So, I was thinking…remember how I said “laughter is the best medicine” in one of my earlier posts. I want to share a funny, but rather disturbing story with you.
Let me first start off and tell you, we have a dog named Harley. Harley decided to bring a mouse in our house a couple of weeks ago. A touching gift he thought he would give to us.
My children shared with me, they witnessed Harley bring something inside, but they weren’t sure at the time what it was…until…they saw the tail hanging out of his mouth. Say what?
Yes, I know…that’s the disturbing part. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
My children got the mouse out of his mouth and realized it was dead. In fact, there were 4 other mice outside that Harley showed them. Needless to say, I’m guessing they didn’t make it because of the bitter cold. The mice were put into a bag and then out in our trash bin.
Well, Thursday trash day came around, and I reminded myself the night before how very important it was that I put my trash bins out in the morning. Not only did I have mice in my trash, but I also had forgotten to put the trash out the week before, so we were going on two weeks of trash build up.
Thursday morning, on my way home from taking the kids to school, I turned the corner onto my street and saw the garbage truck pass my house and head on up the street to other bins that were left out for trash day. I realized, once again, I had forgotten to put the trash out!
I was so irritated with myself! Of course, I wanted to blame the trash company for coming so early. I wanted to blame my children for not offering to put it out that morning. I wanted to blame anyone but myself.
The fact is, it was my fault!
I have always been a problem solver. In my quick and rather panic-stricken mind, I decided to drag the trash bin up the street, screaming to the garbage truck to please wait.
I guarantee you, if my neighbors didn’t think I was crazy in the 15 years we have lived here, they do now!
First of all, I could have seriously injured myself pulling this trash bin up the street with me. Secondly, did I really think I was going to catch up to the trash truck? I mean really, let’s be honest, I was wearing slippers going through snow that was half melted!
However, I was determined!
Once I got to the end of the street, I realized it was useless. I had no idea which street he was now on, it was cold, and I needed a plan B.
I came back feeling a little deflated. I’ve got to be honest; for a couple of minutes I was thinking the mice got the best of me. I started to complain to my oldest daughter who had late start at school that morning. Then it came to me…I can either wait until next week, which would be three weeks of no trash service, or I could throw the trash in the back of my trunk and drive through the neighborhood until I found the trash truck. My daughter, of course, said, “I want nothing to do with the trash and good luck mom!”
After contemplating, I decided to make a run for it. I piled five full trash bags, including the one with 5 dead mice inside, in the trunk of my Suburban. I swiftly shut the trunk and charged down my drive way.
I was on a mission…find the trash truck, dispose of the trash, and never forget to put the trash out again.
After driving up and down a couple of streets, I can thankfully say I pulled up and parked my Suburban right in front of the trash truck.
Picture this…we were face to face, or should I say, trash truck to Suburban when I opened my car door. I hopped out in my pajama pants, slippers, and ball cap hair and started waving my arms up in the air, so he didn’t run me over.
I ran up to the trash truck and greeted the driver. I politely told him, “I’m so sorry, it’s my fault, but I forgot to put my trash out for the last two weeks.” I went on to let him know it was vital I get my trash picked up today because I had dead mice in one of the bags.
He put down his cigarette and said, “Well, where is your house?” I looked at him and said, “Oh, I have all of my trash right here in my trunk.” Needless to say, I surprised him! He was shocked that I would be driving around with trash in my trunk, not to mention dead mice. I told him I was desperate and if he would help me out this one time, I promised him it wouldn’t happen again. Lesson learned!
I share this story with you because we all have good intentions, for the most part, but sometimes, we just make mistakes. We are human and mistakes are a part of being human. However, you have to back up your mistakes with a solid apology.
I think our society really stinks at apologies! We see or hear about mistakes all of the time, even large ones that make the news, and for some reason, people can’t apologize. Let’s face it, it’s not easy to apologize but it’s a necessity. It’s uncomfortable to say, “I’m sorry, I hurt you” or “I’m sorry, it was my fault.”
I remember reading the book, The Last Lecture by, Randy Pausch. He brings up the proper way to apologize. He said there are three parts to an apology.
- I’m sorry.
- I was wrong.
- What can I do to make it right?
This has stuck with me since I first read it. I believe for me it comes down to pride. Maybe we think because we say, “I’m sorry” we are less than or weak. Maybe we think it’s too late and the damage can’t be repaired. Whatever it is, I believe an apology may not fix the problem right away, but eventually, it will.
There have been times I have said unkind things, been frustrated, impatient, and my children needed to hear that I recognize I was wrong, and I’m sorry.
Let’s be honest, if I had walked up to the trash truck and told the gentleman driving the truck that he missed my home, and it was all his fault my trash didn’t get picked up, I’m not sure I would have had the same response from him, and besides that, I would have been lying.
Instead, after flagging this man down and startling him as I ran up to the side of his truck, the first thing I said was, “I’m sorry, this is my fault.” I then asked him for his help.
I am sure he not only appreciated my apology, but it made him feel good to help me out. I also am quite sure he was able to laugh throughout the day at my expense. I probably gave him a great laugh as he pondered this 5’2 woman jumping out of this large Suburban with five bags full of trash (and mice) all from my trunk.
It’s truly part of how you live a life in abundance. If we all said we were sorry for our wrong doings, I have to believe we would find peace. If we would stop blaming others and accept our part, wouldn’t that make the world a better place for all of us?
Pope Francis said, “if we are not capable of apologizing, it means we are not capable of forgiveness either…many hurt feelings, many lesions in the family begin with the loss of these precious words: ‘I am sorry.’