Two Thursdays ago, was a pretty regular day. Work, run home for lunch, let the dogs out, and enjoy some patio time. The norm, really.
The mailman stopped by at lunch. “This isn’t yours, is it?” referring to a Talbots package addressed to the woman who used to live here. I responded, “Nope, can you still forward it, or do you want me to track her down? I think I still have her new address.” “Nope, I’ll get it forwarded,” he said while he handed me the rest of the mail. I didn’t even have a chance to go back into the house, I just dropped the mail in the garage by the door and went back to work. I never even looked at what was in the stack.
After work, I poured a glass of wine, made a drink for the Hubby, changed into comfy clothes, and came back downstairs to figure out what to do for dinner. The Hubby brought the mail in from the garage saying, “Did you mean to leave this out there?” “Nope,” I responded.
Junk, junk, bill, bill, 20 catalogs, card addressed to me from one of my past clients. “That’s sweet…very nice,” I thought. Some of them still keep in touch; send pictures of the kids, etc. This client had just had her second baby last year, and I was looking forward to the picture.
I pulled the card out of the envelope and opened it. “Awe, great picture.” But then I thought, “wait, that’s not my client.” I looked at the envelope – hmmmm. Same first name, different last name. So I read the card. And then I read the card again…and then again.
All I had to do was read the first sentence, and I knew. But I kept reading it, over and over…and looking at the picture. And then I sat down in the chair, and held my chest and cried, and holy moly, I couldn’t breathe. Crap, I really can’t breathe. I got up, went back upstairs to find the Hubby, and all I could do was hand him the card with the picture and cry, and hold my chest.
Naturally, he thought someone had died.
I must have walked away, or been pacing, or trying to breathe, or something, because the Hubby had to come find me.
Hubby: Wow, are you okay, is this what I think it is?
The note inside was a little cryptic and I knew, I just knew why it was written that way.
Me: It is. She wrote it that way in case someone else read it who doesn’t know; isn’t that amazingly considerate?
Hubby: What are you going to do? Can I call you “grandma” now?
And my tears turned to laughing, he’s so good at that.
Me: Very funny. Aren’t they gorgeous? Look at the picture. She sounds okay, right? I mean, not mad, not ready to punch me in the nose? I have to email her.
I thought I had to do it right away, because if it had been me, I’d be throwing up over the anxiety of not getting a response, or getting a scary response, and every day would get worse.
Hubby: You sure you don’t want to give it the 24 hour rule?
That’s what we TRY to do when we have to respond to something that’s made us mad, or sad, or emotional, and we’re afraid we’ll say something stupid. I think it applies in a business environment, and probably should as well in our personal lives, but in this case I couldn’t wait. For my sake as well, if I’m going to be totally honest.
Me: Nope. I at least have to say “yes” I want to talk. And try to let her know how amazingly brave I think she is. I can’t imagine how hard this had to be for her.
I’m thinking at this point, that there could be no way she would know or believe that a day does not go by that I don’t think of her and hope and pray she has been ‘okay’.
I use that word a lot, “okay”. I think because it implies just that: Okay. Not Great, not Oh-My-Gosh-The-Best-Ever. Just that under the circumstances, not horrible, not bad, not miserable. Okay.
So I hit “send” after re-reading the very short and simple note, wondering if it was enough to say, or the right thing to say, or will she think I’m an idiot.
Finally, I thought, ”Thank God I didn’t open the mail at lunch!”
And then it was my turn to wait for a response.