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Twice a month I drop off my ironing at Martha's house. She's a very soft spoken, timid woman who has built such a popular ironing business, that she can't take any new customers. Laying my head on crisp, starched, ironed pillowcases is one of the ways I treat myself.
I take my ironing to Martha and she calls when it's finished. We've never really had the chance to chat other than, "Hello, thank you and good-bye" pleasantries. But the other day, when Martha called and told me, "Your order is ready. You can come pick it up," there was a long pause and then she boldly said, "It was sad around here yesterday. I was outside trimming hedges with my son. We didn't realize my dog had got outside and had crossed to the other side of the street and when I heard a loud yelp, I was screaming for my son. My dog was hit by a car and died. I guess all we can do is keep going, huh?"
I was crying, Martha was crying.
Being brave and telling people you have a broken heart, most people are inclined not to say anything to anyone, because the room will go silent. The person you're talking to will probably be at a loss for words. Things could get uncomfortable, but not for Martha. It helped Martha grieve to tell me the story. I felt privileged that she told me about her little dog and the ache in her heart, even though it made me sad.
Martha needed to tell the story and I needed to hear it.
Thanks for reading with me. It's so good to read with friends.