Recently my mother died after a long battle with breast cancer. This was the culmination of tragedy in my life including separation, divorce, custody battles, financial devastation and foreclosure.
I was standing in line at my son’s elementary school and a woman said to me, “I heard your mother died. You must be so happy she’s with God.” I looked at her blankly. “What???”
“God has her now and you should rejoice.”
I wanted to slap her. I did believe my mother was with God and I was happy she was out of pain, but she was only dead for two days and we hadn’t even had the funeral. I know she was trying to comfort me the best way she knew how but the last thing I wanted to hear 48 hours after my mother died was that I should be happy. She is the one that should be happy I didn’t unload all the feelings stewing in my heart on her helpful, smiling shoulders.
In the best and the worst of circumstances people say stupid things. I think of my one friend serving in Afghanistan and a neighbor criticized this woman Marine for leaving her family. I politely said to the woman that our neighbor was out there protecting your right to say something stupid like that. I didn’t get invited back.
But I did realize that people try to help, they think what they are saying is helpful or they are just stupid. So next time you get a comment you can stand and fight, die on that hill or walk away and live to fight another day. In the era of political correctness I think its okay to say people say stupid things. Who knows maybe you think I’m being stupid?
But I am thankful for our men and women who protect our freedoms – even if it is to say stupid things.
Sandra Beck is the host of Military Mom Talk Radio and the single mother of two boys ages 5 and 8. She is an author, internet brand strategist and speaker. She has worked with the United States Navy, Marine Corps and Army for over 20 years and is passionate about helping women lead their families successfully the specific challenges of military life. Sandra Beck is a regular contributor for Shining Service Worldwide