Miss March by Bridget StuartI'm pretty much the poster child for March-Depressive-Disorder (no, that's not a real syndrome, and you don't get Xanax for it). By this time of year, I'm peering at my smile lines, measuring how deep they're getting, like tire treads. I start to dig through my closet, bringing out spring clothes and hating them all, every tank top and every bias-cut pocket that makes my hips look mammoth and every pair of cropped jeans that hit my calves in exactly the wrong place.
Even worse, I say horrible things about myself, and try to get my husband, the Professor, to agree with me; then if he appears to do so in the slightest, I ruthlessly retaliate with tears. For example: "My hair looks like a wet English sheepdog's, doesn't it?" --"Oh, ha, ha," the Professor laughs lightly. "Your hair looks just fine." Fine. The word is anathema to any right-thinking person. It means the same as 'nice', which means nothing at all, really. You can guess what follows; poor Professor.
So anyway, one March day not too long ago the Professor and I were having dinner at a funky local place, and I was deep into a George Bailey monologue: "Nothing seems to work for me. Nothing I do makes any difference." The Professor was trying hard to perk me up, but I was in full March wallow mode.
That's when I saw a blonde boy, about six years old, sitting at the table next to us with a friend and the friend's mother. The boys looked at the menu, giggled, talked about school. I stared at that blonde boy, unable to believe what I was seeing. I recognized him. I'd been his therapist years before, when he had a diagnosis of autism. Back then, he didn't talk, he didn't make eye contact--typical of many autistic kids. Previous educators hadn't been able to do much with him, and I and the other new therapist on his case worked intensively at it, many hours a week. With our help, this boy made incredible progress, but he left our program at age three. I hadn't seen him since.
And here he was, chatting and laughing, a typical kid on a night out with friends. I'd helped to turn his life around completely. Wow. I started to cry, right there in the restaurant. (The Professor was beside himself until I explained.)
I figured this was God's way of telling me to shut up...so I did.
And whenever March hits hard, I think of that night, when I came face to face with the truth, and the truth was bright and shining. Every one of us is important in this life! Every one of us is like a light to someone else! Think about how you've made a difference, and go ahead. Shine on. And to hell with the month, anyway.