Once upon a time, when I was struggling to find my courage, God sent me a cheeky little mouse. For a mouse, it was a handsome pudgy little thing with large rounded ears, full cheeks, and had a tannish/gray coat. Its belly and feet were white. As I was working in the kitchen one sunny afternoon, my usual hangout, I caught a glimpse of movement along the top of the dining room drapery rod. I looked with disbelief at a mouse running back and forth along the rod. In broad daylight! What to do? So I opened the front door and then got a broom. Returning to the dining room I said, “I’m sorry, but you can’t stay in my house,” at which point the mouse stopped, looked at me and then ran down the drape and across the dining room floor. “Aren’t mice supposed to run along baseboards and under furniture?” I asked myself. I followed behind with the broom as it entered the living room, then it stopped, turned, and sat up on its back legs in the middle of the rug, looking at me as if to say, “What the hell!” I repeated, “I am sorry, but you cannot stay in my house!” The broom and I then moved this bold little intruder toward the front hall and open door where it stopped again, looked at me, the doorway, and then proceeded down the hall instead of out the door! So I opened the doors to the garage and backyard and the broom and I resumed until the mouse chose the garage door. I followed until it was out into the grass.
When I struggled with my aging parents’ care needs, I needed more nerve, audacity, and sauciness—more cheek. But I was raised with none of that and its absence made that time of my life extra difficult. But that difficulty also filled me with deep learning.