Thankful Thursday 18 June 2020

On Monday, Mrs. Brown e-mailed me about my library manager. She was in hospice for a few weeks, but unfortunately lost her battle to cancer. I’m still very sad about Mrs. Davenport’s death. It hit me last night after I was looking through old photos from different events that whenever we will be able to go back to the library, I will never see her again.

It also hit me that in the beginning of the year, I was extremely angry. First because of my display, then another incident. Part of the reason why I didn’t get the cataloging clerk position was they found my angry Tweet about Kobe Bryant. As someone who has survived and remembering what he did back in 2003, I was angry that people were saying about how great he was. Didn’t excuse my comment, but someone apparently took offense, found my information, and called the library. Anyway, before we were quarantine, things left on an anxious note. I was panicking about the pandemic.

I couldn’t have known, no one could have known, but I wish I got one last group photo or a photo with her before the library closed. I wish I was in a better mood and I wish I had a better attitude this past winter. However, this self-punishment isn’t helping me feel better.

I’m thankful that she hired me on 14 August 2006 to become a page. I’m grateful for her and Mrs. Collier for training me and I’m grateful that I had her as a manager for 14 years. I’m glad that she was empathetic and knew I was going through difficult times and didn’t judge me harshly. I’m glad that she still saw me as me after the 2013 incident. She still believed in me.

Here is the elegy I wrote, along with a photo from 2019.

Elegy for a Librarian

She’s reading the Bible, I think it might have been Matthew, maybe John,
I walk in quietly, hoping not to disturb her Bible study, but she looks up,
“good afternoon, may I have a private chat with you,” as she leads me to the back room,
“is everything okay? I know the years have been rough to you, but I received word,” her voice lowers;
after some tears, she hugged me, and told me if I ever needed to talk, she was here,
checking in on me day by day, an open ear and an open mind, a reference letter for Canada,
a job well done; on her part, she was patient and kind, even when others weren’t to her.
Always a smile, as chemo was dripping, radiation pulsing,
she was always dancing and singing a Gospel hymn or a bluesy melody,
tapping her frigid fingers, no feeling; a side-effect of the chemo;
winter raged on outside, a fiery hell inside, yet her delicate gloves
protect her hands and help her type out the notices that the library will be closed,
due to the governor’s orders, COVID-19 has ravaged our area,
the day before Friday the 13th, in the third month of the year,
our anxiety high, yet before she walks out that door, she hugs me good-bye,
“take care of yourself, I will see you soon.” I wave good-bye,
anger pulsing at the contagion that infects and kills, wishing I knew
that her “I wish to live” would turn into “I am fighting to live”
as quarantine and furloughs rage on, “I gave it my best shot,”
the Bible is laid to rest on her desk, Revelation, in front of an empty chair.

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In happier news, I booked my vacation and found an Air bnb for $40/night.  I’m going to go to Keansburg, NJ for a few days. I’ve never been there before, but the Air BNB was inexpensive, there is a higher cleaning fee this year; and I plan on taking the same precautions. Mask, gloves, my own pillow, and my own towel.

I’m excited that the Air bnb I’m staying in allows use of the kitchen. I have access to pots, pans, oil, salt, and pepper. Since I’m gluten-free and travelling on a shoe string budget, I’m excited about this! I don’t have to order out at all, which makes me happy! There’s a Lidl in Keansburg and my parents love Lidl. It’s similar to Aldi’s, so I will probably love it too. Three nights for $180, free access to the beach, home cooking. I’ll get some postcards for people and my Happiness Box. I’m quite proud of this shoe string budget. I’m grateful that the host was helpful and that he is providing ways I can stick to a budget.

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I’m also thankful for friends and family. What are you thankful about this week?

Published by

thehappinessboxproject

Creator of the Happiness Box Project Initiative, a project where you write your happiness or gratitude each day, then open the box in the New Year. The Initiative is to teach joy and gratitude, to pass it on to others.

3 thoughts on “Thankful Thursday 18 June 2020”

  1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

    Some weeks it is harder than others to celebrate Thankful Thursday. As I already told you, I am sorry to learn of the death of your library manager of 14 years, Mrs. Davenport. True unconditional love is being able to see the person within the person, to have empathy, to be patient and tolerant and to forgive. Mrs. Davenport gave unconditional love to you. Consider her death an opportunity for you to learn from her example and let go of some of your anger. The more often you remove the filter and fire off an angry rant where others can hear or read it, the more toes you will step on, the more feathers you will ruffle and the more problems you will encounter in your various relationships. I need to remind Mrs. Shady of this all the time. I ask her how many minds and hearts does she think she is changing by going on a tirade? Most likely none. My philosophy is to be nice to everybody and try to set a good example hoping others will follow.

    I am verklempt after reading Elegy for a Librarian. It is a wonderful tribute to Mrs. D.

    I needed to look at a map to find out where Keansburg is. I see it is halfway between Asbury Park and New York. You’ll be wading in Sandy Hook Bay, I take it. It sounds like you have a good plan and a great deal, a thrifty getaway.

    Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend JM!

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    1. Hi Dell Rat Tom,

      You’re very right. I normally don’t leave such scathing comments on a public profile, especially when I have a public profile, but I was in a bad mood that day. I didn’t even think about it. It’s really scary when someone can find out about you based on profiles too.

      I’ve started journaling, in addition to my Happiness Box Project and I’ve noticed it has helped. I also reach out to friends and I say, “thanks for listening to me, I’m going through a lot right now.” I have to thank you for always reading my e-mails.

      Mrs. Davenport understood what was going on in my life and while she was a manager, maybe she was a true blue friend too. I’ll definitely internalize all the things she taught me and I will pass it on as well.

      I’m excited! I’ve never been up that far and I can’t wait for it. I’ll make another entry when it gets closer. I’m also going to Yonkers for a Shabbat. 🙂

      Enjoy the rest of your week too, dear friend.

      Like

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