Thought For The Day 01/28/14


What Is The Face In The Mirror Teaching Me?

Post 1048


Mandy and Dan 01 18 2014


People are like stained-glass windows.  They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within. 

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


We spend some time nearly every day inspecting the person whose eyes, a mirror image of our own, stare back at us from the reflection of the looking-glass. But what exactly is the message we see in that face looking back at us? And is that message being conveyed to us today in the same way it was yesterday? Will it be the same one tomorrow?


When I was 20 years old I saw the world and all its possibilities, bright and beautiful in front of me. I liked me, both inside and out. I was in love and about to marry what I fully expected would be my knight in shining ’68 Chevy SS. I would soon be graduating with my BS degree in nursing, something I had wanted with every fiber of my being since I was just a little girl. I could wear a 2 piece swim suit with pride and I could run and play with the best of them. And I was shallow. I had faith and yet I had chosen not to pursue my relationship with God. I was hedonistic, choosing many things in my life for the sheer pleasure they afforded to me. But I was young, the years not yet performing their magic on me!


When I was 30 I was married and a mother. I had already found my first grey hair and I had definitely found a few pounds to boot. I seemed to spend more time working and a whole lot less time playing and enjoying my children. I wanted to be able to give them everything I could possibly manage and in the process, actually failed to give them me! The first worry wrinkles graced my eyes and I wondered what tomorrow would bring as I struggled to balance the demands I had placed on my life with the reality of that which I was managing to accomplish. And I found myself wanting… everything. Faith still played a role for me, if only to begin to convey its importance to my children. But for me, it was a bit like lip syncing a song. My intentions were there but I was only mouthing the words and not really allowing the music of it to enter my soul. But, then again, I was but a young woman with time still ahead!


When I was 40 my children were teens and with that came the challenges of phone calls from the principal asking for yet another meeting to discuss disciplinary issues. The grey, now fairly plentiful, was readily disguised by Miss Clairol but nothing could disguise the need for tri-focal eyeglasses and the deep “V” seemingly tattooed onto my forehead, right between my eyes. Dan and I were still happily married though our conversations now centered on more mundane issues and less heartfelt conversations. This same was to be found in the privacy of our room at night. But this was understandable. In an effort to keep our heads above water, we both embarked on lives that saw us traveling on the NJ Turnpike at 5AM every day heading into work, and the reverse happening at 6PM. I cooked dinner, helped with homework , threw laundry in and fell asleep in the chair waiting for the dryer buzzer to awaken me, sending me up the stairs, arms laden with clean clothes. I fell into bed and fell down on my faith. Oh it was there still but relegated to only a couple of hours Sunday when, instead of listening to the sermon, my mind was listing everything I should be doing instead of sitting there! But I was just an early, middle-aged woman. I still had time to fix it!


Then my life screeched to a halt! When I was 44 years old, life as I knew it changed. My husband developed Cancer. I became paralyzed from the waist down from a neurological disease. All of this descended upon us at the same time. I spent nearly 6 weeks hospitalized and Dan began, what would prove to be the first of so many surgeries, that I have lost count. We both found ourselves depending more and more on our children to pick up the pieces of everyday living….from shopping and cooking and laundry to schlepping us to MD appointments. My children became as adept at slinging my wheelchair in and out of the car as they did vacuuming the rugs and washing the floor. If ever there was a year from Hell, it was 1998. And it was also a year from Heaven! I still had not quite made my peace with God, Indeed, I was pretty much pissed off at Him for allowing this to happen to us. I was angry that my children needed to do a lot of growing up in a very short time! I was scared I was going to lose my husband. I was terrified I would never walk again. But the days passed, the months passed, and we could glimpse a light at the end of the tunnel. With therapy and hard work and a lot of love, I began to walk again. And I was still just middle-aged and had the time to stop being angry at God!


Age 50 found me looking back at my reflection from a different mirror in a different house in a different state. We decided to retire and leave NJ for a much quieter life where things move at a snail’s pace compared to the way things moved when we lived up north. My anger with God began to dissipate, like a mist does when touched by the rays of the sun. Dan and I survived and while we both are forever scarred by the things that happened in 1998, with each sun rise we face, the road that is our lives is, once again, being paved anew. We rediscovered the passions that brought us together in the first place and we healed. And as we healed, we made room within our hearts for faith to re-enter our lives. This did not happen overnight and, much like Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel masterpiece which took many, many years to create, we have discovered that it is time that is the key to seeing that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We are again finding within ourselves the masterpiece of a love whose brush strokes began coloring our souls in 1972.


This year I will be greeting 60 with a slower step, grayer hair and “creakier” joints. Yet I still see the passions and the joys that I viewed throughout all those previous decades and I see them with a much less jaded eye these days. You see, the tragedies that are part of daily life did not kill or even incapacitate me along the way. I have triumphed and I have discovered a strength through a faith that only grows stronger with each passing day…..a faith that I have incorporated into my daily living. You see, it is my own personal penance which I offer faithfully and cheerfully to the Almighty because He has not only led me to it, but He has seen me through it, as well! Yes, I know that I have made things right with God. It is what we all MUST do because none of us knows with certainty what tomorrow will deliver into our life!


And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

1 Peter 5:10 NIV


Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry


About Mandy Bruscella

Mandy's Story: As a Registered Professional Nurse with Certification in a number of specialties including home care, I was afforded the opportunity of working closely with various Social Service Agencies in NY and NJ. ~ A lifelong Christian, I was ordained as a Presbyterian deacon in 1993 and, after relocating to SC in 2000, elected to become ordained as a non-denominational minister. ~ I established "MandysPath" Ministry in 2011. "MandysPath" Ministry is a member of Pacific Life Church, El Sobrante, CA, network of ministries. ~ I direct an outreach ministry in an alternative setting, providing spiritual care to a congregation of more than 500 people from around the world via the Internet. ~ As part of this outreach, I write a daily faith based blog. In March, 2012 I was asked to become a board member of Heroes For Children which is a non-profit foundation, established to assists the Guardian ad Litem program of Horry County, SC. Guardians ad Litem are a group of court appointed advocates who represent the best interests of children in Family Court proceedings involving allegations of abuse or neglect. Working closely with these men and women who make a difference in the lives of children, I completed training and have been sworn in to serve as a Guardian ad Litem for the state of South Carolina . ~ I have been married since 1975 to a wonderful man, Daniel. I have a son Daniel and his wife Melissa who live in NYC. My daughter Sabrina and my grandson Landon live here in SC. ~ My father Harold continues to share his wisdom with me and is responsible for many of the ideas I write about!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s