Friday, November 20, 2009

Tactless Yet She Feels

Miriam has not been the most encouraging person during those last days of Bob.  It was not because she did not care nor sympathized with Brahms.  Rather it was her lack of experience and poor choice of words.

Her first word of encouragement to Brahms was "We can always buy you a new turtle!"  She was trying to console her brother.  In doing so, she's failed to remember Bob's value into consideration.  Then the next day while she was observing Bob she blurted, "Wow, Bob is now totally disabled!"  She was accurate in her observation and even to extrapolate the possible outcome of this incident on Bob.  That statement, however, is not the most sensitive especially to those who are hopeful that he might still get back to normal turtle life.  We kept Bob warm and provided him with enough sunlight as much as we could.  When the sun is up, we'd put him near a window or door that let in the sun.  During the course of the day he'd be in different places in the house depending on the direction of the sun.  One time Miriam noticed that Bob was trying to move with the little ability that he has left.  I'm sure she felt bad with his condition.  She said, "Bob must have a very difficult life right now."  Tim looked at me and said something to Miriam to the effect that she's not the most encouraging little girl.  She is out of school and she's the one who saw everything that went on while her two siblings are in school.  It's not like Shannon and Brahms had nothing to say.  They are gone most of the day which was probably good for Brahms.  Being the one at home, she gets to help a lot.  One time I asked her to go check on Chekhov to make sure that he has food.  Her response was, "That's good because I have not seen a turtle with legs in three days!" "Miriam!"  I knew she was internalizing everything.  She was hurting inside.   But with her careless expressions she could have been aggravating an already painful situation.

Today, she and I were at the breakfast table.  She sat across from me and I was seated facing out the door.  I saw my little Christmas cactus that's wilting right outside.  I called her attention to it and explained that I over-fertilized it.  I noticed that she stared at the direction of the plant for a long time.  Maybe she was learning not to do the same mistake.   She turned around to face her food again.  Her face is now changed.  She looked very sad.  Could it be that she's sorry for my plant?  I asked her why.  She said, "Every time I look at that place, I remember Bob." That is the sunniest spot in the kitchen where we kept Bob to get a lot of the sunlight.

 Miriam might have been careless with her statements but one thing is sure: she cared.

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