Sunday, April 10, 2016


I have an assortment of buttons in my room, different sizes and shapes and colours. No one button reminds me of a particular person, per se, but looking at them does take me back to a time of a little discomfort and embarrassment. Though it is one that I also do not wish to forget.

I remember the brown shades of the gymnasium floor during a high school dance, the lines that ran from one side to another. I had been staring at it probably for most of the night which would be why I remember it so vividly, though I’m sure most gym floors pretty much bare a resemblance to one another. My heart palpitated as I worked up the courage to ask her to dance, and even though her explanation was more than one word, all I heard was “NO”. After she spoke my gaze fell back to my feet and the surrounding floorboards as I returned to hugging the wall from where I came. My eyes remained looking downward as I did not want to see the laughing faces that I knew, or thought of in my mind, were watching.

The rest of that night was a blur as the morning, and my return to the same school but in a different location, came to quick. The torturous teasing I endured from some of the boys in that hallway of being shot down the night before brought me to tears.


It is many years and moons later now that I realize those tears were a defining moment, a challenge and a building of an inner strength. Those small boys I recall in my mind I imagine are still in that hallway laughing at other people’s expense and making crude fart noises with their lips. I grew up and I learned. My tears became my memories and memory of that moment in time became my first button.

The girl from the high school dance, a beautiful angel from my mid-teenage years, is now most likely married and living a good life. Since that time in history I have crossed paths and acquired new buttons, but none will ever be the same as the first. Perhaps I will eventually encounter another button, and that button may become THE button. Maybe that time has come and gone. Who really knows? But I keep walking a path with my head held high, cherishing the experiences I’ve gained along the way.

Since understanding and coming to terms with the brain injury I now live with, I have learned to feel, carry and appreciate every moment and every button, even if she turned me down and brought on sorrows. Because maybe the sorrows were meant to happen; they made me realize I can be stronger, even with tears. I can grow. The emotional rain I had felt, then and over the years since, has helped in laying the foundation of who I am.

Though I do not physically carry buttons with me, they are there in my mind; and she is still there. Whether I ever come across another button like the one I offered up courage to on that old gymnasium floor, I don’t know. But those small boys, my streaming tears and everything since that moment, has taught me, all of it matters only as much as you want it to. It is your choice and if you want it to mean anything or nothing at all.

Some things I let fizzle away; certain Buttons though, I hold dear.

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