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Words That Hurt Part 2


Thursday, June 13, 2013

We have a small convenience store close to our home. It has a drive through window. It exists for those moments when you are about a quarter inch short of butter, the last egg falls on the floor or that mysterious “Not Me,” drinks the last of the milk and puts the container back in the fridge – Empty. Joan had a food day at work and she was trying something new and realized there wasn’t going to be enough milk. That’s why God created drive through windows at convenience stores. Our drive through window is about a foot thick and you communicate with the attendant via microphone. You pay first and they give you your purchase with your change. What can I say? It’s a commentary on the world we live in. I asked for ½ gallon of skim milk, paid for it and waited. They had forgotten to turn off the microphone.

“Okay who gets the milk,” Said one to the other

“The whale in the white tee shirt,” She giggled.

It’s then they realized the microphone was in the “on” position. Talk about your awkward moments.

I’ve have always been very honest about how I feel when I blog. Sometimes it’s painful but I believe it may help someone else who thinks “Gee, I’m not the only one who feels this way.”

I’m glad I was alone in the car driving home because I was beyond embarrassed. I even shed a tear, bit my lip and had that feeling inside that hurt so bad you felt it in your bones. I went upstairs in the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror and thought “My God, you ARE huge!!!” This is where I started to unravel. I began to wonder if that’s the way the whole world saw me. I wondered if the people who said hello and smiled were really thinking “God what a lard butt!!!” or “Man he’s fat.” I was crushed. This short, fifteen second experience, had a devastating effect on me and by the way no man, no matter how old or how married he is, was, or will be ever takes great joy in a woman calling him a "whale.” Our dirty little secret as men is that our egos are more fragile than we’ll let on.

Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you’ve felt that pain that comes with being ridiculed because of your girth and size. Lovely feeling isn’t it? Maybe, if you are an emotional eater, as I am, you run for your comfort food of choice and salve your wounds with it. All your progress goes sliding down the mountain.
A few days back someone commented on my blog about “name calling.” They said “While you make a very good point, I kept waiting for this blog to tie into Fitness, which is the directive of Spark and presumably the reason we are all here.”

I wrote back to this Sparker and told them I understood where they were coming from and I appreciated the insight but I felt that health, fitness and all those other cool things were part and parcel of one another. Unless we are balanced in how we approach things we are never going to reach a bona fide healthy life. I told them their insight they’d given me the inspiration for this blog.

Words hurt. Words can cut as deeply as any blade and eviscerate us to the point that we often give up trying. Those words, those names, whether they are racial, ethnic, political, deal with sexual orientation, or our physical appearance and weight can be as deadly as a bullet.

Somewhere in each spiritual discipline and tradition is the exhortation to set all other things aside and love. I lose sight of that. Instead of hurling names and epitaphs maybe I concentrate on the oft difficult task of loving.
I can think of anything more healthy and nurturing.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 6/19/2013 9:39AM

    I feel sorry for the parents of the rude attendant. I raised my son to be empathetic. His kindergarten teacher said he was the most compassionate child she had ever met and that he gave comfort to other children who were going through rough times. One little girl hated school and cried every day. My son would rush to get a good place in line and take this little girl and put her in his place and then go to the back of the line himself. He was very smart too. The teacher told me that they nicknamed him Einstein. I wonder what kind of nickname the teachers would have come up with for the convenient store attendant who feels it's acceptable to make fun of other people? Loser? Like I said, I'm glad this isn't my child. Ugh.

Comment edited on: 6/19/2013 9:40:12 AM

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DIANNEMT 6/15/2013 5:50PM

    I am so sorry that she was taught so poorly but am thankful that you are a better person than she is.

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SIMONEKP 6/15/2013 3:10PM

    You totally should have confronted them about it

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BESSHAILE 6/15/2013 6:42AM

    When I was in high school a new girl from my neighborhood started coming to the school I attended. I made a comment to one my girlfriends about her, trying to appear like I was up on the latest gossip. She overheard me and her eyes locked with mine. I saw the pain in those eyes - when she realized she couldn't escape her reputation by changing to a new school. A day or two later she stopped coming to my school. I didn't know her. I didn't know if the reputation was justified or not. If you had asked had I wanted to hurt her, shame her or push her away from us "good girls" I would have said a loud "No". But I did all three of those things just because I wanted to show off.

