Sometimes mindless mantras beat out fridge magnet philosophies when life doesn't make sense.
I walk into my workplace to pick up something. I have my sunglasses on. My head throbs from the violence of virus I had picked up. I had been out of work for two days and traveled to work with a Styrofoam bait bucket in car ~just in case~ One of the employees sees me and smirks "Well, there she is Miss Hollywood" I was taken aback. I just kept walking. She walks into the vicinity of the task I needed to perform and stands directly in front of me, never once asking how I felt.
I recalled a few weeks earlier, my daughter had a spinal tap that ruptured, her spinal fluid leaked into her bloodstream and caused headaches so severe that she too wore glasses to work because of the migraine side effects. She saw a few people making fun of her out of these dark glasses. In all reality, she shouldn't have been at work. But didn't want to let the ~Team Down.~ It was her pain and the realization of how she must have felt that filled my eyes with water that morning. I remembered telling my daughters early in life. "When people react this way to you, it is because of their insecurities, don’t let them be yours as well. If you haven't done anything to injure or deserve their actions, don't accept the guilt for it. Move on. Kill them with kindness." I totally understand the blank stare the kids would give me now. It’s kind of like singing the Clap Clap song. 369 the goose drank wine the monkey chewed tobacco on the street car line..the line broke.etc… It makes you feel good to sing it, but it doesn’t mean a damn thing. And that’s ok.
Well, I ended up in the ER that same night, then surgery the next morning. I was out of work for 3 days. I go back to work. Again, total snobbery. One person wouldn't even acknowledge a hello. These two individuals were not affected in any way whatsoever with my absence from work and were not even in same department. But we had always talked cordially and had pleasant conversations. I tried to fight a pain that went deeper than where the surgeons knife had been. Amazingly, after all of these years I haven’t built up the first callous of resistance to that pain. Was it pain for myself, humanity? What exactly was I feeling? I just couldn't shake their lack of compassion and humanity. Is it so pervasive? It didn't discount the kindnesses bestowed upon me that week, but somehow I had let these two negative influences choke the crap out of them. I ride the fence between the A & B as personality type's. But can easily claim the mantra "A glass half full, is full" I was angry at myself for having such a thin shell. Appearances may lead you to think I am a spiny, hard crustacean, but indeed if you poke me you will find a soft shell crab. I questioned God, lord help me he's going to zap me right out of this world one of these days. Once again, his goodness sand mercy reveal to me the compassion love and caring I had been shown for the past week. My hubby who was on vacation that week cared for me. He held wet cold towels to my lips and garbage cans and buckets to my head. I remember my hands being rubbed by kind nurses throughout the night before surgery. A doctor and friend worked me into an already crammed day of surgery and first on the list at that. The privacy curtains in pre-op opened to reveal another dear and kind friend who would be my scrub nurse and then another friendly acquaintance as my anesthesiologist. Did I mention Morphine? Faces of my family as anesthesia wears off. Hugs and love and gifts from old friends dropping in to see me and I was only in hospital 4 hours after surgery. Phone calls, e-mails and faxes and people that came through for me brought tears to my eyes. Customers when back at work that genuinely cared.
I can't say that it doesn't sting when I am in the presence of those that intentionally inflict pain. But, I will say that I feel more empathy for them now. This isn’t a public lash out on them, they don’t even know that I write. I really wasn't too excited about going back to work. I think my daughter sensed my apprehension as I dressed for work that morning. I get a text from her. "Kill them with kindness Mom" she said. I go out humming…3 6 9..the goose drank wine…Clap..Clap..Clap..Clap..
I got a card from the nursing staff at Roper St. Francis Hospital Mt. Pleasant. They all signed the card. I can hardly wait to go see them next week. I thought of each and every person who shows their kindness and compassion to others when I saw this quote.
~To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded~ Ralph Waldo Emerson