Wednesday, December 03, 2008

That Time I Thought I Was Helping.

These last few weeks at work have been the kind that serve as plot lines for dramatic movies and books. I've been self medicating with sugar, no gym, and a very understanding husband.

Yesterday at work I got a call from one of my coworkers. She said "please come here." and that was all. When I arrived at her desk, she was in full tears and uncontrollable sobs. Turns out that working in our department is enough to bring someone new to tears within 2 weeks. I did what I could to assure her that she's doing great, and like a trooper she fought through it.

Later that same afternoon she came to my desk. From the other direction came yet another coworker who knows both of us. He is a notorious Frat Boy Party Party Party type guy. He usually emits so much booze vapor, that we all get a contact hangover just by walking by his office. So Crying Coworker and Frat Guy Coworker begin discussing drinking after work. Crying Coworker is starting to cry again, so I immediately look for a way to lighten the mood. Frat Guy Coworker says "Oh, I'm sorry. I can't go drinking for at least a few more weeks. I am still pretty messed up. I mean REALLY messed up."

AHA! A moment to seize! I looked at him and confidently asked "Oh, what in the world did you do to yourself this time?" Nothing like a frat boy story resulting in drinking abstinence to lighten a mood, am I right?

He turned to me and said "Well, I sat vigil at my father's bedside for 4 days and slept in a folding chair next to his bed as he lay dying and finally passed away on Saturday."

He didn't stop there. He proceeds to deliver a gut wrenching story about his vigil, almost as a pastor would to a congregation. Hand flourishes, *magical* moments and I kid you not, this brought at least one other person listening in to full tears.

Fighting my own tears I apologized. Offered condolences. Of course he said "Oh, it's ok. Don't be sorry. I'm ok."

Sure. I felt even worse, as if that were even possible at that moment.

It's times like these when I can confidently say that life doesn't just happen to me. It throws me down, has its way with me and then kicks sand in my face as it zips up and walks out the door.

No comments: