Every person deals with stress in their own way. Some people become super organized. Some people fall apart. Some do ballet in the halls of the hospital.
I suppose you can say that my family has been under stress lately. (Again with the understatements?) It was very evident that my sister and I handle stress in very different ways. She becomes blunt and says what is on her mind. She doesn’t want bullshit or platitudes. She wants to just deal with the situation and get things taken care of.
As for me, I laugh. I find humor in the most bizarre places. I laugh at times that it is probably inappropriate. (I get the giggles at funerals too. So sue me!) You could say I get downright silly. This is not the best combination when my sister and I are together in such highly stressful timessuch as the past few months. Thankfully, I had a partner in crime last week. My aunt. My Mom’s sister.
I cannot say enough good things about my how much I needed my aunt with me while I was in Houston. Not only for the times when I needed a mom-ish shoulder to lean on and when I was able to crawl into her bed and cry and laugh and just talk, but for the times I could absolutely become the most immature person ever to walk to halls of a hospital.
Here is an example of how we acted. Completely sober but completely stressed.
After spending a couple of hours with my Mom, we were both emotionally drained. It is hard to sit at the bedside of someone you love and see them suffering. But if you let it take over your emotions, you will not be able to function. It is just too much for your heart to take in. From Mom’s hospital room we left to go see my Dad in his hospital room. Much to our surprise, when we arrived at Dad’s he was….uhhhh, let’s just say predisposed and not desiring immediate company. Which led us to our wait in the hallway of the hospital.
Have you been in a hospital hallway recently? Remember how they have those hand bars along the hallway? Those handrails that are there to aid patients who need help shuffling their way down the hallway after surgery, illness or childbirth? Have you ever looked at them closely? Well, to us we didn’t see handrails for the ailing. We saw BALLET bars!
We immediately dropped our purses and began out ballet stretches. We tried to remember our proper positions. We stretched and reached and squatted and twirled. All the while giggling under our breath while tears streamed down our faces. Every once in a while you would hear one of us begging the other to stop because we were on the verge of wetting ourselves from laughing.
After a few minutes a nurse happened to look up and notice us. (Honest, we were not loud. I swear! We were just silly. Alone. With no patients to bother except my Dad.) She saw that we both had tears streaming down our face. Poor thing thought we were crying out of sadness. With kindness in her voice she placed her hand on my shoulder and asked, “Are you okay? Is there something I can help you with, dear?”
To which I replied, “Yes. Yes ma’am. We are having a hard time with something. So, what is the fifth position in ballet? Is it similar to a demi-plie?” And then my aunt fell to the ground in laughter. And I wet my pants.
The nurse stared. Mouth agape. Finally she said, “Honey, it will be okay. Honest.” She patted my arm, shook her head while grinning and walked away.
See, some people stress out and go all blunt.
Some do ballet in the halls of the hospital.