The funny thing about Priorities…

This past spring I did something I’ve been wanting to do for a LONG time. I bought the software and the plugs needed so I could transfer all my old VHS tapes and Hi-8 Tapes from my camcorder to my PC so I could make DVDs out of it.
I had bought my camera back in 1992, but I had borrowed my BIL’s camera (a cameraman by trade, who even worked for several TV stations) well before then, so I had several videos from the late 80s and early 90s.
I didn’t realize this decision would make such impact on Nicky. To be able to see mom and dad before he was born and see videos of himself as a baby and toddler truly gave him a glimpse of things he was unaware of. I have a LONG way to go when it comes to transferring all the videos, but Nicky really enjoys what he has seen so far.
Truth be told, for me, it’s like watching them for the first time as well. I believe I only saw these movies maybe once or twice at most (if ever!), over 10 years ago, and for the most part, I don’t even remember taping these things. It’s like having a window into the past. What’s most amazing for me is seeing Nicky as a little boy… oh, how many things have happened since then, at times it’s hard to watch knowing what laid ahead.
If I had known then what I know now, would I have done anything differently?

Wether I like it or not, Nicky is 15 now. Part of me is elated he’s doing okay, I feel confident he’ll make it to see some sort of treatment, we’re SO CLOSE… but part of me is scared of the future. I’ve always been a little scared of the future as far as Nicky is concerned, but watching these vidoes makes me more so. I don’t know why. Nicky has some wounds nowadays that are just bizarre looking. They raise up and come down, looks nasty one day and fine the next. Walking seems to be the hardest thing. His feet are raw and awful and no matter how much I wrap them, he still gets blisters. It’s awful. Have I mentioned lately how much I hate EB? Hate does not even seem like a strong enough words. It’s hell, pure and simple.

Thankfully there’s Connor. He is such a happy-go-lucky child that I can’t help but smile when he’s around. Sometimes I fear he’s growing up too quickly, he has to help his dad doing things he cannot do, he has to help his brother do things he cannot do, yet he’s the cuddliest, funniest kid. I know Connor is improving Nicky’s life as he is ours, no matter how frustrated he gets at him sometimes. I am very happy to be able to be home when he gets home from school, to me it’s so important. Quantity, quality, whatever. I am here when my kids need me, that’s what’s important, that’s my priority #1.

It’s a funny thing about prioriorities… many moons ago, when I was 21, I had someone in my life which I rarely saw and never talked to, but whose feelings about me were well known. She would bad mouth me to anyone she talked to and even invented things to make me look bad. Sad thing, some people believed her. At one point, at one encounter I will never forget, she flatly told me everyone hated me, including my dad (right… hmmm hmmm, I dare anyone to ask my dad how he feels about me and hear his answer, or better yet, had been there when I arrived in Italy this past summer and how long he hugged me and would not let go. He sure hates me… whatever) and she was extremely judgemental about everything in my life. I don’t know what business it was of hers, but that’s how it was. She was nitpicking my life and felt I was beneath her. That’s how she always made me feel, as if I was unworthy to even be in her presence. I tried my best to avoid this person all my life, but as with any relative, somehow her name resurfaces over and over again.
On that fateful day in 1985 she told me, in her superior tone, how different people have different priorities, and according to her, my priorities were skewed. Fast forward… ohh… 26 years. Yes, different people, different priorities indeed. While I am taking care of my family and being home for my children, her children are being raised by nannies, she has cooks, maids and more. She is not home much as she has a demanding and important career, her husband even less. I am not judging her, she has judged me plenty, I just wonder sometimes why someone who yaps about priorities and judges others constantly (oh yes, I am not her only target by far) might take a little time to take a look at herself in the mirror. It’s okay, I wish her the best money can buy, we all know she flaunts it. What matters to me is something far more valuable. Family.
There is an old saying that states “You’ll never see a U-Haul behind a Hearse”. I have no idea who might have first said it, but it conveys something that speaks to my heart. Of course, the gospel statement of “what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?” says it so much better. Why would people waste their time judging others? Bad mouth others? Invent stories about others? Is it for personal gain? “What’s in it for you” is something Dr. Phil talks about constantly. What’s the payoff? There is always a payoff, no matter how hard it is to see.

I guess it’s true that different people have different priorities, the main goal is not to judge people by ours. We not know their life, their struggles, their wars. From a distance something may look a certain way when deeep inside they are completely opposite. Remember that people always put their best foot forward, so we only see what they allow us to see. A friend or relative may look perfectly content and happy when all along they’re hiding a sad family struggle. The obese children our friends have may have a health condition we’re unaware of. The sad or jumpy teenager may hide from us her abuse struggles. We don’t know. We can’t know. In doubt, always assume there is a reason why people act a certain way.  I am still learning this. Surely my relative has some unknown issues, problems, struggles she’s been carrying around for years and years I clearly know nothing about. But, for goodness sakes, don’t invent things about people to make yourself look good! If you have to invent things about others to make yourself look better, perhaps the time will be better spent looking at yourself in the mirror and figure out what needs to change. The answer is not in others, it is in yourself. As Wayne Dyer said so eloquently “When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself”.

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