That was 45 years ago. I can still see her eyes. I can still feel the shame of being worse than a girl with a 'reputation'. I was a girl without any kindness or compassion. I threw the first stone. And when I am reminded of that day I send out a little prayer that her life turned out to be a happy one - a good one where she could feel strong and proud. I was reminded after reading your blog post and said that little prayer again.

I work with the public now and I operate from the philosophy that before I judge someone, it's best to give them a chance.

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KARENLEIGH32 6/15/2013 2:19AM

    Funny story" ~ I had the same thing happen to me once, someone made a comment about my weight being the reason my husband was never home. It was said by an almost stranger but it hit home. Not only did it embarrass me but it hurt. I of course started eating soon after I realized that was why I was sitting here hurt and eating...to soothe my feelings. Well 'nuff said, here I am healthier than I been in quite some time!

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LYNMEINDERS 6/15/2013 1:10AM

    I Have been on the receiving end of names as well and sometime they come back to me again....
Loving is a good way to move forward....


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BARDIC_GRRL 6/14/2013 3:02PM

    It isn't just at the grocery store, or when buying junk food for other people. I get it when I'm out jogging, when I go swimming, and when I go for a bike ride. I'm on the downhill slide to 60 now, and the scar tissue from all the taunts and not-so-subtle hints at my weight is pretty thick. I try to pretend I no longer care, that I ignore all that input.

The fact is, though, that it hurts. It has always hurt, and it will always hurt. And it is enough to send a person into depression, and give up on themselves. So yes, John, it is relevant to fitness.

Thank you so much for your frankness and honesty.

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CELIAMINER 6/14/2013 1:15PM

    I started to read your June 14 blog, and when you referred to this one, I realized I had missed it. I'm so glad I read it, because it is powerful! You are brave to share your story with us, so thank you! You are so right that words hurt, and sometimes the hurt never goes away.

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WADINGMOOSE 6/14/2013 1:04PM

    Oh man. Been. There. I hate when we're planning a get together with friends and I end up at the grocery store with a bunch of junk food in my basket and I feel like everyone is looking at me thinking, "hey, fatty, step away from the chips." I've just decided in my head that everyone looks at me and sees only the fat so maybe I've spent too much time around people like the girl at the convenience store.

And you're right - it's my belief that people are thinking this about me that often sends me to the fridge to eat "comfort food." Why couldn't comfort food be healthy rather than fat and salt laden crap?

We can't force other people to accept us. We can only accept ourselves, which is something I struggle with every day. And it's something it sounds like you are much closer to achieving than I am.

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ARCHIMEDESII 6/14/2013 1:00PM

    I've had more than my fair share of name calling moments and no it it never a pretty moment. I'm sorry you had to have that experience with that You did the right thing. It's always best to take the high ground in situations like these. Yes, people should be better behaved, but they are not.

We have come a very long way over these last few years when it comes to being more sensitive to the feelings of others. the problem is that too many people still think it's okay to make fun of someone just because they happen to be overweight. People think twice (at least they should) when commenting about a person's race. However, too many think that being overweight makes them fair game i.e. a target. Hopefully these types of attitudes will change, for now we have to do our best to not let these comments get the better of us.

That was the good twin's comment. My evil twin would have said the snarky reply to that window attendant would have been,"It is better to be a whale than to wait on one".

Some people really were never taught any manners. I'm sure they would feel very differently if they were called fat. How many women beat themselves up when their boyfriends tell them they should lose a few even if they at a healthy weight ? Yes, words can hurt. But, they can heal too.

that's why I love the Spark Community. Lots of wonderful sparkers !


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GUITARWOMAN 6/14/2013 12:42PM

    Ouch, that is just hurtful!

If you are female, you can have the added humiliation of people supposing that you are pregnant when you are not....happened to me.

I hope this young woman has learned something about kindness and acceptance...

I think you were pretty darn brave for sharing this. Thank you.

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EDWARDS1411 6/14/2013 11:41AM

    I totally agree with you that " health, fitness and all those other cool things" are "part and parcel of one another. Unless we are balanced in how we approach things we are never going to reach a bona fide healthy life." I've never thought that our blogs had to be tied into just fitness and that Sparking is about the whole life experience and how it affects us both mentally and physically, internally and externally. Too many of us take our freedom of speech for granted and forget to savour our words with salt.

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AVANDREA_ 6/14/2013 10:27AM

    My daughter and also a friends daughter both work at call centres, and they have both talked about what happens when they get a customer on the line who they are having a hard time talking with. They hit the mute button and start tearing down that person with their coworkers while the person on the line can not hear them. Like your experience John, sometimes that mute button is not hit and their real feelings towards the individual come out.

