It’s been close to two months now. Count-keeping has become inevitable. The date displayed on my computer’s bottom right-hand corner says it is 5/8/2015.
I hit the pavement two months ago, figuratively speaking. My face had to have broken my fall because for weeks, the mirror reflected the injury. No matter which way I tried looking and how I tried hiding – the fractures, the cuts, and the bruises were ever-present. Embattled beyond words.
I spent my days sitting on the curb staring at every wound and my nights fell victim to the constant play and rewind of thoughts, words and many tears. My professional life had been violently shoved into somber terrain. The harmful blow caused a degree of internal injury that I had never experienced before.
It has taken me almost two months to go through Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ Stages of Loss & Grief. Just this week – this Monday – I wore my high heels again to work (yes, I teach in heels). I wore my nice earrings – fixed my hair and included eye shadow in make-up routine. It may sound like too much information – but for the first time, I smiled into the same mirror that two months ago refused to show my true reflection.
[Disclaimer: I dress up for work – it empowers me to deliver a better lesson to my audience]
I had tried to #CelebrateMonday, you see. Talk myself into having a great week. The drive to work though, was just a reminder of how events had unfolded.
This Monday, though, I wanted to succeed. I must confess that the Kleenex commercial featuring Estelle’s “Do My Thing” nudged me a little bit.
[Disclaimer: Commercials are all I get to pay attention to as my toddlers have taken over the media in my house]
I stopped at a convenience store for breakfast and coffee the way I routinely did every morning. As I wait in line, I am approached by a stranger. I recognized him from the many a time I’d walked in early to order my food. He and a group of people routinely sit at a table near the coffee hub. We exchanged “Good Mornings” and “Have-A-Good-Day-s” almost every morning. He is holding a white paper bag and proceeds to say the following:
“Good morning ma’am. We have been waiting for you to show up for a long time. We had missed your smile. We often wondered what had happened to you and if you were okay. Here is this coffee mug – we notice you buy coffee every morning. It is a gift for you – you earned it a long time ago. “
He probably didn’t understand why my eyes filled up with tears. It blew my mind that people outside my world would take note. Never will they know how much it meant to me that my absence had been felt in that coffee place at 7:15am every morning. Whether my immediate nucleus credited me with worth became insanely irrelevant. I had made a difference in someone’s day – and I never knew it, until I broke.
A regression analysis was instantly made. The impact on others is monumental. Every smile, every handshake, every gesture is noted. Every word is heard and every action is felt. Whether we realize it or not we either bless each other or..well..you fill that blank. I left the coffee place a "taller" person because someone chose to bless me. Whatever had been trying to destroy me for weeks, dropped powerless at the presence of genuine and kind.
So, Good Morning! and Have a Great Day!
The very breath in you today is proof that the assassins have failed.
Dedicated to my #GatorTribe
@asaelruvalcaba @Carlos_M_Lainez @C_TrejoLainez @jmcdonough33 @jonharper70bd @casas_jimmy @bradmcurrie @jennifer_hogan @dashthebook