A Plea for Kindness

woman-1006100_960_720Every morning is hard these days. I welcome the night that I once feared because I know that no one will need anything. I won’t have to struggle through the meals, fights, school, cleaning of the house, changing diapers and wiping bums. I can just be. I can get lost in nothing and sit and stare at a TV all night to push back the feelings of hopelessness that have once again crept in.

It’s my default. Always has been and I fear always will be. As far back as I can remember I have had dark thoughts, even in childhood. Thoughts about ending my life when things get really hard; like they are now. I have not admitted this too many. In some ways I thought it was perfectly normal and if it was not then I would just be stronger. I could fight it, there was nothing really that wrong with me. I would just take a few days and then be better.

Wrong. Dead wrong.

Why am I admitting this now and so publicly? Because I do not want someone to go through what I had to today. I want you to read this story and either have hope that you are not alone or for you to stop and remember this post and the next time you have the urge to be rude to someone, that you would choose kindness and forgiveness instead.

Today after I finally got dressed, even though I have worn the same thing for four days now, I put on makeup. Which is a step up from pj’s, which has been my life for awhile now. I went to my daughter’s share day at her music class, reluctantly dropped my husband off at work because without him it has been hard. I decided hey, I’m not just going to leave the kids in the van this time to drop off some library books, I’m going to suck it up and let them have some joy of picking out books and some DVD’s. In and out. Ten minutes max, I told myself. I can handle that.

They searched and picked and I did the same. We headed to the self- checkout where I knew it was time to finally pay my library fines. Then among the shuffling of kids and whacking of hands away from turning off the computer, a lady came to wait next. I still had a stack of about twelve books and five movies I needed to check out. I took my time. Yes, I fully admit that because 1.) I wanted to make sure that all books were checked out properly. 2.) Rushing always makes situations like these worse. 3.) I wanted to make sure that each kid was holding their special book or movie so when we walked out of the library it was smooth sailing. 3.) I wanted to make sure that all the books were in that flimsy grocery bag properly so they didn’t fall out as I was walking out the door. Lastly I knew that there was an available librarian that could check out this other lady’s books if she was in that much of a hurry.

Let’s pause for a second ’cause I want to make sure you have this picture in your head: a depressed, tired mom with three young, excited children trying to check out 12 books, 5 DVD’s, pay some fines like a good citizen while a line was forming behind her, all the while trying to take her time so that crap doesn’t hit the fan when she turns around to leave the damn library.

All right, you got it? Let’s move forward.

I turned around and there was yet another lady waiting to check out her books. I looked up, she shook her head at me. The lady who was first decides to move my things out of the way (wallet, keys, etc.) which weren’t in a purse (because my new purse was already falling apart). I kindly said, “You know a librarian could have checked those out for you.” Now the second lady who was so “patiently” waiting said some nasty words to me about taking my time. Flustered and upset, I tried to make her see that I have three children and I’m trying my best. Her response? ” I DON’T CARE.”

And that is exactly the problem. Too many people do not give a crap, they don’t care. Not one of those ladies asked if they could help in any way. Not one person stepped up and offered help. The librarian didn’t offer her help to the other two ladies to get their items checked out. They all just stood and waited “patiently.”

And as I headed for the door angry, hurt, about to burst into tears, they all shook their heads and was glad for my departure. And wouldn’t you know it, the bag burst and the books that I had tried so hard to fit into that flimsy bad because I was too afraid to grab another, tumbled across the concrete and under my van.

To the ladies who did not have the patience or kindness, I want you to know this mom has lost two babies that she desperately wanted within a year. She said goodbye to a father whom she loved deeply despite everything, as he lay beautifully in his coffin only a month ago. She is a mom who is fighting to live and love as the loss weighs her down. She is a mom who is still trying for that baby and each day wonders and is fearful if she will have to say goodbye a third time.

To those who see  a mom (or anyone) struggling out in public, do not walk away. Ask if they need help. Offer a helping hand. If anyone in that library would have offered up help I wouldn’t have been sitting in my van bawling my eyes out, hurt and thinking once again I am worthless and once again having to fight and remember that I am NOT!

I will not raise my children to be like you. I was able to use this to teach them about kindness and forgiveness towards each other and to those that they encounter, so thank you for that. Please choose kindness. I have no idea what is going on in those women’s lives that they could not wait three minutes for me to gather my things and children. I say to those women: maybe you, too, are struggling. Maybe making others feel like an inconvenience is your way of dealing.

Even if you are not, I forgive you.

Originally appeared on The Voice He gave Me


 

shannon9_sq

 

I’m Shannon! Adventurer. Wife. Mommy. Photographer. Writer. I wear my heart on my sleeve and love Earnest Hemmingway quotes: “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Find her at The Voice He Gave Me and on Facebook and Instagram.

 

 


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