People tend to talk about gratitude during the month of November. It’s almost Turkey day so let’s give a shout out to all the things we’re thankful for. I don’t disregard this by any means although I do find it interesting that we, as people, tend to complain the majority of the year but suddenly pull it together because of an upcoming day that is actually a day of mourning for many nations.
I’d go further into that but no one read the Columbus post, so why bother. And really, this isn’t about something that happened so long ago. It’s not even about calling anyone out. It’s about a personal moment today, a sad, chilling moment gifted to me by a stranger. (I’ll explain why it was a gift later).
A woman came up and ordered a bunch of stuff for the weekend. She briefly explained that she was attending a family gathering and promised to bring some desserts. Having just done a “treatment” at the hospital, she was in no mood to cook. After a few moments, I made small talk with her while her order was prepped.
She explained to me that in the past 8 years, she has been in 2 major car accidents. Car accidents that changed her life forever. Or in her words “ruined it.” Not only had the nerves in her body been terribly damaged at the hands of a drug induced driver but she had lost her child.
My heart broke for that woman. Shattered. Exploded.
She thanked me for the help and even tipped me and my coworker generously for doing nothing more than our job. I said I would keep her in my thoughts and she replied with “I just hope it gets better.”
I seriously had a moment of wanting to walk around the counter to hug her. But I didn’t. That just might be awkward. I didn’t know if I wanted to hug her to give some comfort to her or to comfort myself.
This woman, this brave woman who gets out of bed each day despite facing tragedy beyond belief, has lived something I pray I never know. A prayer every mother whispers to herself late at night while children sleep. The chills find me again and I could weep…staring at my son as I type this. He’s babbling words that don’t exist, carrying one of the holiday ornaments around, curiously playing with the house keys.
Without this curious little angel in my life – I would curl up and die. There is no other option. My son or death. Love birds cannot live without their mates. Their will to live vanishes in the blink of an eye. A mother is a love bird. And the love for our children is the only thing that allows us to breathe each and every day. Without them, our air does not exist…even more so – it is worthless. I could choose to move on as that woman had but I know I wouldn’t want to.
I am not grateful I don’t know her pain. One mothers pain is all mothers pain. I am grateful, no matter how terrible this may sound, that I have an opportunity that was stolen from her. To see my son and hold him and kiss him and bask in the shining light that is his magnificent soul.
Instead of complaining about how hard my day is or how much my feet hurt or whatever it is I usually complain about at the end of a shift – all I could think about was getting to my son. He’ll keep me up all night and probably kick the crap out of me when we sleep. He’ll write on the walls before I finish this post and I couldn’t be happier. Because he’s here.
My heart goes out to that woman. And to her child. A beauty lost.