When I was in the 3rd grade, I began an obsession with being able to stand on my head. My days were filled with attempts at becoming a champion of standing on my head. Each time I would begin to see the world from a new angle, I would end up on the floor. Failure. Why I needed to succeed at this upside down struggle, I can not say. My Dad watched these endeavors. One Saturday, Dad left early for a day trip. He challenged me, "Sis, when I get home tonight, I want to see you stand on your head. I know you can do it. Just keep trying. Stand on your head!"
With new dedication, I took the call to succeed to heart. I finished my Saturday chores and started the many tries at standing on my head. After a new cluster of failures, I set in the middle of our living room floor and planned a fresh approach. I began by using the hearth of our fireplace to help me balance my back. I used this time and again until the balance felt natural. I moved to a small step that wouldn't provide as much false balance to me. Ultimately, I was in the middle of the living room again, no assistance of hearth or step alone. I had made it! I was standing on my head, for a very long time. I was so proud and could not wait to show my Dad when he returned home.
I ran to meet him at the door, announcing I had a surprise. He may have remembered his recent challenge or not, but I was going to remind him. I made sure he was sitting in his favorite chair and had a full view of my 'stage'. "Watch Daddy!" I am not sure if grinning helps your equilibrium or not but it did that day. I turned fully upside down and stood on my head. Dad cheered and gave me every encouragement and praise. "I told you that you could do it! I am so proud of you!" I was also full of pride, sure at standing on my head, but mostly at making my Daddy proud.
That for years has been our championing call. "Stand on your head!" When I faced finals at college, Dad would say, "Stand on your head, Sis!" When I was facing cancer, "Stand on your head!" When Dad almost cut his finger off, "Stand on your head, Dad." It has been our rallying cry. As I face a new career path, new conflicts and confrontations, new decisions and ultimately new victories.... I feel the words, "STAND ON YOUR HEAD!"
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