An Anonymous Child Hoping For More
Over this Memorial Day weekend, I attended a local horse show, an annual event where Lilly Pulitzer outfits in pink and turquoise and hats a la the Kentucky Derby are as much of interest as the horses and riders.
Surrounding the area where the horses do their thing are a host of small shops, all in tiny houses with a “small town” feel. From upscale riding garb to jewelry for horse lovers, it’s a haven for those whose children are riders or those who just like to be around the horsey set.
One small shop caught my attention, not because of their wares but because of a fence they had leaning up against the wall. On it were handwritten notes written with colored markers and tied with twine and ribbons on which people at the event could write their goals and wishes. It was clear by the handwriting that most were written by children or teens and most reflected high aspirations. One said they hoped to be accepted to Juilliard for dance. Another that they would do well on finals. Another asked for a puppy. I stood reading them all. And then there was this one.
This note said, “I hope to be okay with my mental stability.” I wanted to search for this child. To find out their story. To see if this child’s parents were aware of what was going on. To see if I could help.
It was a holiday weekend when people were sitting and enjoying wine spritzers and tea sandwiches. Walking aimlessly with their children sucking on lemon sticks and simply enjoying the horses and lovely weather. Yet here was one young person who was saying what he or she was truly feeling and thinking about.
Whether this child is struggling in school, dealing with anxiety or depression, or simply knows that they are not feeling well, my hope is that this child has someone standing beside them all the way. Because mental health issues don't take a long weekend or holiday. And these few words written by a young person on a simple card tied to a decorative fence spoke louder and more clearly to me than everything else that day. And beyond...