Friday, April 20, 2007

There are some pitfalls in this situation that no one talks about much. My husband was stuck in the middle of one of these at the beginning of the week:

Richard was in New York Monday and Tuesday for a conference full of people who either he sees rarely or had never met before. In the course of the morning conversation with one of these people, the other fellow started railing against the war in Iraq and saying things like "People are getting killed over there!" He obviously did not know that we had lost our son Thomas there in 2004 and Richard felt that he had to tell him. Which he did. End of conversation apparently.

Unfortunately, later in the day, someone at the dinner table, also a comparative stranger who apparently had gotten a scrambled version of the story, said to Richard "So I hear you have a son in Iraq?" And poor Richard had to say once again that no, we lost our son there two and a half years ago (actually two years, five months and seven days but who's counting?). This also brought immediate and ghastly silence to a table of six.

And, worse, on the second day of the conference, Richard was accosted by someone whose name he fortunately does not know who announced that all the soldiers participating in the war in Iraq are evil, despite having been told that we had lost our son there. One thing we can be very sure of is that Thomas was not evil.


One of the other things we did while Anne was here was to go back to G Street Fabrics, where I was supposed to have gone to work the day Thomas died. I had seen many of my coworkers at the wake and funeral but many more were unable to come since someone literally had to mind the store, and I knew this might be hard. When you come into the store you either go up steps or take the elevator to the second floor--I always take the steps in the name of physical fitness--and it seemed a bit surreal to be climbing toward the main selling floor. I had vaguely thought that I would be walking around the store to see people (it's a big place) but as I got to the top, I paused at the information desk where Juli was sitting, and I didn't move from that spot for probably twenty minutes as my friends and colleagues came to me to hug me and cry (we all cried). So many of them have lost family members in various conflicts . . . well. A customer asked one of the cashiers what this was about but for the most part I have no idea what people thought on seeing this sight.

Anne had moved off to let me do this but eventually I needed to go find her. The manager in charge of scheduling told me that she would call me. (I had been told to come back to work whenever I felt ready but Mrs. I actually pushed me a little bit for which I am very glad.)


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home