I'm 42 years old, was not long ago diagnosed with cancer (for a short stint) and still don't know how to talk to people when they are gravely ill. You'd think I'd have learned something...
I'm scheduled to bring a meal to Dottie tomorrow, so I called up today to set a time and ask if bbq chicken sounded good. One of her sons answered the phone so I asked for Dottie and he said she wasn't taking calls - so I know right then that she's not feeling good. Told the son why I was calling and he passed me off to dad (who I've never talked to before) - made the arrangements and then I asked how Dottie was doing. He said she wasn't feeling good, and then the bumbling begins. I say something about of course she's not feeling good (how dumb is that?), tell her we are praying for her and we love her and wish her the best (wish her the best?? is she playing a game? ugh) and then I say I'm sorry I'm not very good at this and he has a wonderful comeback "I'm not good at this either", and then I sign off saying I'll see you tomorrow.
I really think it ought to be mandatory that we memorize appropriate phrases that are comforting and not dumb for the moments we have not adequately prepared.
So today the boys and I are going to make snickerdoodles to go with the chicken and I want them to make cards for Dottie - since they like her and she's been their sunday school teacher this year. Get well soon? That's hardly appropriate. Maybe just a We love you Miss Dottie. They are not crazy about drawing (or writing) so this will mean I'll have to stand on them to get it done. But that's all I can think of. If you have any good ideas, I'd appreciate it.
I'm trying to pull myself together before we head out to the grocery store.