Feature Writing #1- Something Lost

Most days I dread going into work.

There’s never telling what will be thrown at me that day or what I’ll get yelled at for this time. I’m fairly sure customer service was created by the devil himself.

I’ll be the first to tell you that the public, for the most part, can be really rotten to those working service jobs or sales positions. However, sometimes things happen. Surprising things. Great, unexpected things. I like to think when these ‘things’ happen, they are a sign from something or someone mightier that everything will be okay. I won’t be stuck forever.

Yesterday, September 5th, was just an ordinary evening. Long and agonizingly slow for a Tuesday. Most nights go quickly, but there was something about Tuesday night that just dragged…and dragged…and dragged.

Just as I was about to start sorting new stock, he came in.

“Hello. Can I have this wrapped please?”

I looked over to a big, brawny man clad in flannel. Not a man to mess with. As tough as he looked, though, he still smiled. Flannel man handed over his bag and receipt, but when I placed his purchases on the counter, I was a taken aback.

Three of the frilliest, girliest dresses I have ever seen lay sprawled before me.

“They’re for my daughter. She turns twelve today. I picked them out myself, I just hope she likes them,” he half smiled at me.

Moments like these have a strange way of shattering my heart and gluing it back together all at once.

As he spoke about both of his daughters, I felt a great warmth for the two. I am stoked that those two little girls have a light in their life as bright as their father. They will always know what love is as their memories develop over the years.

Meeting him reminded me of a time when I was very young. I can’t even remember how old. I had come home from my first day of school, upset because I was made fun of by the other girls. While the other little girls showed up to their first day dolled up in dresses, I stuck out in jeans. My dad went out that night and bought me a brand-new dress to wear for the next day because he didn’t want to see me upset anymore. He did that, by himself, for me. Unfortunately, that’s one of the very few memories I have.

When my dad took his life, I didn’t just lose a dad.

I lost a parent, a friend. I lost a lifetime of memories. I lost a part of myself. I had more losses than a kid should have to experience.
But as I grow older, I realize that my life is full of gains, too.

The man that stopped in yesterday reminded me of the hurt I experienced but also how far I have come along the way.

Most of us experience tremendous loss at some point, regardless of what it may be. It can shatter us in ways unimaginable or it can toughen us up. If you’re lucky, it will do both.

Yesterday, I imagine the little girl received her beautiful tiny dresses from her wonderful dad.

And for me? Peace of mind.

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