hiddenblessing

Finding one small blessing each day.

Perspective February 28, 2013

Filed under: Family,Inspiration,Kindness — hiddenblessing @ 4:34 pm
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I have been thinking about perspective for some time now.

It started when I went to order a new pair of glasses. It was the most ridiculous purchase ever – I already had a perfectly acceptable pair that I just didn’t like. I was out shopping with E, who needed a new pair, and while I was waiting for him, I tried on a pair of frames. I fell instantly in love.

I thought about it for a few days and when I still just couldn’t quit thinking about them, I knew I had to have them. That’s my qualifier for any really selfish purchase…. IF I have the money and IF I still want them after walking away for a few days, I know it’s not a purchase I will regret. So I tapped into my private rainy-day-slush fund (ok, so tapped isn’t quite right, depleted might be a more accurate choice) and bought them for myself.

I waited and waited and waited for them to come in. It was going on the far end of the 7-10 business days the optical shop promised and I kept checking my phone… did they call yet? No? Ok. Thirty minutes later… did I miss a call? It was ridiculous. I knew it was ridiculous! But I was soooo excited for these glasses to come in. These glasses were going to be SO AMAZING and so cute and make me feel so happy!

I walked down to the cafeteria to get some lunch and I heard a voice call out my name. As I turned in response, I recognized that voice and inwardly sighed a bit. It was a woman I had worked with a year or two ago who had had cancer. She and I had gotten through all the employment-related mess that treatments and absences bring. Now, after all was said and done, whenever I saw her she emphatically wanted to hug me and talk.

I am a hugger. I really am. I am a big fan of hugging and showing those you care about that you care – it’s just that… in the cafeteria, everyone is watching. And when you are an HR girl, you just can’t quite be a huggy person. And especially not at work. With your employees. The next thing you know, someone’s claiming favoritism, or harassment or God-only knows what else. Plain and simple, it’s just not acceptable for an HR girl to be hugging. People don’t even like to be caught talking with HR people, let alone hug them by the salad bar.

So she calls my name and I sigh, because I know that today is going to be one of those big, public hug-days and I kind of wish I could’ve waited another 30 minutes to decide to walk to the cafeteria. But as I turn and catch a glimpse of her face, something stops me in my tracks. She just looks off.

“Hi,” I greet her as she comes up to me. I’m searching her face to see what’s going on. She offers me a weak smile and reaches out her arm into a half hug. I hug back.

“How are you doing?” she asks and I quickly mutter a dismissive reply, pushing her question away. Her face tells me this is no time for water-cooler chatter. She started to talk and then she choked on her words, breaking off into silence.

I took her back to my office where she sat down and told me that she had just gotten a call. When her doctor was doing some routine followup with her, he found a “suspicious” spot. A “suspicious” spot for a cancer survivor is not an ok thing to have. Suspicious means Danger!! Danger!!, and a much bigger-badder danger than it would mean for a non-cancer survivor.

She stared down at her knees and said softly and quietly, “I can’t do this again.”

So I did the only thing I could do; I pulled HER into a big hug, and I held her as she sobbed.

I don’t know what you say in those moments. So I didn’t say anything at all.

When she left my office a while later, and I ventured back down to the cafeteria to get my forgotten lunch, I thought about my call. Here I had been anxiously waiting for a call about a stupid pair of GLASSES… an idiotic, selfish, vain THING, a PURCHASE… and meanwhile, on the same floor in the same building, another girl was waiting for a call about whether her CANCER was back. We were both anxiously watching our phones; but from completely different angles.

Talk about putting things into perspective.

How much time do I really spend worrying about, thinking about, exerting precious time on… things that matter not one tiny little bit? When I sat on my laptop all last night working my SECOND job, as Little One watched repeated episodes of Dora and climbed into my lap and I got mad because he accidentally caused me to send an email to a whole contact list instead of one person… how ridiculous. How completely unimportant.

I need to readjust those new glasses of mine, and hope that I can keep some perspective on what’s really important.

It doesn’t matter whether you think life is half full, or half empty… it’s recognizing the precious gift of having a glass to begin with.

Cheers, my friends.

 

Today is a strange day August 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 4:03 pm
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Today is a strange day.  The word CANCER has been popping up all day.  That is always frightening to me, because I always wonder why.  My life is filled with too many coincidences and how-strange-I-was-just-thinking-of-you (or that) moments to not be worried when it seems like I’m finding this word everywhere I turn. And of course, although I try to fight and spread awareness and donate to finding cures for childhood cancers, I cower from the mere thought of it.  Of any cancer, hurting my loved ones or myself.  So when it’s repeatedly throwing itself in my path today, I have to stop and take notice.

