Thursday, December 4, 2008

Here We Go Again

I had the same conversation at work today with four different people, none of whom were communication impaired patients. I only worked four hours today.

I was particularly chilly this a.m. so I put on a warm fuzzy sweater that is kind of long and closes at the neck like a trench coat -- one side button on the right and one big decorative button on the left. The decorative button was the reason I liked the sweater in the first place, but sometime last year the button fell off when I was picking something up from a tile floor, and broke. The sweater has to be closed somehow, so I dug around my jewelry box and found a pin that I think I bought at The Limited in the early 90s... I distinctly remembering it in high school. It looks like a bar with a bunch of rings on it. No diamonds, no shape of a flower, nothing flashy. I'm not trying to make a statement, just trying to close a sweater.

All four of my conversations went like this:

Person 1 - 4: I like your sweater.

Me: Thanks.

Person 1 - 4: What's that, a brooch?

Sure, I put on my brooch right after I put on my dungarees and pick up my pocketbook.

People around me know who know what's going on with me and my husband have been really great, for the most part. Most of them have simply said kind things and offered a cup of coffee or a phone call if I'd like them. When I've taken them up on it, for the most part, they have listened, asked insightful questions, agreed that things were sad, and generally made me feel loved and cared for by their time and concern. For the most part.

I've spent some time with a few people where I feel like I'm having the same conversation over and over again. A couple of people who have had a tough period of struggling with their spouses have wanted me to understand that no one is happy all the time and that marriage is hard. I've been told , "I know exactly how you feel".

I had coffee with someone recently who wanted to know what was going on, so I told her. She listened patiently for a few mintues then went on to tell me about the fact that every marriage has ups and downs, no one's perfect, and she and her husband have had times when they are close to each other and times when they're not. Marriage is hard.

I really appreciate the fact that people are concerned for me and they are reaching out. I so appreciate it. I have felt closer to more people than I have ever in my life, as I tend to be a fairly private person. It is a wonderful thing to see your friends spring into action when you're hurting, and I also understand that people don't know what to say about all this. I don't know either, and I don't expect anyone else to, so if people say weird things then I typically just appreciate the fact that they are trying. But it is very easy to say something that trivializes all this, and it is surely not trivial.

This whole experience has been a million life lessons, and while I don't think we have a god that puts people into situations that are difficult just to teach them things, I do think there is much to be learned. I will be a better friend after and within all of this -- a better listener, quicker to act, a different sense of gravity for whatever the person is going through. I'm so thankful for this, and for all of those who have put themselves out there to say the perfect thing and the opposite of the pefect thing.


EliandMe said...

Hi. I've just found your blog in a totally random search, and now I think I love you. Why? Because I am inspired by your honesty, strength and maturity to be a better person. And certainly a better blogger.

Brooke Hatfield said...

E&me...It is good to be loved, thank you. Best of wishes in your upcoming marriage.