Came across this photo on everyone's favorite new time-waster, Pinterest, yesterday:
This is a lesson I learned well two years ago, and many of you have probably heard this story already. Anabelle spent two months in the NICU before coming home, and while the majority of that time was spent by me in the hospital with her, I still had another child to care for, a business to run, and a home to keep up with. Occasionally I had to venture out into the public. During one of these early grocery trips, a woman was rude to me. I honestly do not remember now what it was that happened. Did I take 16 items into the 15 item only lane? Did I cut in front of her at the deli counter? Snatch the last package of cocoa krispies from her hands? Could have been any of those. And I don't even remember what she said. What I do remember though, clear as day, is thinking to myself, "Doesn't she know what I am going though??" Followed by a mid-grocery store break-down and rapid walk of shame to my car. After sitting there crying for awhile I suddenly looked up and realized NO. No, she doesn't. And for that matter, neither do I, about her. Maybe she was rude to me because she, too, has a child in the NICU and is terrified. Maybe she just found out she has cancer, or she lost her job, or she found cocaine in her teenager's room. Maybe she's just a bitch, but nobody starts out that way, somehow her path led her there.
I am absolutely certain that at sometime in the past two years, I have been so stressed out that I have snapped at someone who didn't deserve it. It had absolutely nothing to do with them and everything to do with me. And the same is probably true for that woman in the grocery store that day. But ever since that day, I have tried to REALLY see the people around me, and take a breath before acting or reacting, look the other person in the face and see them as a human being, and not just an inconvenience in my day. And I desperately hope that others are granting me the same grace