Tell me a Story

Jesus was a great story teller. He started an entire religion just by telling stories. You’ve got to admire that kind of ability. I think stories are important and I think what’s even more important is what we, as the story listeners take away from those stories. How we use the stories to grow and learn is the difference between those of us who evolve and those of us who, well, don’t.

Here’s a little story and how I applied it to my life.

He was a Hermit Crab. My daughter called him Diggy. My neice, Hermie. I’ll side with my kid and call him Diggy. My blog, my rules. Sorry, Syd, maybe next time. Regardless of his name, what I knew about Diggy could have filled a shot glass. He was a crab. He lived at Grams. He had a coconut shell for a house. He did crab-like things. He did not own a restaurant and obsess on money. Diggy was a pretty simple crab. And then he died.

My daughter and her friend came out with Diggy’s remains wrapped in a paper towel. There was much animated discussion about how he died and what his last thoughts were and the proper way to bury a Hermit Crab. I had my doubts about Diggy actually thinking anything and my suggestion that he simply go in the trash was quickly and tersely voted down. Diggy was to have a proper funeral and I’m here to tell you that it was proper indeed. I said a few words over Diggy’s papertowel sarcophagus and went back to my chair on the porch. Diggy was dead. Dead as a Hermit Crab out of his shell.

After the funeral festivities died down, my daughter and her friend were putting Diggy’s affairs in order when they came screeching out on the porch with a Hermit Crab shell. A Hermit Crab shell with a Hermit Crab inside. Evidentally, Diggy had a next of kin. A miracle. Diggy Junior lives on.

Can Hermit Crabs reproduce asexually? While there was no formal search, the consensus on the porch (thank you Grandpap for ending the debate with a simple ‘no’) was a big no. Crabs do not reproduce asexually. That left us with a conundrum. Did Diggy actually die? Or did he simply molt?

This Lazarus story got me thinking. Don’t we all sort of go through a resurrection at one time or another? Or maybe a metaphorical shedding of our exoskeletons if not a true death? I think we do. Specifically, I think I have.

My life has changed drastically since the cold harsh winter. I shed so many layers of hurt and pain and distrust and self-loathing that there are days I don’t even recognize myself. It hasn’t been easy nor without setback, but each day I wake up and molt a little bit of the old me to reveal some shiny new part of me that I didn’t know I had.

And just like Diggy, I felt dead. I sometimes wished for it and would not have really lifted a finger to stop it if came a-knocking at my door. It took my rebirth or my molting to actually realize just how low I’d gone. It’s really true; you can only see where you were by realizing just how far you’ve come.

Rebirth is a wonderous thing. I find myself marveling at it every day. I am amazed — awestruck even — at the strength I’ve gained in four short months. It makes me giddy even to think about it.

And I know my rebirth is not yet complete. I still have some heavy dark pieces of my old skeleton hanging on me. But I know that the view of where I was from this high perch of where I am now is simply breathtaking.

So thanks Diggy for a good lesson on self-worth. You’re a King among Crabs.

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