Spunk or Sass

Yes, I have heard the words spunk and sass many times in my life. Sometimes these words were used in reference to me, I think at times it was used as a compliment and other times it was my teacher telling my mom I needed to behave better in the class room. As a teenager that was in detention on more than one Saturday, I often wondered what the difference between the words spunk and sass. According to good old Webster spunk is "to show spirit" ans sass is "to talk impudently or disrespectfully". So that is it, spunk is "life with a spark" and sass is "life with an attitude".
This week I have spent my evening shifts in D ward. Last week I had almost exclussively kids and this week it has been a mixed bag. I had 2 girls both days that were quite the handful. The both were very hot and cold. But todday I will introduce you to Blessing.
Blessing is a 9 year old (who had her birthday on Monday and wore a Tiara all day that had pink flashing lights) who suffers from Noma (Noma is a type of gangrene that destroys mucous membranes of the mouth and other tissues. It occurs in malnourished children in areas of poor cleanliness.) Her lips are now gone and is in the 2nd stage of a 7 stage process in reconstructing her face. Her mom will not let her look at her face in the mirror. I had a long talk with her, I said " I don't know what I would do if I were you. I know I would want to protect my child from a reflection that is drastically changed since the last time she saw her face. But I also think at the end of these 7 surgeries her face is not going to look the same as it did before and is she may not be satisfied with her new face if she has never seen how far she has come." Her mom just listened, shaking her head still not sure if this whole thing is just a bad dream.
Back to the spunk and sass. Blessing's bed is the closest to the nursing station and every time a walk by I get a swat on the butt and I hear the highest pitch squeel followed by giggles. I look over and see this tiny little girl in a bed with a spark in her eye that is full of mischieve. Yesterday I did not have much to do on my shift so she occupied most of my time. She was triyng to teach me a hand clap game that I assume was the Liberian version of Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack all dressed in black, black, black. But it is very hard to understand her so mostly I just did what she did.
Blessing hates the taste of her antibiotics, so when I try to give it she hides under her cover and gives an emmy winning performance. Her mom who sleeps on a mattress under her bed comes out from down under and gives a stern "Drink your medicine, it make you body strong" in her very best mom voice. So while I think sometimes Blessing can be a bit sassy the spark in her eye tells me she is full off spunk, I think we are kindred spirits.

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