It is striking how the past can come sneaking up on you when it is least expected…. and hit you where it hurts the most.
A busy sports arena full of people cheering the local team on. They're winning and convincingly so… as we have come to expect from them by now. Titles and trophies demand more. Good company all around, singing, chatting and laughing with family and friends… and even a few long lost acquaintances. All in all an evening of leisure, entertainment and lighthearted fun.
That was until some poor well-intending soul happily waves hello to my mom and says “Hey, long time no see. Say hi to your son for me”… I almost felt more sorry for him when he realized. Almost… His intentions were nothing but good. He did not know. Now, he may not be able to forget for a while. And I did not wish that upon him.
For one second it was as if the entire sports arena froze in time and silenced the crowd as if someone had hit the mute button on the tv. She was devastated. And to her credit she made no attempt to hide the tears that trickled silently down her cheeks as she tried to focus on the game again.
I hate to see such hurt in those I love. For some reason it does not bite so deeply in me. I am not affected as they are by outside influences. Which sometimes make me seem cold and indifferent, I guess. But what do you do … with 1200 people sitting cheering and singing all around you while your mom weeps for the son she lost? What can you say that you have not already said a million times to make it better? There is nothing that can be said… nothing there can be done… save what we did do… try to ride it out and move on as best as possible.
It may be just over a year ago but the pain is still fresh sometimes. And hours earlier my dad had had to fend off a greedy phone sales promotor from a mazagine my bro used to subscribe to. When he died it fell to me to make sure all his commitments and such were terminated, and I took great care to make aware of the fact that their former client was now dead… asking them to please respect that we did not wish any further communication from them.
But apparently the business ethics (or the competency level) in such places are slack enough for such unfortunate mistakes to occur. The phone salesman even started arguing with my dad to try to convince him to take a new subscription on. The dial tone after my dad hung up seemed the only efficient way to get through to him…
I am angry enough to wish to launch a formal complaint against that company, knowing that most of their conversations with customers are taped. And knowing I have copies of the detailed termination notices I sent out a year ago. But it isn't worth it. It would only re-open the wounds at a time when they are scabbed over enough to not crack open and weep everytime things get a little rough.
I do wish though that compassion and consideration would be of higher priority. But then, I guess unless you've stood in such a place yourself and felt what it is like… you do not have much concept of just how much damage can be done by trying to force your own casual reality onto those who are still trying to catch up with theirs.