It started when I checked Facebook this morning.  A wonderfully talented girl that I knew once upon a time lost her father to cancer this week.  She is a blogger, and she usually writes poetry about her experiences in coming to grips with the fact that her child has Fragile X syndrome.   This week, however, her focus is of course changed and she’s talking about her father and her loss of him.  She wrote this wonderful essay on her father’s lack of anger at the cancer that was slowly eroding his body.  She says that he said “Why?” when asked if he was mad about it.  Because why would he be, with this beautiful life he’d had, this wonderful family, these great experiences? 

Please check her out, it’s worth it, I promise.  The posting I talk about above was “Are You Angry”, but this… this is beautiful…

http://xmarksmyheart.blogspot.com/2012/08/our-walk-to-remember.html 

When I went to find the site address for you, her poem brought tears to my eyes, so I decided to share it instead of the link I was originally going to.   So circling back to her father’s lack of anger, his belief that he had had it all…

My husband and I have talked about this a few times recently.  I’ve personally felt this way for a long time, but to hear him say it to me was immeasurably good for my soul.  We have it all.  Honestly, we do.  We are healthy, we have food on our table, we have three healthy, happy children, and we LOVE and ARE LOVED.  Is there anything else that we could possibly need?  No.  Would it be nice to have a vehicle made in the last ten years and new carpet and enough money to buy pretty clothes and all the shoes in the world?  Sure.  But would I choose that over what I have?  Never in a million years.  If I DID have lots of money, what I’d really want to do is give some of it away to fight things like the ugly “c” word we are discussing here today.

And of course… if I died tomorrow, I would be sad.  I would be sad because I don’t want to miss out on all that is ahead of me.  But all that I’ve had??  That is enough.  It is enough.

And then, I happen to stumble upon a news article about a girl, who is 13, just barely older than my E, who is fighting neuroblastoma and now discovers she has preleukemia cells as well.  This girl has a video blog about fighting her cancer and how to be beautiful without her wig.  She has mad skills with makeup (eyeliner, sweetheart, teach me how to put on eyeliner like you!) and a peaceful, poised outlook on life.   In her videoblog, she is trying to comfort YOU, the watcher.  Darling girl, if only there were more people like you.  What a beautiful place this would be.

Please say a prayer for this wonderful child.  One of the comments someone wrote on her blog was “the world is a better place for having had you in it” and I wholeheartedly agree.   Her parents must be so proud to call her theirs.   

Check her out:      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1slESfh_3M0

 

Amazing August 8, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 6:44 pm
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My little blessing today is brief, but still something I want to remember.

I ran into a young mom in the restroom at work.  She was getting a paper towel as I went to wash my hands.  I remembered that she had had a baby about a year ago, and after greeting her, I said “So how is your little one?”.  I couldn’t quite remember if it was a girl or a boy, and definitely couldn’t remember the baby’s name.

She smiled beautifully at me and said, “She is amazing.”

Amazing.  That was the word she chose.

Most of us say, “Oh, good…” or “Getting big” or some other generic, nondescript way to answer to a semi-stranger.  But this mommy?  No.  She said her baby was amazing.  

I usually answer with something like, “Oh, they’re doing good.” Followed by this frantic thought process where I try to think of something interesting or unusual they have done recently that I can tell the listener about.  It’s never occurred to me to just say what they really are, which is, amazing.

She then went on to tell me how her little girl was very short, and was trying to learn to walk, which was so funny to her mommy and daddy because she was just so darn tiny.  And I smiled as I listened to her, not because of what she was saying, but because of the pure happiness and pride and love I could hear in this young woman’s voice.

We never really think about that, when we ask that simple question, “how are the kids? The family?  The husband.”  My darling friend, Wendy, says that we don’t actually want an answer to the question, we just ask it because it’s something to say.

I disagree.  I really want to know.  I want to see your face light up as you tell me about your little girl.  I want to hear how much you love your husband when you tell me how things are going.  I want to truly listen to you.  I want you to know I genuinely care.

Because I do.  I always have room for another friend, another hand to hold on this walk through life.  You can’t ever have too many friends.  When you want to talk about your family, or about how you feel, I hope that I listen, and I listen well.

Life is too colorful, too precious, and too fleeting to be generic and nondescript.