Tuesday, August 16, 2011

For Widows - Everyday Angels: The Blue Cross

It was one year after my husband died when I had to register my son for public school. Our plan had been to keep him in private school, but those plans changed with my husband’s death. So I was enrolling him for the first time, as a fifth grader. I had a talk with myself about how this was going to be OK, but when I began filling out the form my resolve faded. When I had to write “deceased” on the line for “Father’s name” I lost it completely. I started sobbing, getting myself under control enough to tell the anxious looking clerk what was wrong. After I turned in the paperwork, I almost ran from the building. As I approached my car, a woman called out to me. She had been in the office registering her child and had witnessed my outburst of grief. As I turned she took off a beautiful blue cross she was wearing and handed it to me. “You need this more than I do right now,” she said. “The grief will get better.” She hugged me and walked back to the school. I thanked her and stared at her retreating figure, then at the sparkly blue cross in my hand.

For the last 9 years that cross has been in my desk drawer at my office. Every time I get a pen or other supplies from my lap drawer, I see the cross and it reminds me of the kindness of a stranger when I was in distress. And she was right. It did get better.

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