(The term ‘micro-moments’ courtesy of Barbara Fredrickson from her beautiful book, LOVE 2.0 …..Review in a forthcoming post).
You may remember from last week’s post about Love, thanks to Nikki’s weekly prompt, I made mention that it can be found in the dabbing of tears using the corner of a tissue…well, I’d love to share the reason behind that thought.
I hope you enjoy my story…
I was sitting at a café recently, writing a draft for a post, when a message came through on my phone…
You see, my best friend, Jo, from school days, had been to visit with her unwell mum…
Jo and I met on day one of first year of secondary school and were inseparable for all of those six years.
Jo moved to Queensland from Melbourne within a few weeks after that final year. We haven’t seen each other frequently in the ensuing years, as life took a different path for each of us.
I remembered her dear mum fondly, as often you may with the parents of your school friends…watching how other parents ‘parented’ was always a fascination for me, and Jo’s mum, Helen was forthright in offering advice about shaving our legs, plucking our eyebrows, and had in fact, shown me how to hang socks on the clothesline to maximise their drying capacity!! These little things I’ll never forget…
Jo was bringing her mum to Melbourne for a visit and we were going to spend one precious afternoon in the city.
We simply loved our fleeting time together.
We laughed, shared a meal, walked around the city, mindful of the delicate nature of Helen’s health, and generally knew that the passing years had removed none of the affection we had for each other. We fell into ourselves as comfortably as if it were yesterday again.
We created many happy memories and to be totally yourself with someone you don’t see very often is a real privilege. The sense of connectedness, sharing of our past, remembering all the silly things we did as teenage girls…such as forgetting we were walking undercover while we huddled under an umbrella…brought pure joy at the reminiscing.
So, as with all things, it came to an end, and we reluctantly left each other later that evening, before new commitments took control of their final couple of days here.
The message that came through while I sat at the café on my own?
It was a photo Jo had sent of the aeroplane they were about to board…they were now at Melbourne airport, about to board to return to Queensland.
It had a huge emotional impact on me and tears welled up as I was sitting in the café, my tissue stained with mascara.
…I was embarrassed to go and pay for coffee, with what I imagined were rivers of black streaks down my cheeks. Even walking to the bathroom would have created a visual stir for others, I was sure!
There was a lady sitting in front of me by herself too.
I had a thought….
And may I add that it would have been easy to talk myself out of reaching out to this lady…
‘I don’t want to bother her,’ ‘she may be busy,’ she may tell me to leave her alone’…
Something compelled me to proceed.
I excused myself and asked her if I was obviously mascara-stained because I’d had a few tears. Her beautiful response was this:
She turned to me, lightly put her finger under my chin to lift my face, reached for a clean serviette and began dabbing at my face. I can feel a welling of emotion just typing these words.
It was, at that moment, as if we were the only two people in the café-
we were so in tune and in the moment. I felt very seen and accepted as I presented my raw self to her. She didn’t ask the reason for my tears, but simply wished me well and said she hoped my day improved.
I could offer nothing but a heartfelt thank you in return.
I will never forget this moment of ‘love’ and it’s also a lesson for me that people like to show kindness, if we just give them half a chance. We often prefer to give than to humbly receive. I often wonder why this is?
Perhaps its due to those messages we have all heard many times…’It’s better to give that to receive’…
Maybe it should say, ‘In giving, we receive’, which I believe to be true if we offer without expecting anything in return.
But I see another way…
Perhaps in receiving, we are giving…
I’ve never seen this kind lady again and chances are I never will.
She may never know what this seemingly simple act of kindness meant to me…
And now we all understand…
So, ‘just for today,’ let’s allow someone the chance to offer this to us… and just receive graciously.
It really can make the world go ’round.
Thank you for being here,