Our Nannie once told us a story with a very good moral attached to it.
When she was a little girl, this one girl she thought was her friend invited her to a birthday party. This whole story would be happening around the 1920’s, if I gave it a time frame.
She was so excited to go and did all of the party games, brought a gift and waited with the other children for cake and Jello. As the girl’s mother dished out the treats, the birthday girl handed each serving to the attendees at the party.
As my grandmother watched each child receive a plate, they tucked into it straight away, filling the once quiet air of anticipation with sounds of enjoyment.
And when she was the last to be served, the birthday girl looked at her with a pleased look of pretended sadness and said,
“I’m sorry Gertrude, we don’t have enough for you.”
As my grandmother sat there, tears welling up, she said the feeling of hurt she felt was so deep that she got up and ran home to her mom and cried.
And from that point she taught us all never to exclude anyone.
She would often tell that story and say, that if we didn’t have enough to offer to everyone, then we didn’t offer to a few and leave anyone out.
“Never eat in front of people without offering, and don’t hurt people’s feelings by excluding them or making them feel like they or their contributions don’t matter.”
She would tell us this for the rest of her 87 years, and to this day I always try to include everyone if something special is on offer or to make someone feel special if they happen to be experiencing a difficult time or a happy day is in need of congratulating. Even if all I can give are my words, letting people know they are thought of is important–and is important to me.
I tell this story because today I am wrestling with a hurt much like my grandmother experienced. And while my adult side wants to just brush it off, the little girl that lives in my heart feels like my grandmother did all of those years ago.
I fought back tears for most of the day by distracting myself with laughter and talk of funny things, but cannot deny how I am feeling now I am in my place to feel completely.
The little girl in me hurts deeply when she is made to feel excluded, like others do too, and though some days I can just roll, today that little girl just wishes she could run to her Nannie and find solace in her wisdom, and to be wrapped up in that signature grandma armor that conquers all things when we feel too small to be counted.
But for today, memories must do and I must hear her only in my thoughts and in my dreams saying,
“Oh Trin-Trin, I know it hurts, and you must consider the source, but just remember this too shall pass.”
Missing you Nannie, especially today.
image credit: Trina Noelle