When we arrived for dinner yesterday with our friends, the hostess had a news clipping waiting for me. She said, “You won’t believe this. Remember that story you’ve told about Mother’s Day mass? Well, read this Dear Abby column.”
Dear Abby heard from a “proud husband and father in the Midwest,” who was upset with this wife because at their church Mother’s Day service she:
“…refused to stand and be recognized by our community. She says she won’t do it because there are women in our church who are not standing, and some of them might not be able to be mothers and may be hurt at the recognition that others are receiving.”
He felt that since infertile women live with their great loss every day he doubted that the church’s annual recognition of mothers would add more pain than “those women” already endure. [I could feel the anger rising from my toes…what planet is this guy from and how do I send him back there??]
He then asked for Abby’s support on his position. Abby, bless her soul, replied:
“No, I do not agree. Your wife is a woman with unusual sensitivity and empathy for the feelings of others. I respect her stance on remaining seated, and so should you.”
So, just when I think there’s no hope for getting the fertile community to appreciate the magnitude of our pain, this gentle soul in the Midwest demonstrates a simple, but profound act of defiance in support of her sisters. I wish I knew where she lived so I could send her a bouquet of flowers. The world needs more sensitive souls like her.
She’s given me reason to start a new category: An Act of Kindness. From today forward, I’m going to be on the look out for examples to share of those whose simple gestures demonstrate empathy and sensitivity toward the infertile community.