Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tea and Sympathy

One of our regulars came in this week after a long absence. She had come in at least once a month for several years, and I'd just been thinking about her and wondering why the absence.

I was delighted to see Barbara when she walked in the door. She looked fabulous, as usual, always dressed to perfection. Something underneath the surface was different, though. As we caught up on events of the past 6 or 8 months, I'd shared how my husband and I had lost our entire animal family--a beautiful Siberian Husky, Kira, and two lovely cats, Chelsea and Eykis. She was totally sympathetic and recounted her sad losses of these past few months.

One day, coming home after running some errands, she found her elderly husband dead after apparently falling down a flight of steps. And, as if that wasn't shocking enough, a short time later, her only son was diagnosed with cancer and died soon after. My heart broke for her! I couldn't imagine how difficult that must have been to bear. I asked her how she was even still standing, and she said that she'd decided she just needed to move on with life. With one foot in front of the other day by day, she managed to move into a new house to distance herself from the horrible memory, and is putting her life back together. Still undoubtedly in shock, but moving forward, and living life. Eleanor Roosevelt said, "A woman is like a teabag. You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water." I am totally in awe of Barbara's strength.

We shared a few more sips of tea, now both perhaps better understanding the pairing of 'Tea and Sympathy'.

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