Friday, September 9, 2011

Authenticity

"How do you wish for people to respond to you, when they hear your story?  I mean, crying seems a little over the top every time, but it's hard to know what to do or what to say."

"I don't mind if someone else is crying for our family.  In fact, I'm pretty cried out.  I can't cry as often as I once did, and sometimes I wish I could.  There is a beautiful, cleansing release that comes with a flood of tears, and I wish for that on many days.  So when I can't, it blesses me that someone else will.  They usually apologize, as if they're sorry for crying if I'm not.  But they don't need to apologize.  It really truly blesses me."

Really, any authentic response blesses me.  Anything that someone truly means, when they don't know what else to say.  Because I don't know what to say most of the time, either.

I just hope they aren't surprised if my emotions don't mirror theirs.  Someone's response upon first hearing my story might not match the one I carry in my heart, this many months later.  It's impossible to cry all the time, but people don't know what to do with a laughing widow, or even one who is occasionally willing to talk.

Two girlfriends joined me on the day I got my tattoo.  Jen has two boys, Melissa has two boys, I have two boys.  The tattoo artist, so intricately decorated that he's running out of canvas on his body, has one little girl.  We talked about the differences between boys and girls, the basic polarizations.

He said, "You know, you moms have it made with those boys.  When he grows up, you still only have to worry about where his one penis goes.  When my girl grows up, I have to worry about every penis in the neighborhood."

A fair and funny assertion from a man open to the truth that his three-year-old will one day be a beautiful woman with her own sex drive.

Then he said, "So, are you three each happily married?"

And there it was: the tangible pause that follows a posed question that my protective girls aren't sure how I want to answer.

"I'm a widow, actually."

He lifted his tattoo iron from the inside of my forearm, and he looked me in the eye.

"Dude.  For real?" 

"For real."

"Woah, man.  Dude.  That's f*cked."

Now that is authenticity. 

I said, "Yeah, it is."

"I mean, I'm sorry.  I'm sorry I said that.  But, seriously?  That sh*t is f*cked."

Yeah, it is. 

And his was perhaps my favorite response ever.

14 comments:

Kristen said...

It must have been refreshing to have someone unabashedly tell it like it is. Because, yeah, it's pretty messed up.

The VH Family said...

I love your honesty Trisha. Thank you for being you. I pray for you and your boys often. I cry too, even though you do not know me I feel like I really know you.

Noel said...

I love this. Such beauty in "ugly" words.

Majorsfam said...

When I read your blog, I "hear" yor voice (yes, I remember your voice). Anyway, how is it that as I read this, you STILL sound like suc a lady? And I know that was his voice that said it, but I heard your voice telling the story of him saying it. I'm sure it felt great to feel it all, in such a raw way for a moment, and not have to worry about being lady like about it.

Laura said...

I laughed out loud at this. Love it.

Jaimie said...

That would probably be my favorite too. Love it.

Honeycutt Family said...

Love it! Thanks for sharing!

Joline said...

I love real.

Leigha said...

I love this post! It speaks so much. Some people are so scared of what to say/not to say and it's the ones that are genuine, hard core feelings that mean so much! They speak miles of truth :) I continue to pray for your family!!

Janet said...

Dude! I love how real the tattoo artist's response was. And I love that you wrote about it.

Lynne said...

Great post.

Peter and Kim said...

Trisha,
I stumbled across your blog about 2 weeks ago. I just finished reading all of your posts since your husband died. It seems odd that my thoughts and prayers have drifted to you, a stranger to me, so often.

I have no words for your journey of heartache that you have been brave enough to write for the world to read. I don't know you and yet you are a hero to me.

I'm just being honest.

~Kim

Mrs. MK said...

That is a great story...a great moment to remind me to be real, too. There is pressure sometimes (from so many people who are suffering who look to someone who's been through it) to have all the answers, the tips and tricks for surviving grief. There aren't always the right words, the right things to do, when things are just so wrong!

Kristi said...

Well, I just read this post...after reading the latest ones...specifically, the ER post which had me literally crying for you. I have laughed out loud at this! Authenticity does bless us too!