At one point a few weeks, maybe months ago, I’d asked my Pharmacist in California if she had read anything about a particular diabetes medication having side effects where someone lost their sense of taste and not only lost energy but lost any desire to eat. She didn’t recall anything, so I went on my way.
Being from a small town in South Carolina, one of the things I love about a small town is that most everyone knows your name. When I lived there, though, I didn’t love that so much because there was very little privacy and it could take an additional thirty minutes to sit down at a dinner reservation. After moving from South Carolina to Denver, I began to appreciate things again like the pharmacist knowing your name. When I moved to the state that couldn’t be further away from my hometown unless it was Hawaii, I began to appreciate it again.
PTSD (Prior To Steve Dying) I connected with women that were loud, outspoken, made their presence known. ASD (After Steve Died) I began to see people that were quiet and less outspoken.
Today, I saw Jennifer. I decided to let Jennifer know that she didn’t have to worry about handing her customers the diabetes drug I’d previously asked her about. I told her that Dad in fact had Leukemia and all of the symptoms were early symptoms of his particular type of Leukemia.
She thanked me because she actually worried about it after I said it.
She asked how he was doing. I told her that he didn’t survive.
She asked how long ago. I said 32 days, but who’s counting.
She said the obligatory, I’m sorry. I said, thank you, but a lot of blessings and miracles came out of his death.
She gave me a look like she was scared to death of offending me but wanted to express her curiosity. It was a look that was like looking in the mirror. So I jumped right in.
I said I am now happy to report that I am a recovering people pleasing perfectionist. She asked at what moment that happened. I told her about 30 seconds after my Dad drew his last breath.
She told me a story about how she rewrote a sticky note 3 times because it wasn’t perfect and she didn’t want her employees to judge her sticky note.
I told her how some ugly things came out about my perfect family. And how relieved I was that those uneasy feelings or things that never made sense – all made sense.
I told her that when you lose someone that you love that much, everything slows down. Time, your thoughts, the ability to process things…and for the first time in my life, that was ok.
I shared about how much room you have in your brain once you let go of worrying what everyone thinks. I said, you know, like time to come over to a new friend’s house and have a glass of wine. (Hint Hint)
We talked about how noisy the world is. How impatient people are. Me, me, me and now, now, now.
The fun part is, as we are talking about this, I can see her scanning the space behind me to see if there’s anyone else she SHOULD be attending to.
I told her that if you can’t replace the word SHOULD with WANT, then DON’T DO IT.
I shared with her that my husband was waiting in the car and was probably annoyed about me taking so long and surely was going to give me a hard time when I got back to the car. Today I didn’t care. Jennifer needed to BE SEEN. And I needed to BE HEARD.
Even though my sweet and supportive (yet easily annoyed) husband was waiting in the car and there was a customer that just walked up, I decided not to apologize and run off, but instead, I finished my thought. That customer behind me didn’t know that I didn’t just walk up and start my transaction.
Just in case, I thanked the lady for allowing us to have a brief soulful conversation and I thanked her for her patience. My Mom always said that you can kill people with kindness, it just takes a little longer.
Jennifer asked for some suggestions:
Start today. Start right now.
Give yourself permission to stop being in a self appointed hurry with self appointed expectations
You can’t change 40 years worth of behavior over night.
Take baby steps.
God is going to give you lots of practice opportunities, so get ready.
And I couldn’t wait to come back in 30 days (because my refills require me to) to see how she’s doing.
My heart was so full. I plan to call Jennifer as soon as I get back home.
Oh and my husband, when I got back to the car, he asked what took me so long. Instead of defensively rationalizing or making an excuse about what took so long, I simply said that I had a nice moment with Jenifer the pharmacist. We then sat in his car for another couple of minutes while he finished watching the videos he’d been watching while patiently waiting for me. Then he asked if I wanted to sit there and watch the video. #smallmiraclesarethebest