Resiliency Menders: It Takes Two


Sitting on my dresser are two dolls : Sally Walker and Bridsell. These are from my childhood, lost someplace, packed away and my sister found them. She located a doll doctor who could replace the hair on the bald bride doll and give her a new dress (only the second one for Bridsell.) Sally Walker also got new hair. The mold is gone from her eye, and now when I move her legs, she turns her head. Susan surprised me with them at Christmas. Yes, I cried.


It took Susan to see these dolls and realize that despite the horrible state of their being, they could be resurrected. They could be transformed and still bring joy and memories into my life. Months later, as I saw them perched on stands in my bedroom, it struck me: people are just like these dolls. They can be beaten, downtrodden, discouraged, and forgotten. Events might have tapped out whatever was left of their energy. And yet—it is love— that can mend WHAT IS into WHAT CAN BE. It’s an internal and external task. It takes self and it takes others. I hope you like my poem:


The People Menders


Somewhere beneath bald spot and hand caked with dirt


A little boy lived, afraid and quite hurt


And under the tweed with patch on the arm


Once lurked boyish laughter and urchin street charm


Away from the perfume and dress with a frill


Stalked dreams and the music of a shy tiny girl


The leather briefcase with engraved name plate


Hid the pain of teen years with no one to date


And seated so straight in the CEO chair


In school they said “stupid”; he remembered and dared


And high on a stage, performing for all loomed a past of rejection she felt in school halls


We carry inside the pains of our past


We walk today shadowed by memories held fast


To think ourselves new and rise to new heights


We embrace what once was and let go of the night


More quickly it comes if our hands will extend


To celebrate others who also must mend


There are menders for dolls and pastors for souls


But where is the healer who can make people whole?


For the body and mind and the spirit within


Are the substance of life and the world we live in.


What would it take to heal, patch and sew


To soothe and calm, add balm to the soul?


Perhaps mending selves is done in two parts


We mend self and others when we open our hearts.

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