It was a long time ago.
Seventh grade homeroom class. Or was it eighth?
I don’t remember exactly why she was so mad at me, but I do remember my heart sinking into my stomach as my best friend since first grade publicly bawled me out in front of twenty classmates.
She and I had been drifting apart for the last two years and somehow I had done something to piss her off.
The details are fuzzy as to what actually happened to provoke her to humiliate me, but the feelings I felt that lonely morning are as clear as day: Helplessness. Embarrassment. Pain. Sadness.
I remember doing my best to swallow my tears.
And I remember WHO helped me through it.
She sat with me. She comforted me. She told me I did nothing wrong.
She sat with me.
That’s what I remember.
She sat with me.
Kathy B. and I were friendly, but we weren’t super close. She was a really nice girl I knew at school who had the courage to sit with me.
Thank you Kathy B. for making a horrible moment feel so much better.
All these years later I am still grateful. Grateful that someone — YOU — stood by me to help me get through those ten minutes of homeroom class that felt like an eternity, and to go about my school day as best I could. Grateful there was no Instagram or Facebook to destroy my world a gazillion times more than it had been destroyed that day.
I wish that every kid who was ever shamed or bullied had a Kathy B.
Kids are so stressed these days. Too much schoolwork. Too much technology. Too little down time. And the bullying.
As a culture we are so caught up with DOING more so we can HAVE more that we are forgetting to take time out to appreciate what we have, and to appreciate ourselves and others.
Perhaps if more of us slowed down and focused on what WE are grateful for, we could set a better example for our children.
Please take a moment today to reflect on this idea.
By making a commitment to live our lives with an attitude of gratitude, each and every day, we can make a difference.
We can be a Kathy B.
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Kathy B. is my sister, and I could NOT be prouder, but not at all surprised.