My parents’ story is an “against the odds” kind of story. They were like the rest of us, trying to make it the best they knew how. Learning to make a life, raise kids, work their jobs, and have fun while doing it. They got it right sometimes but they got it wrong other times.

I don’t hold the wrong parts against them.

We’re all learning as we go. Not one of us has it all figured out. Still we wake up each day, try again, and maybe do better than we did yesterday. But we don’t give up and we don’t give in to the idea that it will never change or that we’ll never learn. We keep at it. Sure we go through trials, we have pain and sorrow and bad things happen. But by the grace of God we make do with what we’ve learned so far.

And we forgive. Then our hearts are softened and all of the sudden we realize we see people differently. Even the ones that caused the pain.

Because you love people better when your heart is softer. And you’re better prepared for the next thing life throws at you. You’ve learned how to weep and laugh and do it with those who are weeping and laughing.

And at the end of your days, someone will say your story is an “against the odds” kind of story.

It’s funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, and sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools-friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty-and said ‘do the best you can with these, they will have to do’. And mostly, against all odds, they do.

                                                                              Anne Lamott

Tenacious