Sometimes when I read comments here on the blog, I worry that you all have an incorrect image of me. I am not perfect. I am far from it. I don’t have the perfect family. I haven’t always been the person I am today. I’ve made tons of mistakes. I’ve said the wrong thing at the wrong time. I’ve hurt people’s feelings. I’ve yelled too hard. I haven’t been patient when being patient is what the situation needed. I’ve lost my temper. I’ve been unkind. I’ve not treated people with respect. I’ve thought of myself above others. I’ve rolled my eyes. I’m a person full of flaws.
Let me explain.
On Memorial Day I wrote a blog post saying that maybe we shouldn’t say “Happy Memorial Day” as Memorial Day is the day we stop to honor soldiers who fought for our freedom and died. They are the ones who died in uniform. I said that “Happy” seems like the wrong word. You are read the whole post HERE.
Brenda made a comment that said, “I so agree but ALWAYS wonder at the end of the day how many times I thoughtlessly wished someone a “happy” memorial day. We have had family in every war since the Revolutionary War and suffered no loss of life. Injury YES but no loss of life.”
I’m right there with you Brenda. I’ve said so many wrong things in my life. I’m surprised people here on the blog or anywhere have stuck with me for so long. Like I said…I am flawed.
I have said “Happy Memorial Day”…but a few years ago when someone pointed it out to me that maybe “Happy” wasn’t the right word, I listened and took it to heart. Will I say it again? Likely. BUT, I’m trying not to. I’ve consciously thought about it and don’t want to. Will it slip because it’s a habit and common…truthfully, I probably will. It won’t be consciously. It won’t be intentional…but I know better now so I’m going to try to do better.
Before I had family members that have dealt with infertility I completely took fertility for granted. I would say callus things like”maybe next time things will go better”. I’ve made comments like “I’m surprised you haven’t had kids yet”. Yep. I was that girl. I’ve seen infertility through the eyes of two of my nieces and through my own daughter. Now I know how hurtful some comments can be. I know like me, the people who said them likely had no idea my daughter was trying to have children but things weren’t working. They had no idea the udder disappointment that plagued Kelli each month…just like I had no idea.
I know better now, so I do better. I don’t say those things.
I have been in a situation. We were at a party. A person came up to the circle of people that I was chatting with and out of the blue the person said to someone in our circle, “I’m surprised you aren’t expecting yet”. The others of us who were standing there were flabbergasted. I didn’t know what to do. Very pointedly I quickly said, “It doesn’t work the same way for all of us.” Luckily Kalissa was there with me in the group I was talking with and she quickly changed the subject. Still, I’m sure our friend was hurt.
No one who is going through infertility needs a reminder of their pain. No one needs to know that others are noticing.
The list goes on and on over what I have learned.
I’ve learned to keep my political opinion mostly to myself. No one needs to know how I vote. I was talking to a childcare mom of mine and we both agreed that it doesn’t matter to us who others support as long as they don’t throw it our face…in return, we won’t throw our opinions in other’s faces either. I’ve seen so many people hurt and relationships are broken over this last election cycle. The childcare mom and I both had dealt with people we love getting hurt…no relationships will ever be the same. Was grinding an opinion so important that it was the cost of a relationship?
Sometimes we need to see the bad or experience the bad to know to we need to do better. You will never see me outrightly support or deny any candidate here because I don’t want to hurt anyone with my opinion. Relationships are more important to me than a candidate or political party. I wish others would have realized that before hurtful things were said that can’t be taken back.
I wasn’t always that way…but now I know better…and I do better.
I love this from Maya Angelou…
I am trying so hard to live this. I’m trying so hard to forgive myself for things I’ve said and done in the past…many times because I didn’t know better. Often things were said and done because I was young. I didn’t have the life experience. I was a lucky one who didn’t struggle with fertility. I was a lucky one. I was born to parents who loved me and took good care of me.
Along the way I heard some of the rude comments people can make. I was a college girl and ended up pregnant. I quit college and married the guy. That guy was Kramer.
I heard all sorts of things…
-she trapped him
-she was our hope of someone in the family to finish college
-do you think that is going to last
-can you believe it
-how are they ever going to make it
The person who was my help…my mom. I’m so thankful she was there for me. She didn’t treat me badly. She didn’t yell. She told me not to marry him if I didn’t love him. She pulled up her bootstraps and went to work. She made my wedding dress when the rude gal at the bridal shop laughed and said there was no way to get a dress with two months’ notice. She made two bridesmaid dresses and catered the entire event. Not a single word was said to me that wasn’t kind or helpful. I will always love her for that.
Because of my experience, I have gone out of my way to try to be a support to other gals who find themselves pregnant and not married in the traditional way. I’ve made a point to not be what others were to me.
Sometimes I have to experience something myself to learn best how to not handle situations. Sometimes I have to see someone close to me going through it to know. Sometimes a good book…or even a good movie brings something to light for me, but there is always something that comes my way that teaches me lessons.
My cancer has taught me HUGE lessons. Kramer’s cancer and death have taught me HUGE lessons as well. I hope I can take those lessons and apply them…I don’t want to be the rude lady who came up to one of my kids at Kramer’s celebration of life and said, “He should have known better not to smoke”. Lady, that was not the time or place to ever say that…and truly, I don’t think there’s ever a good time to say that. Besides, don’t you think we knew that??? Think it in your head if you need to, but shut your mouth. That really hurt my kid. It hurt them a lot as the lady didn’t have the sense to just shut her mouth there…she droned on about it. You can bet my kids will not have a good thing to say about her ever.
When I was younger, lessons had to hit me like a brick. My eyes weren’t open. I couldn’t see. Nowadays, I look for lessons. I want to do better. I know I haven’t always been the best. I can look back and see that. I don’t want to be the old lady stuck in her ways that can’t see past what she’s thought she always knew. I don’t want to be the rude lady at Kramer’s service. I don’t want to hurt a friend with my loud opinion. I want to be open to seeing that my simple actions or words can truly help someone and make them feel better.
I also want to remember that sometimes, my inaction is what is needed. That can be tough too.
I recently saw this cross stitch chart and immediately bought it even though I’ve been trying to cut my cross stitch spending. It says, “I myself am made entirely of flaws stitched together with good intentions”.
I love the saying. It is so true. It’s a Kathy Barrick design called Good Intentions.
I’m not perfect. I will at some point likely say, “Happy Memorial Day”. It’s hard to make the change. But I am trying. I am trying so hard to better. It’s a daily struggle for me. I’m trying to look for ways to be better…say the right thing…do the right thing. Thankfully I’ve learned to forgive myself for the things I did wrong. I’ve accepted that I am a work in progress. I’m still open to learning new lessons. I’m still growing and striving to do better. I hope you are too.