Not going to see my parents this weekend resulted in a quick packing of the gifts and visit to the post office to send them. I dropped off G and lamented the fact I really REALLY needed coffee. After, we visited Powell’s for a book for a friend – another gift. And then I really needed coffee. And all the time, G was not sure he felt well – fluctuating between “I’m fine” and “I’m not sure I should be here”. After that quick visit, book in hand, we went to get coffee. He requested the place because he wanted a biscuit too – a specialty of this bakery’s. I didn’t care – I knew they had good coffee.
The line was huge – and we waited then ordered quickly hoping it would be a short wait.
As we were waiting (because it was not short), I read a post Amanda Palmer had made on her Facebook page. A long post about visiting her best friend, leaving for the night, realizing she forgot her keys, then finding herself in the middle of helping some people who got bad news about someone they loved. A young woman – accident – she is alive but paralyzed from the neck down.
I read her story about the night – and tears formed in my eyes. She was a mother – a sister – a partner – and a friend – and now her life was inside out. Amanda did what she could get them pointed in the right direction. Even walked them to a hotel and made sure they each had a toothbrush for the night. And as I read, I could feel the tears well up in my eyes. The story was touching but sad. I could not help but feel the pain, the confusion, the wondering what was next, what should be done next.
Before the tears really came down, a little boy – about 3 years old – started singing
“Oh my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling Clemintine….”
His dad tried to sshhh him, but I started laughing. Ironically the woman in the story had a child too – a young one who will be about the same place sooner than expected.. It seemed fitting that while the story was making me cry – a kid made me laugh. I didn’t care. No one did. This sweet little boy – his little voice rising even above the din of the bakery – really made us all smile and laugh.
We got our stuff soon after and went to the car.
“Are you ok?” G asked.
“Yeah – I just don’t know how to explain it,” Then I tried.
He nodded and responded as expected, but I was still in a weird space – that space where I could laugh while I cried.
“Let’s go down there and get a $5 christmas tree,” he suggested.
“Ok – the kids will be happy to have a tree for the first time in years.”
Then I flashed on when my kids sang like that – their sweet little voices could do nothing less than raise the spirits despite the situation.
It was what I needed.
Though that woman….sigh….I can do nothing less than hope she pulls through – that she is well – and can hear her own child sing to hear to heal her soul. So she can laugh when she really wants to cry.