IN OTHER WORDS | Speak Your Soul

Yesterday, I posted about my miscarriage. There were a few reasons for that post. One, miscarriages, and other things that make us uncomfortable—relationship issues, mental illness, learning disabilities, racism, sexism—need to become part of our regular discourse. Every conversation doesn’t have to be an NPR broadcast, but be real. It will feel so good.

I was thinking about miscarriage and remembered something I wrote several years ago. My older son was getting ready for a week of day camp that involved a lot of paperwork and logistics including van transportation to the site. The director had been suspiciously silent and unresponsive. I was nervous. Here is what I wrote:

This weekend as I prepped my older son for camp, I made yet another phone call to the director. He had promised me a confirmation email with invoices and release forms. We were signed up, so I assumed all was well, but these documents had been promised since May. It was July. After the first few phone calls, he admitted he’d spent some time at the hospital with a family member. He was behind on paperwork. OK, I thought, that’s a good excuse. It’s a family run camp, no problem.

He apologized again and promised to send something over the weekend. The weekend came and went. No email. Late last night, he called. He didn’t have a record of our information or payment. I was now concerned. But, this camp, this was a really cool camp with great reviews. What was going on?

“I know I sent you a lot of forms,” I finally said after he admitted to having nothing.

And then, as we were talking, he found my information. I pictured him, embarrassed.

“You must be the most forgiving person in the world,” he said. “I have botched this from the beginning. I think I even referred to the wrong camp in an email.”

“I have to admit, I was a little worried,” I said, “but you mentioned someone had been in the hospital. It’s OK.”

“Well,” he said, “I’m sorry I thought you hadn’t even paid, I have your cancelled check. Let’s take $25 off the remainder. You’ve been so nice.”

“OK, thanks,” I said.

At drop off, I met his wife, gave her the check and explained her husband and I had had some administrative issues.

“He mentioned something about a family member in the hospital,” I said.

“It was me,” she said. “I was in the hospital for several weeks. I was really sick.”

I was confused. She looked like she’d stepped out of an REI catalog.

“Well no wonder!” I said. “He didn’t mention it was his wife.”

“Yes. I’m fine now, but I was really sick.”

“I’m so sorry, I’m glad you’re OK.”

We stood and talked for awhile with the kids, other parents and then her husband arrived. We introduced ourselves and joked about the confusion. All was well. At the last minute, kids buckled in the van, his wife came over to me and whispered in my ear.

“I was pregnant and had a miscarriage.” My eyes filled with tears. “That’s why he’s been so distracted.” “I’m 38,” she said. “We’re so worried.”

I hugged her. “I’m 45,” I said. “I had my first child at 37 and my second at 40. And, I also had a miscarriage.”

“Oh, thank you so much for saying that,” she said and hugged me again. We were both crying.

I was honored that she’d trusted me, to share something so personal. And I felt connected to her, the world, the goodness in me and others. By being patient and understanding instead of assuming the worst, and by just listening, I was able to make a deeper connection with someone, with my world.

Be real, speak your soul. It works wonders.

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Comments

  1. I agree, I believe we do need to talk more openly about the things that make us uncomfortable- keeps us real for sure. I too have had a miscarriage and the suffering in silence felt almost as painful as the miscarriage itself, man. I’m glad she felt she could reach out to you. I bet that moment meant a lot to her, honestly.

    Like

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