I work very hard and am attending college to obtain my degree in the Human Service field. Writing makes me feel alive and gives me the opportunity to touch those whom I would not be able to otherwise. Last but not least, I have been blessed with two amazing daughters who love me completely and support my dreams. Feel free to contact me with questions, concerns or feedback.
I was at a gas station recently. To clean my windshield, I usually hop over hose attached to the pump to grab the windshield sponge. This time, instead of hopping, I walked around the opposite side of the pump. I cleaned my windows, decided to hop the hose, caught my foot on the hose and went down. THUD! Embarrassment, pain and surprise caught me off guard. Two individuals witnessed the unblessed event and asked if I was ok. I said, “Yes, thanks so much.” A gentleman held his hand out to me, “Let me help you up”, he stated. I grabbed it, stood, and thanked him profusely. Talk about an act of kindness.
Two individuals, at the right place, right time. They didn’t have to extend a care, worry or ask if I was ok. They could have finished at the pump, jumped in their vehicles and drove away. Instead, they took time out for me, a complete stranger. Even if for a moment, it sure as heck made my day.
Last weekend, I was at the mall and walked into Build A Bear. Saw the cutest bear and immediately thought of my oldest daughter. I was so excited. I kissed the heart and stuffed it deep. I was beaming with pride. Would she like it, would she accept it? Would she smile as wide as me? I drove to her work and saw her car parked outside. My heart was pounding like crazy. I took a picture of the bear, just in case, to remember the moment. I walked inside; she glanced up, saw me and walked away. I asked the cashier to hand her the bear. The manger walked up, said, “She doesn’t want it, asked me to give it back to you.” As I am walking out, I say, “Good bye Steph, I love you!” For the first time in almost a year, she walked towards me and spoke, “Mom, I haven’t talked to you since last June, I don’t want you following me, harassing me, or stopping by my work.” As she turned and walked away, I said, “I love you Steph” and walked away. I wouldn’t change one minute of the entire experience.
Two different stories, two completely different reactions. The first of complete strangers, the latter, someone who’s known me for 21 years.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about and investing in those that aren’t a part of my life. Whether by chance or choice, life without those we love and worry about is an adjustment. The five stages of grief cover much, yet there are special circumstances which it does not apply.
When someone you love, and you believe has loved you back, is no longer a part of your equation, you begin to reel. You wonder what you could have done different. How long do you fight, what if you see one another again? When your paths cross, how will they react? Many questions ran through my mind until an acceptance fell upon me. Anyone, at any time, can choose to not be a part of your life. It’s happened to the best of us, certainly to the worst.
Something hit last night. The longer I focus on those who have parted, the less I invest on those who are present.
I have the most amazing friends, people that know and love me. They think I am the cat’s meow. They know my cares, worries, dreams, past and will know my future. I am honest to a fault. I share what is necessary to connect with others. My imperfections draw others towards me. My tears bring them closer. They have been there through thick and thin. Because of them, I am able to walk with my head held high.
I want to thank those who have stepped forward this past year. From complete strangers like the ones above to long term friends, what could have been the most difficult year of my life has brought about pleasant surprises. It has given me opportunities to connect with other parents who are currently walking and have walked the same path. It has made me feel as if I am “normal”, that many moms and dads go through a separation from their children.
This blog is a gentle reminder that you are loved and cared for. Your job is to open your eyes and look at those who are willing to extend a helping hand. From nameless strangers to long term friends, we must begin to focus on the kind, compassionate, wonderful, amazing individuals who choose, on a daily basis, to invest in us.
Relationships are not guaranteed. What is guaranteed is that the more you are out and about, the more you give yourself opportunities to relate to others. There are many amazing people, just like you, waiting to connect with other likeminded individuals. Spend time doing activities which will give you the opportunities to develop new and exciting relationships.
After all, we are meant to cross paths.