Chapter 3 of Soul Survivor

Dear friends . . here is the final segment of Soul Survivor, the piece I sat on for twenty years because I thought people would find it odd or offensive.  I can’t believe the reponse from so many who understood this as a positive piece, despite the subject matter.  Thank you for your notes and encouragement.


Darling, I Am Growing . . . . . . .

     We never say “I am old” or even “I am becoming old.”  We are always “growing old” because of our eternal optimism about the limitless future.  But more than that, we think of ourselves as growing old because we are aware more than ever in our lives that we are, in fact, growing.

     Not that we didn’t learn our lessons as we went through life’s experiences . . but sometimes we were too busy to notice.  Now we catch the missing links as we take time to regroup, and as we watch the younger ones around us.                                                           

     We are so proud when we see our children and grandchildren show courage and wisdom, when they are considerate and helpful to others, when they understand the values of hard work and self reliance.    “Well, they didn’t learn it from the neighbors,” someone will say, and that makes us feel we did a few things right.  But  of  course the same is true if we see them make choices that bring hard consequences..   We feel we must have put some bad information in their survival kit . . and probably we did, because that’s what we found in ours. 

     For me, the pain of growing is discovering that kind of chaff in the bottom of my own kit and seeing my  mistakes become another’s burden.    At the same time it reassures me that everyone is doing the best he can.  If I had known better, I would have done it better.  I would have passed on nothing but the best advice, the best tools, the best attitudes.  Now I say “If I had it do over again I would do such and such.”  Hey, that is good.  It’s got to mean that I am learning, and I am growing..

     “So, what good is that going to do you?” asked my husband.  “You’ve had your chance and it’s not coming around again.”

     “Oh, really?” I say, and smile as I go back to my counted cross-stitch and my counted blessings and my optimistic visions of a limitless future. 

                            – Doris Markland





3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kristine Baker
    Feb 16, 2014 @ 16:37:41

    Yes this is something we don’t talk about but it is inevitable. Glad you shared your thoughts.


  2. Donna Thomas
    Feb 16, 2014 @ 19:20:29

    Sage, bittersweet thoughts. Glad for the tongue-in-cheek closing. Love the writings💜


  3. Kathy
    Feb 18, 2014 @ 22:15:56

    Keep inspiring us, Doris! Thank you!


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