It Matters (Carry On Tuesday – After All, Tomorrow Is Another Day)

Shandi-lee X {pieces I}

Image by Shandi-lee via Flickr

After three days of cold, grim weather and not wanting to get out of the comfort of my bed, today I saw the first suggestion of sunshine, still hidden behind the trees. It was a hint, a mere lighting of the sky but it gave me hope. I stood by the window unclothed until I saw lines from the white venetian blinds stripe my body as if I was a lioness; I threw back my head and laughed with delight. I marched straight for the shower, feeling empowered just by the light of day, not held captive anymore by the banal, grey, humorless me.

I dressed quickly, as if I had a purpose, and rounded my dog up, leashed her and took her outside for a walk. “Come, girl,” I said, “I know, it’s a surprise for me too.” She chose the route and I breathed in deeply for that first attack of the fresh, cold, crisp air, like the first bite of a fall Macintosh apple. We passed a tree that had small, round inedible, red berries on it and I stood there for a few moments looking at them through different angles of my cold hands through the frail winter branches against an intensely rich blue sky.

I thought of what I had been through the last year and the first thought that entered my mind was that “it matters.” People don’t truly understand that when you promise something, and you give people your word, they believe you. They may never bring it up to you again,  but, they do remember. It’s not some hazy questionable memory either, it’s with alarming clarity. “You must come for dinner” people told us when we had no place to live but a single hotel room, “I will call you this week” they said soothingly as I sobbed on the phone, feeling utterly helpless, my husband just having had surgery, believing them.  They never called, they never came through on their empty promises or the promises they made at the time, apparently off the cuff. Next time, busy people, try to think it through because for people who feel homeless or displaced, we cling to the thought of an offer of a home-cooked meal, an offer from your heart when we feel we have nothing left.

“We’ll miss you, we love you” said the young replacement friends in the temporary home and of course, I am too gullible. I am too sensitive and too thoughtful and I take things too seriously. I believe people and even at my old age, I still have not learned that most people, the majority of people say things that they do not mean. Even one of my best friends knew I was in trouble and yet she did what most people would do and pushed me off into a corner until she had more time on her hands. I know my standards are high, too high, but I could not do that and sleep well at night; actually I could not sleep at all. Even when I was crying out for help albeit weakly, people acknowledged it and said “after all, tomorrow is another day” and turned their heads away.

Be careful of your words, be careful of your intentions, be kind to one another. Don’t offer things unless it is with a true heart  especially if they are vulnerable and lost unless you KNOW you can carry through. We have all felt lonely and sad and desperate one time or another. Remember that feeling when you see someone suffering like a child gripping her mother’s hand in fear. Remember too, that it could be you someday, that it could be you.

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10 thoughts on “It Matters (Carry On Tuesday – After All, Tomorrow Is Another Day)

  1. I’m like you this way (or was ~ I like to think I’ve hardened over the years). ((( hugs ))) I wish we were closer to each other, I would0have insisted you hang with me in my house and let me pamper and spoil you for hours. I don’t think people understand or mean to let others down, they just become so consumed by their own lives and/or distracted by the invitations for fun they receive. Some however, say the things they think are proper to say, and to be socially accepted as a caring person, without the character to give up their time to listen to a friend who is “down.” Just as some will never visit others in the hospital, it is uncomfortable and they lack the inner beauty to force themselves for the betterment of someone they care about.

    Their actions say less about how they feel about you (they probably DO love you – how could they not?), but says more about who they are. You’ll probably hear from those who “disappeared” when things are back to normal and you are happy and fun to be with again.

    I got rid of all those types of friends (or at least pushed them way into my background) in favor of those who are the same type of friend that I am (in sickness and in health, I’m more comfortable helping or trying to help, or at least being there to listen).

    You and I had our worst summers… and couldn’t do much more than check in with each other from time to time. But that was more than even formally close relatives did for me and my kids (their niece & nephew stuck at home). I hope knowing I was here helped in a small way. Hope this isn’t TMI… or more of a downer for ya. 😛

    I’m so happy you and your fur-baby got out today! If that sun stays out and I’m good after PT, I think I’ll take mine into the backyard for some catch-time. 🙂

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  2. I have gotten the same thing from people. And it does matter. I keep being told it’s not intentional…but it matters. I reached out for help so many times when I could do nothing…those friends who I thought were so close…I no longer think that.
    I believe in people. Believe friends are friends’ who watch out for and help each other.
    So many have proven me wrong. But I will never abandon a friend in need. Never. But now I have a lot fewer friends to worry about.
    You are right. It matters.

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  3. Is it that people think their words will make you feel better, even if they don’t follow through? No, I think their words make THEM feel better. But, as soon as they turn the corner they forget all about you. I hide from people in the grocery store and at church. I don’t want to hear their false promises.

    I’m so sorry that your friends made you so sad when you needed them. If you lived near me you could have come and lounged on my couch and watched TV while Cassie played in the yard with Tootsie. Dan could have propped his foot up on the recliner, and we would eat cereal and popcorn for dinner…remember I don’t cook.

    so sorry
    mo

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