A lady named Hope

I signed up for a new checking account… deposit $250, do 3 debit transactions, get $100.  There is a very convenient ATM.  You can’t beat the deal.

Well, I wanted to change my pin and I wanted to make the deposits before I forgot.  A branch not to far away was open Saturday till 1PM.

I HATE taking kiddo to a bank.  Something about banks inspires the worst in him.  He wants to run.  He’s loud.  He throws temper tantrums.  It’s almost guaranteed that he’ll have at least two forms of bad behavior at a bank.  My stress level goes into overdrive and I could probably top out a blood pressure reading.  My goal in entering a bank with kiddo is to leave ASAP and get 50% of what I wanted to get accomplished accomplished.  Banks are known for lines and waits… typical toddlers have not mastered the skills of patience and waiting.

It all began as we exited the car.  He wanted to walk behind the car instead of alongside the car.  Don’t ask me why.  I told him we were walking the way I wanted to.  By the time we got to the door, he’d lost the ability to stand and gained the ability to scream- LOUDLY.  Great first impression.  I debated turning around and leaving… come on… I could learn a new pin number, right???  I already knew the answer was WRONG.  One card has a different number… I can’t remember it to save my life… ugh.

I gave myself a quick internal pep talk… Come on, Mary, you can do this.  Bite your lip, paint a fake smile on your face, hoist up the backboneless child and get in get out.

I bit my lip, picked him up and explained to the cashier what I needed.  Somehow she was able to hear me over the screaming.  Then he spotted a lollipop and the world was happy again.

To change the pin, I had to see another lady.  I noticed three things about her right away.  Her name was Hope.  She had a pink ribbon on her badge.  She was at least over 50.

She obliged kiddo and played Thomas with him as she waited on the computer.  She had a grandson who loves trains.  She also helped me with a problem… the account had just been opened an something that she needed to change the pin wasn’t showing yet.  I was waiting for the… “You’ll have to come back.  I can’t help you now” to be stated.  Kiddo climbed onto her desk to “play trains” better… I wanted to crawl under a rug.  I asked if she wanted me to remove him.  I knew it would have resulted in a temper tantrum.  She said he was fine… just don’t let him fall.  She chatted with kiddo and was so good at entertaining him while getting her job done- I was impressed.  So was he.  He was good.

Instead of giving me the “come back later”, she verified some extra information and got things resolved.

By now it was after hours.   I was expecting to be rushed out of the branch, or hear a sigh or underhanded comment that is usually pointed out for those who delay the closing.  But instead she treated me as if I had been her first client of the day.  As I completed one last thing, to get everything taken care of, she, in small talk, asked if kiddo was my only child.  I said, “Yes.”

She mentioned something about… “That’s what ____ said and then they ended up with another.”

I replied, “Nope, he’s going to be the only one.  My husband is dead.”

Perhaps, I should have phrased it differently, but that’s the way it came out.

She said, that she was so sorry to hear that.  Then she told me that her husband died of Leukemia at 36.

Not what I was expecting to hear.

I told her I was sorry.  Back in her office, an old widow and a young widow shared what only widows and widowers understand.  She summed it up in one short sentence, “You miss everything.”  A more true statement could not have been issued.  EVERYTHING.  We agreed… even the things that used to drive us crazy… the things you couldn’t stand in life… in death, you miss them..

Had it been a different time, a different place, or had I not had kiddo with me,  I might have asked her… when does it get better?  How did she make it?  Did she have any words of advise?  She wore a wedding ring, but then, so do I.

Many of today’s moments will be forgotten… but a lady named Hope and her actions will be remembered…

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About Mary K. Smith

I was widowed in July 2009, when I lost my beloved husband, John, to melanoma. Cancer SUCKS. We have a young son who was just a year old when his father died. I live on a small farm in Maryland which is home to horses, cats, and a dog. I started this blog as a way for me to heal, a way to remember my husband, and eventually I'd like to share it with our son so he can see the love that his father had for him, the love that we had for each other, what a great person his father was, and how hard his father fought to live.
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2 Responses to A lady named Hope

  1. Marge says:

    I bet Hope would love to sit and talk with you again, Mary. When you find somebody who understands it is like finding gold–and I bet it would be a blessing to her to be able to share her experience with you.

  2. Beautifully-written post, Mary. I could feel the emotion and frustration. Bittersweet but an example of the “hope” that comes and goes throughout the day.

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