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.
These were people I work with, after all.
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.