I have mentioned, on more than one occasion I suppose, how I do not care much for texting. Here is one reason to add to the ever-growing list of why I feel this way about this particular technology.
Today was my first day back at Hospice, it was a lovely day. I had missed MaryLou, my 80+ year-old counter part whom I have come to regard as a dear friend. Not to mention the IPU itself and the role I play there, and of course my mentor. It was a nice first shift back.
Towards the end of my shift I pulled out my cell for a moment, I was expecting a response from my girlfriend about dinner plans we are currently orchestrating. Upon unlocking my phone I found that I had multiple missed text messages from family. I was alarmed, this was unusual. I checked the first one, it was a simple “Are you busy? Can you talk?”. I decided to wait to check the others until I had completed my shift, my parents and Todd have my number at Hospice if it were an emergency they would have called and because they did not I felt that any other news that was maybe important but not emergent and possibly negative in nature would just distract me from my duties. There were only 15 minutes left to my shift anyway, it could wait.
When I left Hospice I had all but forgotten about the pile of text messages until I went to plug my phone into my car charger. I picked it up to call my sister-in-law back but decided I would check the other messages first.
Here is the part where I don’t like texting. It was shocking news, news that I took very hard. That is NOT the way to deliver that kind of news to a person. For example, this is not what happened but here is a scenario, a person’s father dies in an accident and you cannot get a hold of them.. You do not text them and say “your father died, call me asap.” That is awful. ” You say, I do not want to startle you but there is a family emergency please call me as soon as you get this message.” Gosh, I don’t know maybe that is even a little much. One way or the other you have to be careful what you put in a text, they are not delicate, they are just there, in your face. It is the bluntest form of bad news.
I immediately called my sister-in-law as instructed to find out what exactly was going on. That is the most I feel comfortable sharing about the news I received today. Like other cases of bad news before it, it is not mine to share therefore I choose not to divulge any details.
I do need to release some of what I am feeling right now though and after some consideration I have decided to allow myself to do it here.
I read something while at Hospice today and it resonated with me so much that I copied it down and put it in my purse, not knowing at the time that it would have further significance to me so soon after stumbling upon it.
So here is what I read:
To Draw Outside the Lines by Brian Bailey
The stories we love are filled with struggle, conflict, and failure, yet so often the stories we present to others are a highlight reel of accomplishments, perfect meals, and sunny days.
This excerpt made me think a little bit about society and myself of course. We put our best face forward at work, school, online, in social settings. We all strive desperately to have the rest of the world believe we are happier than we are, wealthier, more successful at work or in school, more loved or admired. I would be willing to wager that at least one of these items I have listed is true for everyone, I know it is the case for me even though of course I would be more comfortable not admitting that, if not these than something else I didn’t think of. The point is we fake it a bit. It goes back to vulnerability and what Brene Brown says about wearing armor etc. Whether it is because we are in some fruitless competition with the rest of society or just trying to save ourselves from the judgement of the outside world, we all, at times, omit truths about our lives. We all run that highlight reel and sell it as the whole picture.
So with these words ringing in my ears and a knot in my throat from emotions I have been trying to swallow all afternoon I have decided to share a little more than my highlight reel, I have made an agreement with myself to allow myself to be vulnerable. Now although I cannot share specifics about the situation I can at least share how devastated I feel.
When I read that text message today I felt like the wind had been knocked out of my lungs. After gathering as much info as possible I felt overwhelmed. I felt regret, worry, frustration and deep deep sorrow for another person. There is nothing I can do about what is going on, it is truthfully none of my personal business, although I may be affected later by the outcome. All I can really do is wait and see and be supportive to everyone involved. There is one person though that I worry for so deeply. I just hope someone, just one person at least has that person’s best interest in mind. I hope at least one person is in that person’s corner. I wish for that so desperately.
All afternoon since returning home I have done my best to busy myself as a way to distract from the ever-growing lump in my throat. I kept telling myself I just have to keep it together until Todd gets home then we can talk about it and I can let everything I am feeling out to be processed. I read emails, assembled our Christmas tree, started dinner early attempting to lose myself in the catharsis of vegetable chopping as I sometimes like to do. It was no use, half way through watching It’s a Wonderful Life I started to cry. Life isn’t fair and I don’t care if I do sound like a five-year old in the midst of a tantrum when I say that. It’s true. Some people get a raw deal with little chance to overcome it and just isn’t fair.
I wish Todd would come home already. My heart is so broken in this moment and I need some help to see past this hurt.