Its unfortunate that people feel the need to degrade others, just because they do not fit into the accepted social norm, be it size, race, ability to understand verbal directions, or any other difference. We all have been hurt at some point or another with those verbal slams, just as I am sure we all have thought our share of them about others. We just have the ability to make sure our mute button is on and avoid speaking out loud.

Reading your blog has reminded me of how hurtful those thoughts can be, and I need to make an even greater effort to stop and remember that almost everyone can be beautiful on the inside. Its how you treat them that helps make that beauty apparent, just as its how they treat you that lets yours shine through.

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BEATLETOT 6/14/2013 10:15AM

    You know what? I'm GLAD that that girl humiliated herself. I HATE that it caused you pain, but I'm sure she spent the rest of the day kicking herself, inwardly cringing and everytime the phone rang for the next several days, she was sure it would be you calling her boss to tell him how unprofessional and disrespectful she was, and boy, was she going to GET it.

And next time, maybe she won't be so trashy when dealing with the public.



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ANGYAS 6/14/2013 7:21AM

    emoticon
As many already posted: We all been there. In fact I`m still there, and yes words hurts a lot.
My father in law is always saying on his other daughter in law (which is extremely skinny) " Be careful you might not fit!" or " you are so fat " and this is always in my presents. My mother in law is always commenting that someone was FAT as me and now skinny, ect. ect .. My list can go on and on and on
What can I say. They just see our body images and not that we are trying ;)
emoticon emoticon


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WALKNLOVE 6/14/2013 7:13AM

    WORDS by Hawk Nelson is an excellent song. It really speaks to the importance of our words. Life and Death is in the power of the tongue. We have to learn to speak words of life , not only to others, but to ourselves. JOHN, God does not say you are fat! He says you are blessed & highly favored! He says you are more than a conqueror! He says you are made in his image & his likeness! He says you have the mind of Christ! He says you are the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! Trust me, I feel your pain with you. I have to remind myself on a daily basis to not speak negatively to myself in the mirror! It's easy to encourage other people, but we are always hardest on ourselves. I pray for God to show you "YOU", the way he sees you!!! It's really all that matters! I'll never forget the day he spoke into my heart & told me,"You are beautiful!" Wow! It left me in tears! emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/14/2013 7:13:55 AM

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BERRY4 6/14/2013 3:20AM

    This song always resonates with me because of the TRUTH in it...

http://www.azlyrics.co
m/lyrics/hawknelson/words.html<
BR>
Best to you in your personal journey toward all levels of health and fitness!
emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/14/2013 3:21:25 AM

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BABY77A 6/14/2013 2:08AM

    I know how awful that experience was for you, I am sending you thoughts of love and caring for I so appreciate all your blogs. You help inspire me to stay on the right healthy track, especially during those hard, hard days. Thank you.

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GEEMAWEST 6/14/2013 12:34AM

    Great and honest blog!

One of my residents where I used to work had a severe stroke and couldn't communicate very well. However, he managed to say to me 'you have a big a$$'. Everyone laughed it off but it still hurt. We are human and words can hurt no matter how 'enlightened' we are.

I think you are beautiful. You have an awesome smile and great personality. That's what counts!

Love and Hugs to you my dear friend. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NASFKAB 6/13/2013 11:00PM

  all the best these words hurt so much keep on pushing

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TACOMALO 6/13/2013 10:33PM

    Hang in there buddy. A lot of us have similar stories. I remember one time I was at a gym on an elliptical, and these two douches right next to me, guy and a gal, were talking about how glad they were not fat and how terrible life must be to fat people...

I've got a bunch more of these tales as I'm sure a lot of us do.

In any case...F Them. Work on the mental game as much as the physical game. If I can recommend a book, check out The Body Fat Solution.

http://www.amazon.
com/Tom-Venuto/e/B001JRV1NS


...not saying it's going to miraculously make you lose weight, but what I found really wild about it was how well it identifies the mental issues we overweight people have, and helps provide the tools to conquer them.

As someone who has had my own share of Sparkpeople blog meltdowns, I think you'll appreciate it as much as I do.

Good luck.

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NANCYANNE55 6/13/2013 9:47PM

    First of all, I truly am sorry if I hurt you with my comment on your blog. Unfortunately when intonation of voice is left out, the true meaning behind the statement is often missed. If you knew me in person you would completely see where my heart was in that, but I do see how you took it as snarky and again, I am sorry for any pain I caused you. I hope you will accept my apology.

