Apr. 4, 2022

MY HEART STILL EXPERIENCES DISAPPOINTMENT--- LIKE A CHILD.

 

 I’m, basically, a very- happy person. I don’t depend on anyone for my happiness except me---which is certainly a “good thing” since I have no family—other than Cubby Bear, Candy-Bandy, and Sugar Babe.   Earlier this year, Death took the last of my close friends.

I've learned to be strong yet two years ago this month—April—I experienced a huge disappointment and since that time, I’ve had an ongoing- sadness-- like grieving the loss of a great love.  At times, the sadness is so emotionally-intense-- I have no choice but cry.  Such serious-sadness occupies my thoughts during my daytime hours-- as well as the nighttime hours. Dreams wake me and I’m instantly-flooded with events from the past—events that keep replaying in my mind. I write about the events--in great detail—so I can study them.  I know--for certain—every event in my life has a reason and--- a purpose.

Yesterday, I decided to analyze my feelings---based on the behavioral and emotional notes I've taken for weeks. I suddenly realized I'm grieving a huge and disappointing loss because----

Once again, it’s April----the month—two years ago--- when I was scheduled to return to China, for ten days. I was scheduled to attend the thirty year anniversary/celebration of my “FIRST EVER” journey of the full length of China’s Great Wall.

My latest project was called: A RETURN TO “ALL THE WALL.”  And-- like 30 years earlier-- I had successfully-arranged sponsors from both China and America--so my emotional return to China and The Great Wall was completely-funded.

China’s Leaders had also arranged for me to meet with North Korea’s Leader, Kim Jong Un-- so I could explore the section of The Great Wall that “overlaps” the North Korean border.  This would serve as the final chapter in my Book--The full account of my Great Wall Journey--in Picture Form-- with a complete "running" narrative.

I’d been so emotionally-charged-- for so long-- anticipating this wonderful reunion with my old friend--The Great Wall-- then suddenly--------------The World Stopped---------- because of  the Covid Virus.

Is it any wonder—I continue to feel such sadness, such grief, such loss?!?!? I never realized--until now--that fulfilling a childhood dream--as I did--seldom happens—to even the most--experienced dreamers. Yes---my love of The Great Wall was the great love that had lived in my heart from childhood--for nearly a lifetime so---why wouldn’t I want to return to the place where I'd know such complete happiness and overwhelming success?!?!?

Thirty Years had passed and I was ready.  Only weeks before my long-anticipated reunion with The Great Wall-- my trip was canceled by my own government.  One of my sponsors suggested we stay hopeful, keep planning for next year or the year after. My disappointment was so great—I couldn’t bear to think about next year--or the following year.

Judging from the increasing tensions between America and China, I predict Americans—even those who are as close to China and its leaders as I am—won't be officially-welcomed back inside China---for a very-long time so---- I can only wait and  remember:

“The more I mature, the less I allow ugliness from my past to invade my present. Instead, I block-out the ugliness with memorable moments. My Great Wall remembrances are never far away—they find me when I’m sitting in traffic, walking by the fast-moving river, or watching smoke-trails from a high-flying jet. The Wall is with me when I smell wetness on mossy rocks, or jog through frost-covered grass. My memories often consume me and, like stepping into cold rain on a scorching-hot day, my body shivers with anticipation. I close my eyes and, in an instant, I’m back on The Wall. Those are the times I can touch the wind, hear the silence, and share aloneness—all under a brilliantly-blue, open-parasol sky—that speaks only Chinese. I share those moments with tears filling my eyes, running down my face, dripping from my chin....and I don’t stop them. Tears are my evidence; my emotional reminders. Yes, I was really there. The magic comes from knowing my—“Once upon a time”— began with a nine year old girl, a teacher, a geography book....and a Dream.”

Someday, only God knows when, I’ll be back with my old friend--The Great Wall Of China-- and this time, I’ll never leave.

Sally Miller