My biggest pet peeve ever…well, aside from people who lie and cheat.
Maybe you know what I’m talking about. Imagine you have someone in your family who falls ill. Maybe nothing very serious, but, let’s just say that it lands them in the hospital. You find out that they are ill and you make a phone call to speak to them or someone with them at the hospital. Let’s say you are also part of a very large family. So, you tell them that you are going to make some calls and let everyone know that this person is in the hospital and what is going on. The response you get from the one you are talking to? “Don’t tell <insert name of family member here>, because I don’t want them to worry.” I HATE THIS. (Sorry for the use of caps, but this really bothers me, and I will tell you why.)
When I moved to Michigan, it was on September 8, 2006. It was a really stressful time, because when I left, my house was in the process of being sold, but had not been sold yet. I needed to get my children enrolled in school and I couldn’t wait much longer if I was going to make this move. I finally sold my house and bought a new one, which I closed on on October 16, 2006. About a week or two later, I am on the phone with my mother and she says to me “Oh, by the way, your grandmother in Cuba died.” I ask when. She says “oh, about a week after you left. But, I didn’t want to worry you, so I didn’t say anything.”
I hung up the phone with her and wanted to punch something.
Now, am I foolish for feeling this way? Does it make any difference that she waited over a month to tell me something that I could do nothing about? I think it does make a difference. Even though I was going through a stressful time in my own life, I felt as though my ability to say goodbye to my Abuelita (even if it was with an unrequited conversation) was somehow robbed from me. Now that it was too late, as she was quite dead and buried, I felt as though I couldn’t say anything to tell her I loved her and would miss her. Granted, I know that those unspoken words would never reach her anyway, as she had passed, but it isn’t about how she felt or whether she would actually hear them, but rather, how I felt and still feel today.
So, today, the same thing happened. Someone I know is in the hospital, and although it may not be anything serious, I want other family members to know. If for nothing else, then for them to call and inquire on how this person is doing. What was the response I received? “Don’t tell <insert family member’s name here>, they are working and I don’t want them to worry. Besides, it’s not that big of a deal and they might get upset or worry.” Seriously? And, what if it DOES turn serious? What if it so happens that the moment is gone and that one person cannot say anything anymore, because you thought it was best to wait for…for what? A better moment to say a few words to someone, whether or not it is a serious matter?
Now, I am sure that the person doing this has everyone’s best interest at heart, but what they are failing to see and understand, is that they are robbing other people the chance to say something, anything, to those they care about. Because, as we all know, life is short. And, it is always best to talk to those you care about, but life gets in the way, and we sometimes can’t. But, if a moment arises where you can put the troubles of life on the back burner, to speak to someone who is ill and maybe would appreciate a kind word, why would you deny that to them?