“The words you choose have the power to affect all that you do, all that you express and the expressions that are important. You are the creator of your own destiny. Life is a journey to your dreams.” These three expressions and or sayings are very apropos to everyday life.
I had to have a new shot given for my aching knee in about 2001. The doctor sits me on the table and I am very nervous because this is a new injection, just out and it is supposed to lubricate the Arthritic joint and you are supposed to be able to walk without pain. It is given once a week on the same day of the week for three weeks. He hands me a catalogue to read and I thought it would be explaining the results of the shot and about any allergies to it. It was a catalogue about where he bought his expensive neckties. He loved his ties and spent lots of money per tie, about one hundred and fifty per tie. He said read this.
His words to me then caught me off guard, I thinking I was getting information before the shot to keep me calm. Instead, he thinks I want to read about his tie buying and I am nervous as can be.
Even in a simple situation (which was quite meaningful) to me, his words to me to sit back and enjoy reading about his neckties. Who really cared, but him in his tie selection process? I told him, “Dr. G. I am not interested in your pretty ties; I am interested in if this shot will help me to walk better.”
Many years ago before I was born, my father who graduated law school but never practiced the law became a salesman and he went into people’s homes to sell them home products. He worked then for the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company. He
seemed to make a nice living. He handed the customer a pen with ink and it was in a lovely case. He took off the top and gave it to a customer to sign some papers. When he did, Dad asked for his pen back. He refused to give the pen back saying right to Dad’s face, it is mine. Dad showed him that Dad was holding the cover or top and that it was his and he had given it to this client/customer to sign for the legal work. He kept insisting it was his and not Dad’s. Dad said “I am holding the cover, it is mine.” He would not return it, Dad getting more scared by the minute, turned around and walked quickly out of the man’s house. When he got back to the company he represented, he told the boss. The boss called the customer up and told him, they would not deliver his merchandise, unless he came back to the office and returned this expensive Schaeffer pen. It must have cost in about 1932 or so maybe five dollars which was a lot of money.
The next day, he came, brought the pen back and the boss told him the sale was void because no one after hearing this would want to step into his home again to even deliver the merchandise. They gave him his deposit back and he left in a bad mood. Dad never used his expensive pen again, other than in our home. Dad was a very articulate man and he knew how to use words; he could not retrieve his pen back, he did the right thing, walked fast as he could and drove back to the office.
I had an experience when I was going to Catonsville Community College in about 1978, a lady in my class made some nasty comments about a professor she did not like, did not sign her name to the note she sent to the dean of the college. She signed it with the initial E, no name. Someone who knew she had done that, told the dean about it and the dean called her in to his office. She said it was not her and the dean said then who was it and she said Elita. They called me in and I denied it was me, I really liked the professor. The dean brought her into the room with me and I looked her straight in her nasty eyes and told heyou and I were or are not friends; just old lady classmates, we were both about less than forty and I asked her why she picked me out when I hardly knew her. I said to her “your children will be proud of you for lying and trying to pin this on someone else. You know that I have always liked this professor, there would be no reason for me to write a note like that.” They got the note out and asked her for a sample of her writing and asked me for my sample and they could see it was her handwriting. She stopped denying it, they put her on a probation watch and she never even looked at me to apologize.
After that, she dropped out and none of us ever saw her again. It was an ugly experience for me at that age, trying to go back to school what with husband, two children and a widowed mom.
People are weird and deny things that they do.They are cowardly to involve others in their obnoxious schemes, to people like Dad and me and they do it practically right in front of your face and to your face, blindly thinking they will get away with it.
People are peculiar in thinking they can get away with harassing others.
Words are used to soothe in many other instances. I have given in the last few years three eulogies for three different friends who passed on. In them, I recalled the good times we all had together, the dearness of our friendship and most of all how we all felt towards each other. My friend Virginia Woerner who passed away this year wrote in one of her last notes to me that “everyone should once in their life have a friend like Elita.” I too felt that way about her in our sixty year friendship.
So these words comfort and soothe the remaining friend and ones we choose have the power to affect as the beginning saying states. They affect us who write them or say them and to the recipient who receives them. I shall never forget my dearest friend Virginia and this will be the first year that I do not receive a Jewish New Year’s card from her. She never missed even once sending them to me and my family. She was proud to have many Jewish friends and she sent them all every year a card. I waited today to get one from her as the mail lady left my mail. I knew of course, there would be none, it was a fantasy of mine waiting for the mail.
My dear friend, I know you are looking down from Heaven where you now reside and you are still looking out for me as we were like sisters. I keep your last few cards in a frame and they sit in a place of honor, your honor, on my desk in my office where I write these articles. Sixty years is a long time, a happy time and we shared many sweet occasions in our friendship moments. I am a writer and so the words flow from me. You were a ceramist and you gave your love to your ceramic pieces of which I have several that you created for me. You said you kept every note, every story, every picture; I ever sent you and you made a collage out of some of them.
Well dear one, I have kept your notes and ceramic designs and they reside in my home and my heart.
The saying is true, the words you choose and the cards you sent affected me quite a lot. Sometimes I want to dial your phone number and hear your sweet voice. I cannot hear it anymore on the phone; I hear it in my heart. So words chosen are remembered especially when they are beautiful ones. The nasty people mentioned above are remembered too, but not with heart felt feelings.
The doctor just wanted to impress me with his ties, the man who kept Dad’s pen was being a thief and the classmate was showing her true colors as an imperfect lady. Each of them used words to change a situation. Virginia and Elita used words to be remembered forever. We are the creator of our own destiny. Virginia and I did that and our destiny was to meet one day, sixty years ago and to feel the joy of it for the whole time.