Monday, April 22, 2013

Her name is Caroline....

I work in an accounting office and we just came through tax season...everyone survived...:) I meet all kinds of people in my job and honestly my most favorite thing about my job is chatting with the clients. Some of them come and go with only a brief exchange and others know all about the coming and goings in my life and I know theirs...and that makes us friends! While I generally like all of our clients....occasionally someone special comes my way and gives me this little burst of happiness in my spirit.

Her name is Caroline.

~She is precious. Small and delicate, 83 years old with the kindest most childlike eyes I've ever seen. She came in to get her personal taxes done and so we chatted. We talked about her children and how she is widowed and it's just her now. She asked me about my life and my children and expressed her apologies for how some things have turned out. I gave her the checklists to fill out and she said she would be back. I smiled when she left, and hoped I would see her again. Two days later she returned....making her way up the two flights of stairs into our office. She stood in front of my desk, fumbled through her wallet and pulled out twenty five dollars and went to hand it to me.

"Do you remember me?" She said.

"I absolutely remember you." I replied.

How could I not!! This tiny little woman that I wanted to put in my pocket and keep She then went on to tell me that she wanted to pay me to fill out the forms for her...the doctors wrecked her eyes and now she can't see a thing, she said. Gosh she made me smile...the way she said it was with complete frustration but still a gentle sweetness about her....I told her she didn't need to pay me and that I would be happy to fill out the forms with her...we went through the pages and made more small talk along the way. When we were done she said "At least let me buy you some flowers, you've been so kind." Oh my heck....I melted right then...I told her she didn't need to do that...that I was happy to do it because it meant we got to chat a little longer. She told me thank you and left her stuff with me and went on her way. Two hours later...the office was chaos with people dropping off their tax information and I glanced down the hallway to see her weaving her way through the seven or eight people...with flowers in her hand...Tulips...perfect for Easter she said, and much deserved for the girl who let a little old lady chat the afternoon away. She handed them to me and left. After the room cleared of people I sat at my desk and stared at the flowers...and thought how lucky am I for this brief interaction with someone so special. I called her a few days later and let her know that her taxes were done. She wouldn't be able to get into town right away...she was taking care of her kids farm while they were out of town...I still giggle when I think about that. If you could have seen her. Picture your usual grandma who seems to shrink 2 or 3 inches every time you see her. Yep...that is Caroline and so to picture her working a farm....frick it just makes me smile. Anyways she came in two weeks later to sign her taxes. I chatted with her, helped her with her pin number on the machine because clearly the 6x6 magnifier she had was not doing it's job. When she had paid, I helped her gather her stuff up....I was sad in a way....I knew I wouldn't see her least until next year. She stood there for a minute just looking at me...and then motioned for me to come out from my desk...and I did. I stood in front of her. She looked up at me...her blue blue eyes looking right into my eyes. She put her hands on my cheeks and said "You are divine."....I choked on the thank you that I mustered..."The prettiest thing about you is that the hard stuff in your life didn't make you hard, people can tend to get mean when life doesn't go their way, and you are so sweet still. "Thank you for saying that" I said. She started to walk away...and then turned around and said..."You are a precious, precious girl." Oh my gosh...yep my eyes got wet then. I don't think that she even realized what she left me with that day. When things go wrong, you blame yourself and dig out every single shortcoming about who you are, you carry all the blame...but the reality is....sometimes things just don't go the way you planned, it doesn't make you less than who you are and you can still be awesome, regardless of the lows!! I soooo hope that I'm just like her when I get gentle and sweet but strong in her thoughts. <3

How people treat other people is a direct reflection of how they feel about themselves.

I'd say this is pretty accurate. Most days I feel pretty good about the job I'm doing as a human being, and try to live my life like that, like Caroline...being kind....just to be kind. It's her birthday soon and I hope her day is incredibly blessed....wish she knew how thankful I was for that day in my office...she gave me a lil something that I really needed.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sunday chat with James

This weekend had ups and downs for me. Great fun with my girlfriend and periods of reflection....but in the middle of a low came a little bit of therapy from an unexpected place. On the dating site amidst mostly men who are only out for one thing or to play a quick game of messing with your mind, I have found very few who stand behind what they say or who really stand for anything. I will say that I have been fortunate to have a couple good experiences with really good men, just not the right men for me. When I start talking with someone I am almost always skeptical, initially believing that they are about to lay out an essay of lies. It sounds horrible but sadly it's the truth. This morning I started talking to a guy named James. As per usual, I got into game mode ready with any come back for anything he had to say. His profile said he was just looking for friends....yeah right...who is just looking for friends? We started with small talk, witty banter, and a teensy bit of intellect thrown in. We chatted online for 2 and a half hours and then he asked if we could talk on the phone. I said sure. On the phone the conversation was just as easy. We laughed a ton. I told him that he shouldn't have any trouble meeting someone when he changes his status from friends. He said he wasn't ready and I asked why......he got super quiet, did the guy clearing of the throat thing and I could hear a little shake in his voice. He got married to his high school sweetheart when they were 19, the love of his life he said. Four of the best kids in the world and a life that made him thankful every single day to be alive. He kept the two oldest and his wife took the two youngest to see her sister. On their way home, there was accident and all of them died. Oh my gosh, I kept it together....told him how sorry I was for his loss....and then he said "That's why I'm not ready yet, it wasn't supposed go like this." We talked about how life takes you on this completely unexpected road, when the only thing you want is the known path and how you constantly adjust your mind for the new changes. I'm emotional today and I hate that because Sundays are usually my favorite day. I was having a hard time not losing it during our chat....and then he said the one thing that I always say. "How do you create a new forever.....she was my forever." Oh heck, I started bawling like a baby, he was crying too. It was the saddest thing and also the most comforting thing at the same time. Another person feeling the exact same way. I told him I don't know....told him that I have a hard time seeing forever with anyone, all of them leave at some point, why plan for the future? He said it breaks his heart that someone so sweet and compassionate would feel like everyone will leave her. We talked about other stuff and going for coffee and Fish Creek park and how he's never been to the zoo. He said he feels like the pain won't ever leave and I told him that I remember that feeling. He asked what I did to get through it and I told him...."Do what you can today, and then tomorrow, wake up and do that again, over and over and over again." The pain gets to be less, the hurt softens and you change, you learn to adapt and most days are fantastic and in the midst of it there are really hard days, but you just keep doing it. We ended the conversation on a high note....talking about the summer and plans. Both of us thanked the other for being a friend on one of the low days. That conversation gave me perspective on a day when I really needed it from a neutral source. All of us are broken in little ways, all of us stomp in our own puddles but listening to him talk about the way he loved her, still loves was so hear him be so raw and fragile in describing how he feels. Mostly he gave me the best reminder....Love your people....cherish the moments, choose the hill your gonna die on, don't take any of it for granted because it can all change in the fraction of a second. I need to remember that. Someday I'll do forever with someone.....when I'm ready for it....but for now, I'll be so thankful for sweet little moments like today, where a man reminded me that we are all trying to figure our way through some of the toughest hurts of our life. Thank you James for spending your Sunday with this girl. :)