Gratitude for Falling
I am still here because, time and time again, I've gotten back up—and for that, I am grateful.
Last week, I slipped and fell on one of my walks. The weather was decent, albeit cold, and I was deep in thought. Feeling good and looking up, I missed the black ice beneath my feet. I fell hard on my butt. My feet slipped from under me and everything. My right butt cheek immediately started to throb. I look up from the ground directly into the eyes of a young brotha across the street. Not only had I slipped and fallen, but someone saw me! I couldn't help but laugh inside.
He looked at me pitifully. Taking his AirPod out of his ear, he shouted, DAMN! Because, what else do you say when you see someone slip and fall, and you can't help?
UGHHHHHHHH! I exclaimed with deep annoyance at myself.
Under my breath, I mumbled, goddamit, Alex.
You good? He called from across the street.
Yup, I'm good! Fine. I'm fine. I said, getting up.
When I got my bearings, I saw he was still watching me, as if to make sure I wasn't going to fall again. I gave him a thumbs up.
Aight, he said, putting his AirPod back in. Be safe.
I continued my walk, sightly embarrassed and laughing to myself every few steps. I stopped to text my husband and joke about my stumble and the young man saying damn. It really was quite hilarious how it played out.
Ry reminded me of something our 4-year-old said. One day he was singing We Fall Down by Donnie McClurkin, a gospel classic we both grew up hearing often. And mid-song, our daughter says: We fall down SOMETIMES, but we get back up ALL THE time. Both of us laughed so hard at her fantastic and timely chime-in.
Yes, baby! Ry exclaimed. That is right.
Okay, affirmation! I yelled with a big grin on my face.
From the mouth of babes, Ryan nodded with joy in his voice.
Ila floored us. And while we are both far removed from religion, gospel music still gets played in our house on Sundays. We both reminisce about growing up in the church and our mamas and grandmamas and their mamas loving Jesus more than life itself. I remember growing up, my Nana being on her knees, crying and singing that song with all her heart. When I got the text from Ryan: We fall down SOMETIMES, but we get back up ALL THE time, I started hysterically laughing. The soreness in my butt didn't seem as sore, and the embarrassment of busting my tail in front of someone subsided.
There is no greater truth about falling and feeling defeated by life—emotionally or physically—and then having to get back up. We can't stay down forever, even if we want to—even if we think we will. As I finished my walk, I reflected on how many times I've lost my balance, backtracked, failed, stumbled, and slipped in my life. My actual fall had nothing on the emotional downfalls I've had. I am still here because, time and time again, I've gotten back up—and for that, I am grateful.