I had a strange experience yesterday. I’m still sorting it, really.
The shop that I work in is hiring hairstylists. Yesterday, a girl walked in that I barely recognized. It dawned on me rather awkwardly, that she was a former employee that I had fired back when I owned the salon. I racked my brain. Why did that happen, again?
I was assuming that she was there to speak to the new owner, but she kept just standing there, talking to me. I forced myself to make the pleasantries, without lying. I didn’t tell her it was good to see her. I did tell her that she looked beautiful, as always (she is one of those women with that austere natural beauty that is breathtaking). I wanted to get away. I had clients to get to, a schedule to maintain, and she was making me feel incredibly unsettled, just by her presence.
She handed me a card with my name on it, and asked me to call her.
I took it to the break room and opened it, finding a handwritten note saying that she was in recovery, she was working her steps, she had wronged me, and wanted to make amends.
One of the weirdest things about my grief, or maybe because of the trauma that lives with my grief, is that my memory doesn’t always work properly. There are bits and pieces of the last year of Sawan’s life, and then the last three years since that are just gone. I simply can’t remember. (I should not be admitting this to the internet as it can totally be used against me…I let you borrow money then you just tell me you already paid me back and I have no way of remembering!)
My first thought, when I finished the note, was, I need to call Sawan, he’ll remember. I hate it when this happens. My mind knows I’ll never see him again, but sometimes the wires in my brain get crossed and I forget that I can’t call him, either. I HATE this. So, I made some phone calls to people who are still alive. I called both of the girls that were my receptionists, and asked them, and they couldn’t remember. I sent an email to another stylist, and my closest salon confident, and she couldn’t remember, either. At that point, I thought, Wow, Noel, if none of you can even remember what that was about then you need to forgive her in your spirit, yo!
So it was actually really fun, when I called her today, and she listed specific examples of things that she had done (that I still didn’t remember), to just be able to tell her that I forgave her. I told her that I was sorry that I wasn’t kind to her when I saw her yesterday. I told her that I couldn’t even remember the stuff she was talking about (and explained why). She asked if there was anything that she could do, and I told her to just give herself the grace to forget about it, too.
And then, as I hung up the phone, I thought, I should just call Sawan real quick and tell him how that went.
I guess you can’t win them all.