I haven't felt terribly generous of late.
My time, at least according to me, is too precious to be given to just anyone. Especially when it comes to my loved ones. My boyfriend's (The Major) son is in town visiting and I understand all too well his need to have alone time with him, since he never gets to see him. Unfortunately, his ex-wife also lives here and wanted to see him before she moves back to her home country.
Now, don't get me wrong. She's a lovely person and was his stepmother for 11 years, most of his childhood. There's no telling when she might see him again once she moves. I was quite upset, however, to realize she wanted that precious timeslot allotted to ME in which to meet him with The Major. I already had rearranged my schedule for this dinner, prepared myself mentally to welcome someone else into my life and hoping to be accepted into his. I'm the one who has to make concessions, because she is still a very important person in their lives.
"Lindsey" is someone we've named as my green-eyed inner demon. She's the worst part of me I keep caged and for good reason. This monster can be the most vicious, conniving and petty sliver of non-humanity known. She bites with words, snapping and snarling, when I don't get my way. She can't strike out physically, just emotionally and mentally against others, leaving far deeper scars. And she serves only me. My selfish little beastie.
Lindsey ranted and raved in private; whimpered and pouted. Narrowed her eyes against the world and threw far too many verbal bombs than is necessary.
Then an email came in from a client who just returned from a trip with her husband. I leave out her name as kindnesses should be felt, not named. But thank you, MB, for holding up that harsh glaring mirror.
Her story: When I was in Seattle last week, I was taking pictures in a very quaint area called Pioneer Square Park. There was a homeless man about my age at Pioneer Square that was sitting on a park bench. He saw what I was doing with the iPad and asked "Is that a camera?" I said that it was and took a picture of him and showed it to him. He asked if I could send it to him for his daughter's birthday this week. He didn't have email, so he gave me a card that showed his name and that he was staying at Lazarus Day Center (which is why I gather he's homeless or in rehab or something). I wasn't able to print it and mail it because of our Internet problems (since the printer was wireless) and I was beside myself, so I called a FedEx Kinko's up there and I explained the situation and asked if I could upload the photo, have them print two copies on glossy photo paper and have them deliver them to him. The very patient young gal I talked to through my tear said yes, I could email it to her. I asked if she wanted to take my credit card info over the phone. She said "This one's on me and I'll walk it over there to him at the Lazarus Day Center on my lunch hour. Hope you had a great time in Seattle." There are truly good people in this world."
So why tell this story? Because that one paragraph was Humility herself beating back the jealous little demon. Showing me that kind people take time out of their lives to do things for other people they don't know or should even care about.
Humility carried a freaking big stick and Lindsey is, for now, subdued, black and blue. I may not get to spend those few precious hours with The Major and his son yet. But I need to remember I'll be part of their lives forever.
I've already won the largest prize at the fair. Let someone else have the tin whistle.
Update: Surprise dinner with The Major and son tonight. Sometimes, patience really is a virtue.