Sometimes life gives you lemons. It gives us the wrinkly pucker-face and sometimes makes us let out a funny sound.

About two years ago I sustained an injury. A glass patio table shattered and a large piece of glass fell across the top of my bare foot. I think I made something more than a wrinkly pucker face and let out more than just a funny sound. I quickly learned that spurting blood does not only happen in horror flicks.

So off to the ER. They assured me there was no tendon damage, and stitched me up. Oh, the lemons of life. A few days later I noticed a rash creeping across my foot and up my leg; a bacterial infection. Ok, life was definitely giving me sour-wrinkly-pucker-face.

My foot was so ugly I started referring to it as “Frankenstien.” I could barely step down, let alone do my regular 3-mile power walks. Two weeks later when the stitches had to be removed, the wound had not sealed, and sure enough there was tendon damage. (Another more-than-wrinkly-pucker-face, and more than a funny sound.) Such sour lemons.

I could have accepted a disability, drowned in self pity, and became a sour person. But, I was going to make lemonade out of these lemons. Physical therapy included building the muscles in my shin to compensate for the loss of tendon-lift for my forefoot. Walking on incline was difficult and my foot would catch every few steps, nearly tripping me.

As I worked on regaining my ability to walk without falling, life got sweeter. I was power walking again, just very carefully not to drag and trip. Although I had never been a runner, these life-lemons gave me an extra push. My first goal was to run a mile without one drag or trip. That took a while. How sweet that lemonade was the first day I was able to reach that goal!

My grandson decided he wanted to run with me. Wow, now that is some sweet lemonade! Within 10 months of my injury, he and I ran a 2 mile race. In 14 months, he and I took a “runcation” together to run a 5K. Within 16 months of my injury, I ran the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 10K and took second in my age category.

Moral of the story: Life gives us lemons. Sometimes they are so sour it would be easy to chose to be a wrinkly pucker-face-sourness and let out unfriendly sounds. Or we can chose to make lemonade out of those lemons. Sweeten it up! Use the lemon to push forward, learn new things, experience new life goals and strengthen relationships. Yes, it takes work. But, think of how good it will be to taste the sweetness of accomplishment! Now, let's go make some lemonade!

Linda Yearout,

Licensed Clinical Marriage & Family Therapist