Labels that Can’t Be Taken Away

We recently toured Bea’s new school for next year. Outside a kindergarten classroom, a sign read, We are authors. We are artists. We are learners. We are kind. We are mathematicians  We are helpful. We are friends.

danbo-2105835_960_720I just wrote about claiming labels and how some labels are so hard to claim. For me, those big labels that call up people who have worked far harder than I have for them: writer, historian, activist.

I just finished reading Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. The first part of the book is a memoir of his years in several Nazi Concentration Camps, including Auschwitz. Frankl describes an initial experience of reaching the camp, when every possession is stripped from the prisoners. For him, his most important physical item was his early manuscript on his study of logotherapy.

What Frankl learns is that those who survived found labels that cannon be taken away. They found something beyond their present circumstances to cling to. His hope of seeing his wife and unborn child again as well as the hope of rewriting his research kept him alive.

This has made me reflect on those labels that I have so much trouble with. Perhaps I need to focus on labels that hold far more truth, that can’t be taken away. Even the precious label of mom could be taken, but what is deeper than that?

Friend, loyal, loved, loving, connector. These are all labels that go far beyond anything that can be taken from me.

Our last MOPS meeting was yesterday and before it started our leader gave us a heart with beloved written on it. She had us put it over our name tags as a reminder that above all, we are beloved.

That’s a truthful label that cannot be taken.

What are some true labels you need to remember? How do you separate those labels that can be taken from those that are far deeper?

Linked with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing. Today’s prompt is “truth.”


“Beauty is truth, truth beauty, – that is all

Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

John Keats

Truth is: Frank and Bea reading in the morning, cup of coffee near by, sun rising. Bea is able to “read” along with many words, saying them proudly.

Truth is: Kicking fallen leaves into a pile to watch Bea experience the joy of jumping for the first time. Over and over we jump in the pile, the delight on Bea’s face is magical.

Truth is: Groggily waking up, too early in the morning, but realizing I’ve gotten to watch the sunrise most days over the past year. Besides camping, I rarely watched the sunrise from my back window. In the playroom, Frank turns the chair to watch it as he reads and reflect for the day.

Truth is: Hearing Bea say, “Amen!” at the end of each prayer before dinner. Who knows where life will take her, spiritually, but I love hearing her small voice using ancient words as we model for her.

Truth is: Realizing that, no matter how hard we try to create the perfect home, we’ll mess it up somehow…. And there’s beauty in that.

Linked with Lisa-Jo Baker‘s Five Minute Friday