In Praise Of Sincerity

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On a very recent Saturday morning, my husband had a phone conversation with a relative, doing the customary catching up.  This person asked how I was.  And that’s when it happened.

My husband answered reluctantly.   He always wants to be careful when talking about how I feel and what is going on, because he sees it as an intensely private thing.  If my life is to be an open book, that decision is mine and mine alone.

His reluctant voice went from casual to solemn.  “To be honest, she’s been having a hard time lately.  There are a lot of scary things going on, with doctors and stuff.”

“Oh,” said Relative Who Shall Remain Nameless. “That’s great!  Fantastic!”

Ouch.

I can’t really put this eloquently, so here it goes.  The truth is, when we endure this person’s company (which is rare, praise Jesus), there is always one constant.  Time spent with him is always short on pleasantries and long on bullshit.  He’s just one of those people we really can’t take seriously, and things like this shouldn’t be a big deal.  But it felt like one.  Illness and the pressures that come with it have a way of doing that.

So for my poor husband, this phone call would be no different than the usual headache.  After abruptly excusing himself and hanging up, he ranted for most of the day.  He was angry because this person didn’t listen.  He was livid because for the first time he opened up to this person, only to get an insult in return.   It took everything I had to stop him from driving to this person’s house to tell him off.

“Consider the source,” I said over and over again, my voice just above a raspy whisper.  But I was also trying to convince myself that it didn’t matter.  Because it did matter.  That sort of thing hurts and hurts like hell; it doesn’t matter how it goes down or who says it.

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I’m fragile like that I guess.

Sure, time has passed.  The sharp edge of anger has softened.  And it brought to light undisputable truths.  I value sincerity, more than words can say.  And I cherish the love and support of those I have let into my life, and how they will truly listen to me when I need to talk about the things that aren’t too pretty.

One self-absorbed, goofball relative aside, I am beyond blessed.

We’re human.  We make mistakes.  And from this moment on, I won’t dwell on what happened.  God knows I have caught myself half listening to someone, when they deserved my full attention, a compassionate friend to hear their every word.

All we can do is learn the lesson every single day, and try to be better.

Make it an amazing day, and amazing weekend, everyone.

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