Comment edited on: 6/17/2013 1:20:40 PM

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CARTOONB 6/13/2013 9:25PM

    Sorry. I don't have words to express what I feel. Hope you were able to get past her comments. You can take back your control and not let her words affect you.

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HDHAWK 6/13/2013 9:11PM

    I'm sorry you had that experience John. How hurtful that had to be. It goes back to the old saying, "Don't judge a book by it's cover". If they knew you they certainly wouldn't have made that comment. You're much loved here and you can also write about whatever you want. I don't think Spark has a rule that we can only write about fitness. I can't believe how often people have to make something out of nothing. Frustrating!

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WATERMELLEN 6/13/2013 6:54PM

    Too bad that insensitive person did not know you as we here know you: incredibly wise, kind, insightful, human.

Those words of hers had the power to hurt. I am sorry you experienced that hurt. You did not deserve that, at all.

Thank you for reminding all of us: words can hurt.

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19-VICKI-56 6/13/2013 5:26PM

  John, I am soooo sorry for the way you were talked about as well as the insensitive sparker. Frankly, our blogs are to write what we feel or want to share, whether it's about weight and fitness, or the neat shoes we just bought. It's what helps us get thru the day, regardless of the topic.
You are one of the kindest people I've friended on spark people. I've left numerous times but every time I come back I always, always hunt you up and friend you, as well as subscribe to your blogs. Sometimes they're the highlight of my day. Thank you for being you and please don't ever stop being the sweet man you are. emoticon emoticon

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LAST20FORME 6/13/2013 4:54PM

    Young kids who are bored and probable have a name for every customer including those who are thin, pierced, tattooed, short or tall. Just think that one day they like all of us will grow older, have a bigger middle than they have now, and will have experienced both good and bad times of life. They will probable think back to these working days and remember how mean they were to people and try to forgive their younger self.

Personally it would have bothered me only for the moment I heard the comment. I've been very successful in life, accomplished many goals so name calling from young kids who still are figuring things out says more about them than me. I may even have used the comment as a wake up call to get my butt to the gym.

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GIRANIMAL 6/13/2013 4:22PM

    It seems like most of us have had these hurtful encounters. I remember feeling so powerless and frustrated when, a couple of years ago, maybe 20 or 30 pounds into my total loss, some irate driver screamed at me, on my bicycle, to get my fat as$ out of the road. After the knee-jerk "f-off" that I hurled in response, all I could think was, "But can't see you? I'm riding my bike because I am trying to fix it! You should have seen me before!" It did not help that I already felt like an imposter out there on the road nearly every day as it was, huffing and puffing in conditions the skinny riders (truth: more conditioned) seemed to breezing though without a care. nearly every day as it was.

WHAM. Right back to my childhood, giving up all my power and desperately wanting to please and be accepted. It did not help that as a child I was a closet eater, and I would be reprimanded when candy bar wrappers were found in my bedroom Or that when I expressed having a tummy ache, my stepfather would often say, "Well, yeah, if I had a belly like that, it would hurt me too!"

I was less than a half mile from home on that ride and fought tears the whole way, simultaneously thinking, "Nice -- this is what you teach your child?" There was a girl of maybe 10 in the backseat. And so the cycle continues. emoticon

It's times like these I conjure up the voice of my beloved mama (although I am sure she borrowed it from some more well-known person), who would say "Why would you let someone take up space in your head rent-free?"

Side note: What IS IT with Sparkers who feel like they need to be the blog police, enforcing some rule they made up in their heads? Riiiiiight, because Twilight has ANYTHING to do with weight loss, and I can't begin to comprehend that franchise's popularity, but I would never dream of deeming it off-topic or inappropriate, let alone calling someone out for it. The only Spark policing that should ever be done is against those bullying and being anything less than supportive ... like your commenter. Is it any reason he or she couldn't see the real point of this story? That person is busy being the same kind of hater you just described!

Live and let live, folks. Super simple. Sigh.

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TRAVELGRRL 6/13/2013 4:02PM

    Why do you let some presumably young, minimum-wage employee in a convenience store dictate how you feel about yourself? You are an accomplished, middle-aged man with a lot of success and wisdom under his belt.

I stopped caring about what young people think of me a LONG time ago. They see a "granny", end of story. I KNOW I am someone who had a great career, has a great family life, and is now retired at age 58 because of her excellent choices and financial savvy. I'm now living my dream of traveling all over the world.

