Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Wednesday

Did you ever know a gift shop lady volunteer at a hospital?  They are usually retired, grey haired, and kind hearted - or they wouldn't be spending their time, earning no money, working at a gift shop.  Particularly at a psych hospital.  Patients in the gift shop require a special kind of interpersonal skill I know I don't possess.  

One of my favorites died over the weekend.  Her face always lit up when I walked into the shop and she would say "Hi Mary!" as if she was waiting all day for me to come in and now that I had, her day was complete.  I am sure she treated everyone that way, but you would never know it, because you just felt so special because of the way she treated you.

I had planned to attend her funeral tomorrow.  But something else I absolutely must attend was scheduled at the same time.  So, instead of doing what I should be doing and being at my friend's funeral, I will be sitting in a stinky conference room discussing an event that I have a hard time talking about without crying, and I will sit there and calmly dissect the event like I am a robot.  I will write it up and analyze it and talk to people about what we can do better, and how we are not going to have this happen again, etc.  

Tonight I went over to my neighbor's.  I should have known not to do this.  She is moving.  It is their last night in their house.   As I left, she hugged me and thanked me for all that I have done for her (not that it was anything that wasn't a pleasure for me), and there were the waterworks again.  He husband found me a Kleenex and I got the heck out of there.  

I am sad tonight about a couple of losses. I know that tomorrow it will seem different.  But tonight, it feels so sad.

Good bye Erma.  You were a one of a kind.  They don't make 'em like you anymore.  I will miss you terribly.  

14 comments:

Steve E. said...

Made me sad to read this blog...never realized I 'felt' something of what others feel...so much...so often. Even when I do not know them, never met them. Must be age catching up?

Ed G. said...

Some days are tough...

God go with you...

Blessings and aloha...

dAAve said...

a reason
a season
a lifetime

Gin said...

I am thinking of you today as you are thinking of your friend and missing her.

Scott W said...

I love people like Erma. Smiles and loving hellos are contagious.

Lou said...

You described the gift shop ladies to a T.

May your sadness ebb away minute by minute.

AnyEdge said...

I work in a hospital, and I see them a lot. I always try to make friends with the people I work with: Kathy, the salad lady, who always gives me extra croutons even though she's been chewed out for it. Henry, the guy at the info booth with a huge smile and a huge belly and a thousand military pins on his lapels....

We can walk by or we can take notice. I know we're all busy. Taking notice is better, for me anyway.

Pam said...

I person should not have to lose two people in one week. That ain't right.

Patty said...

Sorry you are down today Mary. I am just stopping by to catch up and thank you for sharing your journey, one year at a time with us. I really enjoyed reading it. And congrats on the tri-athalon, I bought a cute running outfit yesterday. I have to admit I am going to try it because I heard about the runners "high." After being smoke free for over a month I can walk briskly without getting winded,and get some endorphins going. You inspire me with your recovery and your athleticism. Have a great Holiday weekend.

Tall Karen said...

These people made a difference in your life, and I think that's what God wants each of us to do. I'm willing to bet you made a difference in their lives too.

Syd said...

I'm really sorry to hear about Erma. She sounds like a special person. Some days I have a difficult time with any kind of loss. But the losses that you speak of are really hard.

Prayer Girl said...

My heart weeps with yours.

Your description of Erma gives me something I would like to strive towards.

God bless and I love you, Mary -
Prayer Girl

Carol said...

Your post really hits me because a work friend just told me today that he is having a work up for a pretty aggressive cancer. I'm trying not to feel like we've already lost him.

Trailboss said...

Mine and So's dad voluntered at the gift shop at the Catholic Hospital in our town after he retired. He was very good. He always loved people, especially kids so he made a lot of people happy while there. That is where he met his wife Linda. She was 20 yrs his junior and even though they were only married 13 yrs he said she was the love of his life. She died in 1999 from Aplastic anemia. He followed her 6 months later. I honestly believe he died from a broken heart.