stairs. Off to the left was a field filled with older kids playing softball. I was too young, they wouldn’t let me play. I decided to play on the stairs. I would climb up as high as I could and then let go and land on my feet. I did this probably a dozen times. Each time as my confidence grew, I would become a bit more daring…going one step higher. On my last attempt is when things went awry. When I climbed to the top step, my hands slipped. I went face first to the ground. I am not sure how far I fell. I think it was 5 or 6 feet. For all I know, it could have been 2 feet. The only thing I remember was immediately getting up and crying in hysterics. I can remember all the kids that were playing softball stopped in their tracks to stare at me in tears. I headed back to the apartment where my Mommy could fix the problem. As I was heading back crying like a maniac, my brother was taking the trash out on his Big Wheel. I can remember is him yelling, “don’t touch your chin!” Well that was a huge mistake, because I did. The screaming got louder. I was bleeding and one of my front 2 teeth had broken off and was stuck in my bottom lip. My brother walked me into the house, yelled for my
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