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Crying over Bagels

January 20, 2010

I was standing there in the bread aisle trying to decide between bagels and mini bagels. Bagels or mini bagels? BAGELS OR MINI BAGELS?! I must have been standing there for 3 minutes or so when the tears began dripping off my face. A 24-year-old grown man wearing a members only jacket crying in the grocery store. Quietly sniffling, but not so good at hiding it in the crowded store.

I’m not sure if this is a rare occurrence in the 8th Avenue Kroger or not. But based on the looks of the faces around me, this crowd sure hadn’t seen it before. It was in that moment that I realized I probably shouldn’t have really worried about my groceries tonight. I probably should have just gone on home after work. These people sure did think that bagels stressed the hell out of me.

It was a damn tough day. Not for me. But for one of my very best friends, whose dad had passed away just hours prior. My friend, also a widow, is in her twenties. A damn tough day. A damn tough two years. And a damn tough time ahead. There is nothing I can say to fully express my love, my sympathy. But there again, no words will really ease this pain.

Sometimes we have no way of knowing the direction life will send us in. We can make the best of it while we are here, but even that doesn’t make it easier when love is lost. We will still spend a lot of time trying to fix things that have already gone wrong. Looking for ways to make wrong things right. But when we realize we can’t change things we will find a way to overcome.

But still many of us get stuck. Not knowing how to ask for help. Not knowing other people have suffered in our same way. And we feel like we are in the bottom of a dark well, and the rainwater just keeps pouring in. But no one can see us down here or hear our cry for help. We may spend years in the darkness trying to climb the vertical rock walls only to slip back in where we’ve always been. And sometimes we are more content with just swimming at the bottom, treading water. Always tired, never tiring. Swimming, nearly drowning, but always somehow finding that next breathe of air.

And how do we know where these wells are? They are all around us, and our neighbors are in them. People we work with, people we pump our gas next to. People that check us in at the doctor’s office, people that sit next to us in church. There’s a lot of wells in this world and a lot of people lost inside. How do we know where to find them? How to help them?

And my friend, she’s not in a well. But she deserves a good break. And had i not known her and her story, I’d never know. I’d work beside her and drive past her, never giving it another thought.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 23, 2010 2:25 pm

    I used to live with a girl for two years while I studied and during that time she was struggling with eating disorders and lack of self esteem. You couldn’t tell from the outside but I knew since we were so close. Once she broke down in school over the tiniest issue (sort of like the bagels) and people thought it was about THAT but of course it wasn’t…it was just that the walls had been rising all day and she was tired of fighting and slipping and treading at the bottom of her well.

    This was a great reminder Ben, that sometimes people’s behaviours may seem strange, but that we should never judge, because we’ll never know where people’s thoughts are at, what road they are on and how a day in their shoes feels like.

    Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog btw 🙂

  2. January 23, 2010 11:21 pm

    Hey there! 🙂
    if you ever get the chance to travel Europe, do it, do it, do itttt!!

    also you said ‘Sometimes we have no way of knowing the direction life will send us in’ I think that’s one of the most beautiful things about life, the not knowing of tomorrow, I never truly understood people who are scare of that, who really cares, if your lifes not that great now, it can only get better. Thats how i look at it.

    and please no more crying over bagels, because seriously they taste no where near as good soggy then toasted. bad joke, but i hope its not so damn tough soon 🙂 x

  3. February 11, 2010 7:12 pm

    This was an awesome post. It made me think…simple perspective on the walks we all walk. Thank you for sharing your moment. I hope she’s doing okay..

    p.s. when you said that we spend out a lot of energy fixing the things that have already gone wrong…you’re spot on with this. But i guess we’re only human in that way. I could be wrong.

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