Peach and I looked at each other and all our BandAids. We had survived something terrible–an unexpected, surprise flood that we had found ourselves in the middle of together. What do you say after that? (from Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles)
Several years ago, Shanna and I worked together at a place that we believed in and put our hearts into. That job, that place, that time in our lives, ended in trauma and pain. Someone we knew and trusted and worked with did something wrong and it hurt everybody. We lost our jobs. We lost a soft part of ourselves. It happened fast, like a flash flood. And the funny thing is, I talk about it from time to time with other people–how it changed me and shaped me, how I’ve coped and how I’ve finally healed. But Shanna and I don’t talk about it very often. There is an unspoken understanding. We don’t need to talk about it–we were there. If it comes up and we’re together, a look will pass between us, a look of surveying each other’s BandAids and knowing what we know, but we don’t really have to talk. What do you say after that?
Same thing with my husband and the miscarriage. We talked about it at first. Now, five years later, I can talk about it with other moms and people who need to know they are understood. I can tell it as part of my story. But Jon and I don’t have to discuss it. We put the BandAids on and took them off together, so we know. We survived something terrible together and we have that same unspoken understanding. Something other people can’t really get. Other people get the words, but they can’t have the BandAid look.
I haven’t had to survive very many terrible things. Those two really loom the largest. But to have had someone with me in both of those times, someone as bruised and scraped up as I was to cling to and care about, made a huge difference. Everyone goes through terrible times and I don’t know if it’s happened to you yet, but when it does I hope you have a companion in the flood. I really do.