Monday, February 15, 2010

Reality Bites.

Last Friday a man I used to work with a Kmart came in. I don't want to use his real name so I will call him Dave. When I started there I worked in the garden center and he was the department manager. He left Kmart a few months after I started. Dave's wife also worked there. I don't remember where she worked when I started. She had several different jobs in the time I was there. I liked her but we were not close. I knew that her health has been bad for some time now. A month ago she and Dave were shopping at Wal-Mart. I didn't recognize her at first. She looked terrible. Dave told me Friday that she is at home but is under hospice care. I don't know how old she is, but she is younger than me.

Dave was back in the store Sunday morning. We were never close friends, but I have always liked him. Both times he came in I listened more than I talked. With what he is going through that is the best thing to do. I have debated in my mind many times which is harder, what he is going through, watching your loved one slowly dying, or what happened to me, where death is sudden and unexpected. I still am undecided on it. Either one inhales vigorously.

At times like this some people will tell you, I know how you feel. They are well intentioned when they say that, but I'm sorry, unless you have lost a spouse you can't know what it feels like. My Lady and I have both been through it. She has had an extra whammy because she had a son who was born with spina bifida die at age 13. That I can't imagine. She doesn't talk about it much but I am there for her anytime she wants to.

I have done for Dave the best thing that I can do. He now has my phone number and I told him anytime he wants to talk just call. Sometimes the best therapy is to just get things off your chest. It helps to have someone who knows what you are going through. Sometimes we get so rushed with everything going on in our lives that we overlook others. It never hurts to slow down occasionally and lend a friendly ear. I learned that lesson many years ago when I worked in the nursing home. The small things can have a tremendous impact.


A piece of news said...

Just this morning I got a call from a work acquaintance (a vendor) whose father became ill with cancer last year. He is dying now and there is nothing to do. I just listened.

We lost my brother slowly and my father swiftly with no warning. Each has its own agony.

What you did and what you have offered is the best thing and it is a great comfort.

Howard Bagby said...

Having been there I am willing to help him any way I can. At times like this we can feel helpless, but listening to someone is a great help to them.