The last time I wrote about sharing was in the blog post “You are not alone“. That story happened in a campground washroom.
Today’s blog will also be about sharing. This blog happens to occur in a public washroom as well. It’s starting to make me wonder about public restrooms… I digress.
I found myself in the washroom at work a while back. I have since used it, quite regularly in fact. I really wanted to talk about one incident that occurred there a few years ago.
I walked in. I was going to use the washroom between classes to just feel more comfortable. At least I had some control over that part of my life. You see, I was feeling sorry for myself. I was basically having a pity party and I was the honoured guest. Figuring that it would be more fun if I could invite someone to my party, I turned to the person who was in the washroom. It was the wife of a lovely man who works in maintenance. She was there to give him a hand disinfecting during a particularly bad flu season.
I shared with her that I was tired. After all, it was a lot of work, being in our busy season. Add to the balance, I was trying to be there for my family. I threw in for good measure that my husband was in the hospital: for surgery. To give it a little extra punch, I said it was for brain surgery.
This lovely hard working woman simply looked at me. She then lifted her bangs to show the scar that ran across her hairline. She shared that her surgery was many years before and it had left her skull somewhat deformed. It had terrified one of her girls who was too scared of her mother to approach her.
Nothing more was said until I searched out her husband.
I walked up to him.
I stuck out my hand.
Startled, he took my hand to shake it.
I stated I had learned we were on the same team; the one of spouses of people who had brain surgery.
He was surprised.
“I think we understand each other,” I said.
“Yes we do”, he answered.
It is incredible supportive to watch someone you respect get things done in such a competent lovely way that you cannot imagine they had unimaginable challenges. It is doubly supportive to see him daily and to be able to share other things besides illness with him. He has become one of my confidents. I jokingly, though not really a joke, call him my therapist. He is also my professional and academic advisor, a mentor, one of my cheerleaders and, most importantly, my friend.
I loved knowing I did not need to explain the fear, the exhaustion and the worry. He had been there. He seems to have landed on his feet. Maybe sometimes, like me, he limps a little.
That day, I was on a pity party. No one fed into it. I thought I wanted someone to feel sorry for me. Instead I got my second wind. I met a kindred spirit for whom I wish the universe would give him and his loves so much more.
I guess I needed you to know even the most experienced ambulance chasers get tired, sad, frustrated and even scared. Even those who seem strong are helped if they can at least feel heard. To find someone, who hears you when you don’t have to say a word because they already know, is priceless. Thank you M. B.
I guess I am still human…
Please keep your ears open and your judgement at bay.You don’t need to feed someone’s pity party but don’t sweep what they have to say away either. Acknowledge them. Offer them your support, even a hug. Don’t be afraid, their situation is not catching.
Please join me next time with “Play? Here?” in a few days
I would love to hear from you if you wish to leave a comment or start a conversation.
Feel free to share this entry or the blog in hopes it lands on someone’s desk who may be feeling alone on their own crazy ride through a medical situation.