Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Grace

Dear Stevie,
We are late on our $24 internet bill. I think it was due a week or so after you died; shockingly, it kind of slipped my mind. So this morning I called to pay it. The person I talked to was not so nice. "Ma'am, you are over 2 weeks late with this bill," she stated. "I know. Sorry. Can I just pay the balance?" I said, credit card in hand. "If you would have waited any longer, they would have shut off service." "Okay, can I just pay what I owe?" "Just so you know, after two weeks they generally shut off service and you have to pay a reinstatement fee to get it started again."

I wanted to say at this point was, "Okay, lady, give me a break here. You wanna know why I'm two weeks late taking care of this? My baby died when I was 6 and a half months pregnant 3 weeks ago. I'm so sorry that my $24 Qwest bill was not at the top of my priority list as I've been trying to pick up the pieces of my broken life since coming home from the hospital. Now please, stop lecturing me and let me pay the balance so I can get on with my plans for the day: bawling on the couch and watching my sixth season this month of Law and Order SVU. Thanks."

Of course I didn't say any of that. But lately I find myself always wanting to tell people what happened to me. It's strange. It's like if anyone is the least bit crabby or "mean" to me, I want to say, "guess what, my baby died." That will really show them! Like the guy who rudely cut us off in the car the other day. I wanted to open my window and shout out, "Hey! I hope you know our daughter just died!" Yeah, that would make him feel bad for what he just did to us. Poor, poor us. I just want everyone to know what we're going through and cut me some slack because of it.

Then I started to think, what if that guy who cut us off is also going through something horrible? Could he also deserve to be "cut some slack" for driving like an idiot?

Your death has made me realize that everyone deserves a little grace. Because really, who knows whether or not that crabby gas station cashier is acting that way because she's just not a very nice person, or because her house is getting foreclosed? Or whether that lady who ran into me with her cart at Cub without so much as an "excuse me" simply has no manners, or if she's really just distracted over the death of someone she loves. You just never know. Before you died, I would get angry at these types of people, maybe even shoot them a dirty look or something. But now, I wonder if they're like me. In need of a little grace.

I guess you're teaching me to be a nicer person. To give people the "benefit of the doubt" more often. Thank you for that, Stevie.

I love you so much and think about you constantly. I hope you know you'll always be Mama's little girl.

Missing you always,
Mom

5 comments:

Violet1122 said...

I know what you mean Kristin. Nowadays, when someone is acting weird or kinda jerky, my mind automatically wonders if they have lost a baby too.

I'm sorry the internet lady was not so nice. It's so bizarre how the world keeps turning, even when our worlds have crumbled apart.

Antoinette said...

I think the SAME way Kristin, I automatically assume EVERYONE is an angel mommy or daddy when I see them sad...I think of teachers i had in school that were bitter and wonder if they were BLM, I had an old lady on my block who hated the sight of us playing and i wonder if it was a reminder of the baby she lost or never was able to have...I TOO want to tell everyone "my baby died this is whats the problem" and i have to admit I HAVE.....my auto insurance was about to be cancelled and I wrote an email to my broker explaining the lapse in my mind and she was SO undertanding she gave me an extension...sometimes its not that you are using it as an excuse, but instead are giving the reasons...generally people will be sympathetic to your loss, but be prepared the WHOLE world isnt so nice. xoxo

kerrij said...

Kristin your story about Qwest reminded me of when my brother passed away. He had some overdue library books that needed to be returned, and I headed over to the library to return them for my sister in law. At the desk, I told them that I was returning the books for my brother and wanted to pay the late fees. The woman abruptly told me since I wasn't the library card holder that I couldn't do anything on his account. I told her he had passed away and I just wanted to pay the fines. She kept saying, but you aren't on the account. I guess for me, it's a "blessing" it's a small town, because I finally got fed up and told her "Remember the accident that made front page news a few days ago? That was my brother and I'd like to pay his library fines." She finally let me, after much hemming and hawing.

You have a lot more grace than I do, but I'm glad I finally got through to that woman. :) I don't even think the fines were $5.

Leanne said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing this. I had never thought about it that way. Now I will look at people and situations differently too. Thanks!

Lara + Chris said...

Oh, my gosh, Kristin. I could have SO written this myself. That third paragraph is just so exactly what I've been feeling lately. So much! (P.S. I do the Law and Order marathons too. When I was in the hospital for three days my brother figured out that I could watch it for eight hours straight between two different channels).

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