“Into every life a little rain must fall
And that’s the way that it will always be
But you seem to think you can keep the hurt away
Just by pretending you don’t see.”
– George Jones lyrics
Morning arrives. As it always does.
The sunlight shines through the slats in the blinds of her bedroom and, one by one, the rays begin to touch her face like the impatient tiny hands of a small child. She smiles a sleepy, happy smile and slips out of bed ready to start her day. As she walks to the bedroom door, she has the sudden sensation that she might have forgotten something, but can’t quite put her finger on what it might be. After only a slight hesitation, she proceeds to open her bedroom door and step into her life.
Something is wrong.
Immediately, she notices that things look…well, different. She can’t quite explain what it is. It’s just different. Her life is there, the same as it was yesterday. The people, the surroundings, everything is in its rightful place. But it’s all shadowed somehow. The hue is wrong. Something is off.
She begins to interact with the people in her life, but they are different. Gone are the halos from yesterday, and in their place are shadows. Frowns have replaced smiles. Insults have replaced compliments. In the span of one night, everyone has become needy. Selfish. They pull at her. Grasp at her. Want from her.
What is happening?
She knows everything is wrong, and yet she still has a role to play. The world around her has changed, but she still must perform. She is a mother, a child, a sibling, an employee, a loved one. She must continue. She must try to pretend that everything is not different.
The show must go on.
But how? Everything is different.
And these people – these people she barely even recognizes anymore – they clamour; they pull; they expect. They get angry when she’s not the same as she was yesterday. How can she be the same? Don’t they see? Don’t they understand that everything she thought her world to be just yesterday suddenly…isn’t?
Have they known this all along? Was she the only one who hadn’t seen the world this way? Was there a secret she wasn’t let in on?
And why now?
She just wants to go back to yesterday.
She trudges through her day, trying to love the strangers that have replaced the cast of her life. She breathes in, she breathes out. She manages.
Finally, this day in her new life is complete.
She is back home. She heads to her bedroom; her sanctuary. Everything will be better there. She starts towards her bedside…
And stops in her tracks.
There it is.
How could she have forgotten? She knows this gear is expected of her. Necessary to her survival. She learned this lesson long ago. And yet here she went an entire day without it. How stupid of her. How careless.
For there, lying right at her bedside table where she had left them, were her most important accessory. The item she wore everyday and refused to forget had somehow slipped her mind this morning. And now, here they were. Waiting to make everything right.
On her nightstand, lay her pair of rose-colored glasses.
Ahhhh. Now, she is reminded of why she wears them. Now she remembers the time before she found them. Before she knew of their importance. Usually she only allowed herself to take them off before drifting off to sleep – only allowing her natural sight to escape in her dreams. The natural sight was too blinding for the daytime. Too uncomfortable. Too real. Her eyes had stung too many times before she found these precious shields.
How could she have forgotten them?
She climbs into bed, and drifts off to sleep.
Morning arrives. As it always does.
Again, the childlike “hands” of sunshine reach through the blinds and caress her into consciousness. She does as she does every morning, and immediately reaches for her glasses.
And then she remembers.
Had it been a dream? Surely she wouldn’t have gone a day without them, right? Surely what she had seen was not real. Those people in her life – she hadn’t seen beneath the surfaces, right?
No. Of course not.
She shrugs off the thought, places her glasses back where they belong, and prays that what has been seen can be unseen.
She turns the knob, takes a deep cleansing breath, and steps into her life.
All is well.
“But these rose-colored glasses
That I’m looking through
Show only the beauty
And hide all the truth.”
– John Conlee lyrics