Rushville Republican

September 26, 2012

Ruger: Rollercoasters

B. Ruger
Rushville Republican

RUSHVILLE — Courage. Daring. Indestructible hope. I don’t know what it really is. I haven’t been able to describe it. But I feel it now and then. Maybe it comes and goes like a wave.

I’m a big fan of rollercoasters. I’ve never walked away from one. That doesn’t mean they don’t scare me into next week. They absolutely do! I approach that long line to wait. I feel my hands begin to “cry”. Most of the time my stomach is doing some freak dance that resembles the dance moves of J-Lo’s young boyfriend. Yet I almost thrive on those crazy, mixed up feelings as I approach that wild ninety second ride. (“Hey there, Mr. Twenty-Year-Old-Running-This-Ride. Are you sure my lap restraint is properly secured?”)

So here we all are. Living life individually. What I mean is, we each have our own ways of dealing with things. We each bring something different to the table. Some of us have ridden through life relatively unscathed. We haven’t experienced the realities of divorce, our grandparents lived to be ninety-eight, our sisters haven’t struggled with eating disorders, best friends weren’t lost to drunk drivers, jobs of twenty-five-plus years aren’t eliminated by the sweeping of a pen across paper, and the list goes on and on.

Then there are those of us who seem to meet tragedy on every twist and turn of the ride. Our favorite grandpa is stolen when we’re just getting old enough to truly appreciate him, our dad is an alcoholic, our spouse of thirty-plus years leaves for twenty percent (if you don’t understand that I’ll have to explain another time), our dearest childhood friend is being ravaged by cancer, and our daughter is killing herself slowly with drugs. Seriously! Can we catch one small break, please!?

Of course there are also those of us who have placed ourselves in unnecessary situations which caused us (and probably a few others) real pain. It might have been intentional. However it’s more likely that we simply had a lapse of common sense. We let our emotions get control or we actually made a decision that at the time seemed to be the right thing (but Mr. Obvious visited later).

Regardless, there are days (or hours or minutes or seconds) that simply take courage or daring to walk through. We’ve been so jaded or beaten down or even ignored, that we commit to NOT be caught off guard. We attempt to protect ourselves from all the bad stuff lurking in the dark tunnel that’s at the bottom of this loop. What we often miss is that in the meantime we’ve robbed ourselves of a ton of potential joy. Hope, courage, and daring either aren’t on the ride with us or we have our eyes closed and can’t see them. Either way sucks, right?

Dare to have courage and hope. Take that chance. Put it all out there! The result of simply claiming to have had that courage is the reward. I know the signs all say, “Keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times.” But a friend once said to me, “If you aren’t a little scared, then you aren’t sticking your neck out far enough.” Now where’s that next rollercoaster?