“Not to get too deep here, but the most valuable thing I can think of is to be grateful for suffering. That is a sublime feeling, and completely inexplicable and illogical, but no one doesn’t suffer. So the degree to which you can be aware of your own humanity is the degree to which you can accept, with open eyes, your own suffering. To be grateful for your suffering is to be grateful for your humanity, because what are you going to do, – say, ‘No, thanks’? It’s there. ‘Smile and accept,’ said Mother Teresa. And she was talking to people who had it rough.”
– Stephen Colbert on the childhood trauma of losing his father and two brothers in a plane crash, Rolling Stone
“Have you ever been to Rib City?” my grandma asked as we sat in the waiting room, patiently waiting for my dad to become a legally blind double amputee. It was her birthday.
My mom sighed and flipped the page of her Home Journal, quickly tiring of a day spent with her chit-chatty, non-sequitur mother-in-law.
“No,” I said, reaching out to grab the Sprite Zero bottle that my Grandma was struggling with. She didn’t notice. “I have not been to Rib City.”
“OH, Stephie.” She admonished. “You need to go to Rib City. It is. To die for.” She closed her eyes and sighed for emphasis.
Then, paying no attention to my dropped jaw, she fished through her purse, pulled out a pair of pliers, and used them to crack open her soda.
And in that moment, I knew I could handle anything that life wanted to throw at me.