Wednesday, November 20, 2013

To the Woman at Goodwill

This here dern internet thingy is going to be my undoing. Again, I apologize about the formatting issues.

Today is supposed to be a Homeschool Wednesday post. I even had a topic all ready to go. In addition, I was going to share what I made for dinner on Monday 'cause it was pretty awesome. But, as happens from time to time, the Holy Spirit came swooping in and changed my plans. I'm sure you've never experienced that for yourself, have you?

Just a quick aside before I begin: while I type, I'm enjoying one of our anniversary treats, Cinnamon Almonds from Trader Joe's! After a wonderful dinner last night, I asked if we could drop by TJ's and see if they had them in yet. Low and behold, they arrived yesterday and were waiting on the shelf, just for me!

So, a little background is in order...

We had a couple of boxes of items waiting to be donated. First they were scheduled for pick-up by the VA. I had the boxes labeled and on our porch waiting for the truck that never came. Then it was Friendship Ventures. Again, a no-show. So, off to Goodwill I was determined to go, to just get them out of the house, once and for all. Two months later, today was the day.

Off Lucy and I went to Goodwill. Waiting for us in the donation drop-off was a woman. She caught a glimpse of Lucy as I was unloading the box by her carseat. She smiled at Lucy and mentioned somewhat wistfully that her youngest was now a toddler and also told me the ages of her two other young children.

This is pretty much par for the course whenever I'm out with Lucy. I've gotten used to the "Oh! What lovely red hair, I have a child/grandchild with red hair." or, "My baby is 25 now. They grow up so fast!" etc. I smile and move on, happy that the sight of my child/ren has brought a bit of joy to someone's day.

Today's meeting was on course for the same two-sentence exchange when it took a sharp left turn. As I mentioned to this woman that I also had other young children at home, I saw the pain in her eyes as she let slip, "I really regret my tubal."

In a split second my brain shot through the "polite interchange with stranger about cute kids" manual. That phrase was not in there. How does one respond to something like that?

All I could offer, gently, was, "You know, you can get that reversed, right?" She responded, again sadly, that she had looked into it but it would cost $4000. She followed by briefly sharing how it had all come about: That she wasn't sure she wanted one, and the Dr. wasn't sure he could get in to do it what with all her c-section scar tissue, but her aunt had talked her into it. My heart just broke for her as she shared this with me, a complete stranger with a cute baby who was willing to listen for just a brief minute.

How do you minister to a broken woman at Goodwill when there are other cars lining up to donate?

I don't even remember how the conversation ended. I just remember knowing from the depths of my being that this was why those other donation trucks never came. I was meant to listen to her, if only for a minute. I am meant to pray for her.

So dear kind soul at Goodwill. I'm praying for you. Today I'll hug my babies a little tighter and offer up the diapers and the sleepless nights and the tantrums and all the other not-so-glamorous parts of motherhood for you.

I wanted to add some links to resources for affordable tubal reversal or resources for women mourning sterilization, etc. but I don't actually know of any. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

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