Temporarily Speaking – Honorable Mention Winner, 12th Annual Essay Contest

By Sandra Kisselback

Temporarily Speaking

“It’s only temporary.” I apply this philosophy to many facets of my health—physical, mental, and spiritual. A wise man shared this with me about 30 years ago. Applying the knowledge came much later: a simple idea that makes me laugh with appreciation.

“It’s only temporary” is enhanced tenfold when I add positivity to the mix. Choosing to improve my all-around health by combining positivity and “it’s only temporary” creates a powerhouse of inner strength. Do you believe me?
Let’s take a little stroll through just a few of my life’s significant moments. Temporary and positivity: You’ll see. I’ll make a believer out of you yet.

I was 24 when my brother decided to end his life. I found him in his room with a belt around his neck. My heart was torn to shreds. A feeling of normality was out of reach for some time. I needed to feel the depth of my pain in order to heal.

My brother’s physical life was temporary. My injured spirit was temporary. With positivity on my side, I worked on softening the magnitude of this tragedy. I now choose to remember the joy of the heartfelt laughter I felt with Eric by my side.

Kidney disease, blood transfusions, dialysis, transplantation. Components of permanent renal failure? Separate the instances, and you’ll see temporary. Put two needles in your arm. Feel a speck of pain. The treatment starts, and the initial pain is gone.

In my mind, the dialysis treatment itself is only temporary. Using positivity, I passionately believe that each day’s treatment is really temporary. Hook up, dialyze, finish up, and voilà! Treatment is done for that day. Living in the moment affords me the ability to enjoy simple pleasures on a daily basis.
Five feet of snow collapsed the roof covering our family’s sawmill business in 2010. When I arrived the next morning, it was a devastating sight. We’d been dogged by breakdowns and economic uncertainty since 2008. When I saw the destruction before me, my only thought was, “This is it. We’re done.”

It was my Dad who used the temporary lesson that day. He quickly decided what had to be done. The mill needed to be dug out, and the debris had to be removed. With the help of neighbors, relatives, and friends, we were back in business in 10 days. This is a perfect example of how a positive mindset can make a seemingly impossible situation became a temporary one. It was a truly awesome experience to be a part of. Getting any closer to believing me yet?

Losing my father after he collapsed at the bowling alley was a shock. He was 9 days shy of his 83rd birthday. My brother Brian and my Mom rushed to Dad’s side at the hospital. I’m grateful that my memories of him don’t include his death at the hospital. When I think of him, I see him sitting in his chair as I give him my usual evening message: “I’ll see you tomorrow, Dad.” And he would reply, “I hope so.”

Physically, my Dad was with us temporarily. His positivity, determination, and stubborn resolve to face adversity with a smile will always be an inspiration to me. I find strength by including him in my thoughts every day.

On April 8, 2014, I received my second kidney transplant. Dialysis had been a part of my life for 7 years, 7 months, and 7 days—simply a temporary blip in my continuing life story. Earlier in the year, I’d started a part-time job at the library. It was a huge bonus for me. The money from the job was abundantly helpful. I received some papers to fill out regarding the time I’d be out because of the transplant. The paperwork was returned as soon as I was able. After all, I was recovering from a rather phenomenal procedure.

The final word from the dear folks at the library? “Please be advised that effective 5/12/14, your employment with us is terminated.” My first reaction was sadness. Then I opened up my lesson book: “Sandra, it’s only temporary.” I wrote the library personnel to thank them for the opportunity to be gainfully employed, temporarily. I then offered the hope that they would be blessed with kindness, understanding, compassion, and patience throughout their life moments.

By choosing to believe “it’s only temporary” and energetically activating positivity, I enhance and improve my life and health. With these habits, Lucinda, my newly transplanted kidney, and I will positively enjoy each temporary life moment we spend together.

“It’s only temporary” and positivity. Making life better one day at a time. Do you believe me now? Try it—you might like it.

Sandra Kisselback lives in East Berne, New York