Tears on Perry Street
In 1984, I received my first journal from my grandma. Imagine my intrigue opening it 30 years later! An entry on April 22, 1985, read: “I didn’t make cheerleading. It makes me mad because the reason I didn’t make it was because I missed to much school…I’m not trying out again…It’s going to be hard to go to school tomorrow. But I can do it. I feel sordove depressed I guess.” WOW!!!! Inside the crazy mind of little Heather! I know it’s cliché, but I remember it like it was yesterday. That day at school, Mrs. Ware (the art teacher and cheerleading coach) called an after-school meeting. The girls who made the team and didn’t make it were present. When my name wasn’t read, I held tears in so tight my eyes were like Hoover Dams trying to hold back flooding Colorado Rivers. Somehow I held it together for the bus ride home to my Perry Street bus stop in Haskins, Ohio. When I stepped off the bus, the dams were lifted and floods came out of my eyes. I remember walking and crying as I made my way down our street, toward our house. I could see my mom in the distance. I remember this detail because she didn’t normally do this. Maybe mom-intuition had signaled her that this day she needed to be at the front of the driveway instead of inside the house. Right now someone may be thinking, “Wow, Heather, is it normal to recall such detail of a tiny middle-school rejection?” To which I would say, “Is anything I do normal?” LOL! Actually, I like to think God allows me to remember the details–not to drown in my demise—rather, encourage someone else. I have the choice (we all do) to look back and be bitter or be better. Recalling the day I got rejected from cheerleading could make me bitter. OR, recalling that day could make me better because there was a parent waiting in the driveway to accept their rejected girl and receive her real tears. Closing thoughts to anyone who’s been rejected: a rejection doesn’t make you a reject. And when it passes through God’s hands, it CAN make you better not bitter. Closing thoughts to receivers of rejected loved ones: rejection can leave a hole, that real acceptance can fill. Be there for them! I hope this post encourages both of you, today!