Amazing People

Unaware

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She is one of my best friends, and I was clueless to the pain she was suffering at that very moment.

We were meeting at a halloween party for the kids. She said she was running late, 30 minutes late to be exact. She has two toddlers. I assumed it had simply been a struggle to get out the door. Her kids were not in full costume, just simple super hero capes draped on their everyday clothing. I concluded the day had been extra busy, and did not think twice about it.

We hugged, the kids squealed, and we were off to grab some treats. We talked and laughed and took a million photos of our little munchkins.

It wasn’t until the end, after all the festivities had worn down, that she told me. Her mom had a stroke that morning. They found four large blood clots on her brain. They were able to remove only three. She could not speak or move the right side of her body. The next 24 hours were scary serious, and after that she had a long road ahead of her.

My friend needed to get away from the hospital for a little while, to give her mind some relief from it all.

This was not a passing acquaintance I was talking to. This was my friend, my good friend, and I was so unaware, so oblivious to her hurt.  How many people do I encounter each day? They smile, nod, say a few words. I have no idea what their life entails.

My heart aches for my friend today, having to watch her sweet mom suffer like this. I am numb from the knowledge of her pain.

I pray I will not forget this numbness. I pray I will feel it each and every time I encounter another. To see them through the eyes of my soul; to show them the kindness they may desperately need. Life is filled with pain and suffering. What if we all tried a little bit harder to bring a ray of light to the midst of it?

“Be kind to each other. Tender hearted.” ~Eph 4:32 

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55 thoughts on “Unaware

  1. Prayers to your friend & her mom. You are so right – it is so hard to know what someone is going through, so kindness & love are simply the best ways to guide our words & actions.

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  2. Sometimes it gets really difficult to get out of our heads, our self-possessed hearts. But then when we do step out and do something that makes a difference in another person’s life, it is the best feeling:). Whether it is a smile on sad lips, or something bigger. Great thoughts:)

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    1. Nida, I couldn’t agree more. There is nothing as wonderful as knowing you brought a little light to someone else. Usually though, we have no idea if our actions are making any impact at all. The main thing is to simply try, and trust that good always wins.

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  3. It is certainly a gift to allow people to be vulnerable with you, and to be present to them in their pain. It’s not even about saying magic words to make them feel all better, but instead allowing them to express their sorrow, and journeying with them as they heal. Friends who don’t get uncomfortable when you need to talk about difficult things are so helpful…and it’s a lot easier to laugh together after having a good cry!

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    1. Anna, I completely agree! Often there is no need to “do” anything, but to simply “be”–the shoulder to cry on, the ear to be vented to. Simply knowing you care can be the rock so desperately needed.

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  4. One of the hardest things we need to do is to remember that we have no idea what another person’s road has been up to the point they intersect with your road…not just friends, but husbands, children, etc. A good reminder for us all to take the time to find out where someone has been and what they’ve been living. Prayers to your friend and her mom and to you too….I have a feeling you’ll be a great support to both of them, so I’ll be praying for your strength in all this too.

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  5. I’m so sorry about your friend and her mom — I will keep them in my prayers. One thing I see you Sasha, is that you have eternal eyes…you care deeply and you are passionate about loving others. Even though I’ve never met you, that shines so brightly through your writing…Jesus shines through you. ❤

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  6. I had a similar thought today… We all have stories and pain many people never learn abut or understand and so often were too worried about our own stuff to notice anyone else’s. Your friend and her mom will be in my thoughts. I’m glad you were able to be there for her today.

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    1. I know! It is all too easy to get so caught up in our own lives. I cannot tell you the number of times I am out and see absolutely nothing but what I need to get done. It is learning to stop and notice. I am learning.

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  7. So sorry for your friend and her mum. A good reminder that we always need to be kind, and try not to judge as you never know when people are dealing with in their personal lives. It shows you are great friend to even be writing and thinking about this stuff! 🙂

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    1. I felt a bit relieved with myself for at least brushing off her extreme lateness as a “busy mom day.” I cringe to think of if I had actually allowed myself to grow irritated with her. I hope to always remember this whenever I feel myself growing upset with another.

      Thank you for your kind words!

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  8. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Of course, being sensitive to those around us, especially friends, is important, but she let you know when she was ready to receive your love and support. You were there, and will be there, when she needs you. That is what counts. You are a great friend.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

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  9. It makes me so sad to hear how people suffer. I pray your mom’s friend will recover and find strength each day! Thank you for having a heart of compassion. Yes, we all need to be more aware of how others around us are struggling.

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  10. Sasha, you’re so good at showing your emotion with your writing. I had tears at the end of this for your friend and her mom. Thinking and praying for them and you! 🙂

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  11. I think about this so often. How many people do we see in passing have battles they are fighting that we know nothing about? If only everyone could have a friend who cares like you. Prayers for your friend & her family 💛

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    1. Thank you Keri! I think of those who do not have anyone to support them through the hard times and my heart breaks. Prayers for them as well today, that the right friend will come along.

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  12. Wow, this story touched my heart! Prayers to your friend. A remind to us all that we don’t often know the struggles people are going through. Happy to know she has an understanding and compassionate friend like you!

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  13. Oh, Im so sorry! What a difficult time for your friend. So often I fear we are oblivious to others who are silently suffering. But I’m sure because of you being a kind and compassionate friend, she felt comfortable opening up to you. That says much about your friendship, that she felt she could turn to you! Prayers for her and her mom (and for you, that pain as a friend can be great as well!).

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  14. As much as I wish you never had to experience this, what an incredibly powerful reminder to try to consider other people’s invisible struggles. It’s so easy I think for all of us to forget how much pain we all carry around, but moments like these show that there is no such thing as too much empathy. Thanks so much for sharing this story.

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    1. Thank you Alana! I have read a little of your story over at your blog and it looks like you have certainly experienced your share of struggles. What a beautiful story you have though–and so full of encouragement for others!

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