People are kind. They ask me how I’m doing. It’s been ten months since Eric passed and I’m more able to answer that question these days without dissolving into a puddle. I don’t mean that it’s an “accomplishment” to be crying less. It’s more convenient, though, and it’s easier to talk to people I love. I buy less Kleenex.
You know, time really does heal. But when I mentioned this old saying to a wise friend recently, she said, “Yes, honey, but it depends on how you spend your time. You spend it well.”
Oh. True. Yes. There’s that.
What the last ten months have done for me is tenderize me. I didn’t think it was possible for the center of me to be more tender, but it is. It just is.
Kind gestures and natural ways of being especially move me.
The three young women I met this week in the Mills River Family Dental office, honestly, they blew me away. They were awake in their heart, alive in their eyes and their intelligence. They were attentive and aware of anything I might want to know about being a new patient there. This “hello, nice to meet you, what can I do for you” sort of thing is so simple in a way, and yet it makes quite a positive difference to someone like me, walking into their office for the first time.
Then there was the dentist himself, Dr. Stohl, a young guy, a straight shooter. I can say (and mean it) that I look forward to working with him on the lovely project in my mouth.
At Unity of the Blue Ridge last Sunday a dear woman came up to me and gave me a hug. She said, “I wanted to tell you how much I love your writing and the subjects you talk about. Your words have helped me so much. I don’t comment on everything, or let you know that I’ve read it. I just want you to know how your words move me.” Her eyes welled up and she gave me another hug.
Well isn’t that a nice thing to hear? Isn’t that a nice thing to know? Yes. So there’s that kind of tender, too, when someone reaches out and thanks you for who you are and what you do.
Monday evening at Womansong choir rehearsal, director Althea (one of my favorite people on this Earth) did the nicest and most simple, simple thing. I’m the Section Leader for the Middles, and I was dragging my feet about rescheduling the Sectional, which had been cancelled due to weather. (A sectional is a focused practice session scheduled outside of regular choir practice.) Althea and I had a conversation without words about fifteen feet from each other.
She caught my gaze very clearly as if to say, “How ’bout it, Terri, did you reschedule?” I signaled to her that I hadn’t. Did she become upset or cross? Nope. Did she take the opportunity to give a lecture to me or the choir about getting sectionals scheduled in a timely manner? Nope.
She smiled back. Yes, she smiled. As if my “no, I haven’t done it” was entertaining or at least no big deal, nothing to worry about.
And when Althea got home Monday night, she sent me a cheery email with simple details about her availability and a location that made re-scheduling a breeze. So I rescheduled the practice session. Done. That was easy. Because of kindness.
These examples of simple kindness happened inside two days.
Consider me tenderized.