“Those are the souls who need compassion most,” Mom would say. “The ones broken by the world, angry and afraid of trusting. You must remind them that they are not alone. Nothing can be lost in trying. Remember that always, my darling.”
“You can never know someone’s pain or happiness until you’ve stepped inside their shoes,” my mother would say. “What if their shoes don’t fit?” I’d ask. “If our lives are too different?” “Find a connection; something similar enough that all the differences bounce off the table completely, like Ping-Pong balls. If we look past things that divide us, humanity will find a way to shine through.” No one should step inside my shoes unless they’re prepared to understand the kind of grief that’s whole-body and constant.
“She loves fiercely—if you can make it past the intricate obstacle course she’s set up around her heart. She’s headstrong and fiery, but delicate and breakable. He said she feels in color; when she’s angry the colors fade translucent. And despite her confidence, there’s always a voice reminding her she doesn’t belong. So she’s always searching, she just isn’t sure for what. He described her as a paradox not meant to be solved, but one worth trying to.”