Total Pageviews

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Who I Am Today (7th Prompt in Nonfiction Class)

            I must be a good listener because people confide in me--A LOT.  Standing in elevators, riding on buses, on long airline flights, waiting in doctor offices, you name it, people talk to me.  They often tell me things I'd rather not know.  I sometimes wonder if I have a tattoo across my forehead that reads, 'Shoulder to Cry on'.
            Broad shoulders run in my family.  Being raised on a farm, I earned my brawny shoulders the hard way. These shoulders of mine are often wet from the tears of people I know and sometimes from people I have just met while they are drenching my shirt.
            Almost 29 years ago when my first son was born, I learned that a child depends upon the shoulder of his mother for comfort.  Mom's shoulder can protect them from strangers and scary situations.  It's a great place to hide eyes or catch a nap.  It is where my nursery and primary children  found relief from pain and humiliation and these upper joints where my arms hook to my trunk, have soaked up stuff other than tears on the shoulders of many shirts, jackets, and blouses.  I learned to never wear dry-clean-only clothing to church.
            I spent a few years as a Young Women's President.  That was a period of teenage tears sopping my shoulder.  Adolescent angst produces puddles!  Girls between 12 and 18  seem habitually in need of an older friend to offer comfort, love, and support.
            Currently I am on my second time around as a Ward Relief Society President.  Now in my fifth year of serving in this position, I can't tell you how many tears have waterlogged my shoulders.  Wide, absorbent shoulders must be a prerequisite for the calling. That is why I've started wearing blazers with shoulder pads.  I have been in charge of 23 funerals over the years.  That is a lot of cheesy potato casseroles, jello salads, and tears.
            My phone rings multiple times a day, my doorbell chimes several times a week announcing people who want to 'chat' about problems.  Death, divorce, illness, accidents, job loss, feuds, and various other mishaps are the typical subjects of discussion.  Mostly, I don't have advice to offer, solutions to proffer, just these soft shoulders and a hug.
            Yesterday, the appeal for a shoulder to cry on came from 3000 miles away, but was closer to my heart than other requests.  My daughter, who lives in Baltimore, phoned to say she had experienced a miscarriage and a horrible emergency room episode.  Just four days after she and her husband viewed the first ultra sound image of their unborn child and heard its heartbeat, the baby was gone.  Dani and Kelly are heartbroken.  I've never wanted to be the shoulder to cry on like I did yesterday.  How I longed to hold Danielle close and hug her and soak up all her tears.  As it was, all I could do was say, "I'm so sorry" and "I love you" over and over.
            I think I  need a shoulder to cry on.


Celia Turner said...

Oh, Georgia. I'm so sorry to hear about the baby! I went through the same thing with my first pregnancy. I think my parents were out of town, so I ended up calling my sister to cry on her "shoulders". She had experienced it too, and knew how I felt. I'm sure you helped her feel better, even over the phone, just by hearing your voice. You are indeed a tiny lady, but those shoulders of yours are big beyond measure! Please give Dani my love & concern for her! I truly do know how she is feeling.

wendy said...

what a wonderful storY.
So true, that sometimes the shoulder that carries the burdens and provides comfort to others,
Is often in need of the SAME comfort.
All one can do , is sometimes cry along with that person and hug
no words are neccesary
Words can't fill those holes
But...a loving shoulder can

Lisa said...

Georgia, I'm so sorry for Dani's loss. It's hard being a long distance parent. You raise them to be functioning members of society and then when they spread their wings and choose not to live in the tent in the back yard the way you always planned when they were little. Then it sucks. Thanks for shouldering my tears from time to time. Lisa

Lesley said...

I'm sorry to hear about your daughters loss, and sorry that she is so far away from you at this time. I've enjoyed getting to know you through blogging; thank you for sharing this tender post.

Tina said...

Oh! I'm so sorry about the baby . . . words cannot say.

And since I realize I also used your shoulder during our first meeting, I kinda feel bad . . . . you are a good listener :)

I wish I could lend you my shoulder, but 3000 miles separate us also.

23 funerals! WOW!