Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Take care of you

There I stood.  Trapped.  In a group of women.  The day before mother's day.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the conversation turned to the next day.

Breakfasts and lunches and dinners in their honor.


What spouses were doing for them.

What kids were doing for them.

Then bitching.  Mainly of the mother in law variety.

All of the pain and grief were at the forefront of my mind. 

I was holding back tears.

There was no way to get out of it. 


Don't run.

These were people I work with, after all.

No escape.

Then it happened.

I felt her take a step closer to me and interlocked her arm in mine.

I don't know what made her do that.  Maybe she saw the pain in my eyes?

She took over the conversation. 

She skillfully put an end to the mother's day conversation with no one realizing what she did and moved on to the next topic.

Except I noticed.

She brought me back down to earth.

She made me feel like I wasn't alone.

Without drawing a single bit of attention to me.

I will be forever grateful.

A little bit later we both happened to be leaving the function.  As we departed ways to head to our respective cars, she gave me a big hug.  She whispered in my ear "take care of you."

This woman is a mother.  But I think she also knows the pain that mother's day can bring.  She left an abusive relationship when her daughter was a toddler and raised her on her own.  She never had a partner to make a big deal out of the day. 

She knows that I don't have any children.  She knows I can't have children because I matter of factly stated as much at a business dinner a few weeks ago.  But she doesn't know the whole story.  She didn't know me during the infertility years.

But she understands.  At least little bit. 

And on that day she saved me.

I'm pretty sure she doesn't know how much it meant to me. 


  1. How I wish all of us had a coworker with a kind heart!

  2. Reading this brought tears my eyes. I am so thankful for your kind co-worker.

    I had a classmate that sat next to me during this past semester. She was so, so young but still so sensitive. When a professor would make a callous comment regarding "women who waited too long" or "people without children never understand" (etc., etc., what an awful, horrible semester it was), she would just reach under the table and squeeze my hand without even looking at me. Or, if we weren't sitting next to each other, when I would check my phone after class I would see she had texted me an "I love you" or a single heart emoji. It meant the world to me to be seen and remembered.

    I love your co-worker. I love her for getting it, for offering physical touch, for skillfully changing the conversation topic without anyone else even noticing, and for telling you to take care of yourself. I wish there were more people in the world like her.

    This was beautifully written by you. <3

    1. I'm so glad that you had someone there for you, too.

  3. Oh wow, I've got tears in my eyes too. How wonderful to have someone who diverted attention so skilfully.* How infuriating that she had to do it at all. Hugs.

    (* Yes, I stick to my British/NZ spelling!)

    1. British/NZ spellings are welcome on this blog! Honestly, I may not have noticed had you not pointed it out. :)

  4. It seems like this story makes us all cry (in a good way) ;-). Thanks for sharing!
    I am happy that you have such a wonderful colleague. And at the same time I am very sorry that in most situations, we are not "saved" like you were this time. I am sure it wasn't a big deal for your colleague. But for all of us it is.

    1. It was a huge deal. Having someone go to bad for us is always a huge deal to us.

  5. I got teary-eyed reading this too. :) A kind word &/or gesture, especially at the right moment, can be so, so powerful...!

  6. This affirms my faith in humankind. I'm so glad this coworker was there for you with silent and steady support when you needed it.

    1. In a world where examples of losing faith in humanity are rampant, it is nice to encounter a good human every once in a while.

  7. So terry eyed!!! What a lovely lady!!!! Take care of you.

    1. I didn't mean to make everyone cry! But I'm glad it struck a chord in the best way!

  8. Me joining with a Kleenex from across the Atlantic *raises hand*
    Thank you for sharing this.

    1. You are most welcome. I wish we all had someone like this.

  9. Oh, this is beautiful! Such power in a moment where someone notices, and does something to alleviate the pain and help you feel less alone and invisible in that situation. What a gift.