Reprinted with permission
Scott and I were so happy you were our waitress the first time we went to First Watch. You were the perfect combination of friendly, engaging and professional. Providing amazing service while letting us have our space to talk isn’t easy. We asked you your name to make sure we requested you each time we came after that.
With all the guests you serve, I couldn’t figure out how you remembered exactly what we both liked every time. You make us feel so welcome and special each time. When you aren’t working it just is never quite the same. It was like we were visiting someone we knew when we saw you.
A few weeks ago I happened to wear an NA t-shirt I had recently gotten at a convention I attended. You immediately noticed and said something about it. Scott and I both said we were in recovery and your face lit up. You admitted that you were an addict and had been going to meetings at one time and needed to get back to them. We were excited to tell you about our home group that met on Friday nights knowing you only worked days. You said that was a perfect time and you would be there next week. I gave you my card and said you could call any time. We left excited that we were able to share a message of hope with you and there was a meeting 5 days later.
The next time we were there you apologized for not being able to make the meeting. We said we would be there when you were ready to come. You said you would be there Friday and would give me a call and again Scott and I were excited knowing we would see you in a few days in a meeting.
You didn’t come to the meeting Friday night, but at least you knew where we were. We came over Sunday and they said you were working later than your normal time. For a moment I thought that was strange since you only serve breakfast and lunch, but didn’t give it another thought. Once again breakfast wasn’t the same without you. There’s something about you that lights up wherever you stand. Your warmth was felt by so many. I guess that’s why so many people request you.
Scott went there without me yesterday morning. A couple of the waitresses walked over knowing we always sat with you. They let him know that you overdosed and died on Sunday, the day they told us you were coming in to work later. I can’t imagine what it was like for him to hear that in the very place we met you. He knew how excited I was that you wanted recovery. There aren’t many women in our meetings and the idea of you joining us was part of the reason we started the meeting. We wanted a place for anyone seeking recovery from addiction to have a place to hear the message of Narcotics Anonymous and know that a day at a time, they never had to use drugs again.
I don’t know how he found the words to tell me what happened to you. I sat in shock unable to process what he shared. He said you have a 9- and 11-year-old. How are they going to grow up without your love? I’m sorry that you were so in the grip of your addiction that you didn’t call or come to a meeting. We would have helped you; I promise. All you needed to do was pick up the phone or shown up at the door.
Now nobody else, most of all your children will ever see the twinkle in your eyes, feel your warmth or be excited just knowing you are in the room. I hate this disease and what it does. What I hate even more is that this past Sunday it won and took you.
Rest well Natasha and know the world glows a little less bright now that you are gone. I will miss you.
Please, if you or someone you know has or thinks they may have a problem with drugs, pm me, no matter where you live. I will help get you in touch with someone in Narcotics Anonymous near you or let you know about online meetings. They are available 24/7. Help is available and NA is free. Out message is simple…an addict, any addict, can stop using, lose the desire and find a new way to live. Give us a chance…. what do you have to lose?
Karen is so sincere that she gave me her cell phone to put on this blog: is 1.404.626.0946 or you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The link for NA is www.na.org.
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I was out shopping and heard crying. I turned to look. What I saw was a little family walking: a mom, a dad, a little boy crying, and a baby in a stroller. The mom and dad were not alarmed, the baby was peaceful, the boy was upset. Did he want something that his parents didn't give him? Was it time for his nap? Something upset him, but in the scheme of things, what ever he was bummed about didn't seem to be alarming to anyone around.
Now, his feelings were real to him. He (and everyone for that matter) deserved to be related to with sensitivity and kindness. And, at the same time, nothing tragic was really going on.
For me, it was the perfect reflection of my life that day. I wasn't feeling well when I saw that scene. I wasn't actually crying on the outside, but I felt like I could have been. Still, from a wider perspective, the "not feeling well" of that moment was OK. Especially considering that just two days before I was in terrible pain with food poisoning. So on a pain scale, the pain I was feeling wasn't that high. Truth is, I have a great life and I have a LOT to be grateful about. Still, I get to have my feelings. The cool thing is that I also have a choice about how quickly or slowly I want to move through the little challenges. (Hooray for options and choices.)
Understanding all of this didn't make me feel physically any better. But it did help me get perspective. That was helpful.
So maybe this story will help you get perspective too. When you're sad and crying, consider the big picture of your life and you may find that things are not as bad as you thought.
Live the extraordinary life you deserve.
Aunt Laya inspires and encourages you to live the life you want for yourself! She'll tell you the truth, even when it's not always so easy to hear so that you can learn to handle the hard stuff of life and be your best, happiest self. Always with love and caring.