Yesterday I went for a pedicure. It was my first attempt at self-care, but thought I’d enjoy just sitting in silence for an hour. I got a woman I’ve had once before but didn’t know her. I’d typically engage in some conversation but gave myself permission not to this time.
After several moments of silence she asked my name. I told her and politely asked for hers. And then she asked a simple question I just wasn’t ready for. “Do you have children, Leah?” It felt like I paused for an eternity, but I responded, “Yes, two beautiful children.” She had to have seen the pain in my eyes, but I couldn’t decide what to say. She then asked how were my holidays. Another question that had me stumped. “Fine,” I said. She replied, “Did you go somewhere?” I dodged the question and said I typically go to my brother’s house in Orange County.
I quickly redirected the conversation to be about her, asking about her family and holidays. She told me her mother was in the hospital. I could see the sadness on her face. At first I thought, “You have no idea what I’m going through” but realized she too was going through something. Instead of shutting down, I listened. She told me about her family and shared some of her story as an immigrant from Vietnam. It’s astounding to think about how much we take for granted. I learned a lot about her in those next 20 minutes, but grasped that her daughter has been a blessing and helped her through some tough times.
She had been so honest with me, a stranger, and I didn’t feel right deflecting her attempts to connect. I gave her a hug before I left and told her I would pray for her mother.
I didn’t feel as though I was standing in my own truth as I walked out the door, so she was a recipient of some love #forblake. I bought a card to thank her for helping me and sharing her story. I wrote that I was unable to say that I lost my boy last week, and that our children are so precious. I gave her a small gift card to put toward something for her daughter and asked that she hug her tight. Also that I’d pray for her mother’s recovery.
I walked back into the salon, gave her the card, another hug and left. She had no idea what I was experiencing, and I would have had no idea what she was going through. We don’t know what most people are dealing with… but life can be hard, and cruel. I want to believe it could be a little better or a little easier if we just choose to be kind.
Do it #forblake.
#forevergrateful #teamblake #gooddeedsforblake