I'm sorry this girl was a fool, but letting this incident hurt your feelings is a waste of energy!

I think you should make an appointment to speak with the manager. It would be a kindness for this girl to learn NOW how to treat others with compassion, especially since she is in a service job.

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AJDOVER1 6/13/2013 3:14PM

    Thanks, John. I need to be reminded that men hurt, too. Occasionally, I've overheard the conversations of guys trashing the appearance of women they see (not me, I'm of the age where I'm invisible to men). Anyone has the capacity to be cruel -- but no one has the right.



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JSPIN74 6/13/2013 2:20PM

    What Janette said about you & your heart is true...

So sorry for that crappy experience you had. emoticon

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EMTFF376 6/13/2013 1:46PM

    I have lots of words to describe you, especially after meeting you in person. "Whale" is not one of them... unless I were referring to the size of your heart.

I have found that people that say things like that are so insecure themselves, that they have to put others down to reassure themselves.

I think you are a beautiful person, John, inside and out. I am honored to call you my friend.

Lots of love,
Janette


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ANATASHIKI 6/13/2013 1:43PM

    oh man , you shouldn't let other people hurt you so much . who cares what some idiots say? (I know , you do , but why?) .I stopped being called names when I stopped to care about it. I only care about what people who love me say about me.whale? why not? whales are cute , intelligent , caring . I couldn't say that about humans as a species .as for the one commenting , please! we shouldn't make an idol from exercise and fitness. I lost 80 pounds and gained them back doing exactly the same amount of it. best blogs are about feelings and most people here have a food -feelings issue . best thing on spark is the way you can connect to people , know them , bond with them and help each other. I suppose there are fitness sermons type blogs on spark . I confess I'm not reading even one emoticon
keep being yourself John, we love you exactly as you are emoticon

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CHESSARIA 6/13/2013 12:58PM

    I don't think everyone thinks like that. If I were to meet you in person, even if I didn't realize who you are, I wouldn't be thinking about your weight. I'd wonder how your day was going and if you didn't say much, what happened in your day to make you tired. I'd wonder why you needed to get milk from this store, instead of having it earlier from a regular store.

Some people are raised to be judgmental and to say what they are thinking. Others, like me are raised to have an open mind. So just because one person says something awful, it doesn't mean you ha e to throw the towel in, and I'm glad you didn't. Even though you were hurt, you thought better of the situation and decided to let it go. Good for you!

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JUST_BREATHE08 6/13/2013 12:55PM

    I'm so Sorry!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LILLIPUTIANNA 6/13/2013 12:30PM

    I'm still shocked that you have a drive-thru window at your local convenience store! Seriously?! We don't have those here.

A friend of mine collects drive-thru window pictures from the South. Her favorite are the drive-thru margarita windows (They used to have them in a couple of states.I'm not sure if they still do). To us, that sounds like complete insanity. Booze handed to you in your car?! A disaster waiting to happen!

As for loving the people who said that to you, I personally wouldn't. Instead, I would use that moment as fuel to push me through to achieve progress. I like harnessing my frustration, hurt, anger and building something positive out of it. I can't tell you how many times an unkind word has gotten me through a particularly difficult workout!

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NILLAPEPSI 6/13/2013 11:56AM

    Wow! What is wrong with people!?!! That old saying, "Sticks & stones . . . ." isn't true at all!!

emoticon emoticon

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NEEDBU66 6/13/2013 11:53AM

    How rude. Yet it's what we do. "the blonde" "the nerdy one" "the geek"

I'm glad you realize that the skin you wear on the outside has nothing to do with who you are. That old joke comes to mind: I can lose weight, but you can't fix rude.

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REGILIEH 6/13/2013 11:34AM

    How rude, insensitive, and just plain dumb!!!! I do hope you will NOT have to do business with them again. I think I would have said I would now like to speak to the manager.

I find it inexcusable!

emoticon

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JEANNETTE59 6/13/2013 11:31AM

  How very brave you are, may your honesty set others free to speak about the hurt they endure. Why has cruelty become acceptable?

May God bless you and keep you emoticon

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TRISTAROSE 6/13/2013 11:29AM

    emoticon

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TERMITEMOM 6/13/2013 11:20AM

    I am so sorry this happened to you! And I admire you because you found the way to stay POSITIVE! You are beautiful: what is inside is what matters. emoticon

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HARROWJET 6/13/2013 11:03AM

    emoticon

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SLIMLEAF 6/13/2013 10:39AM

    Oh, John! My dear friend, John!

I am so sorry to read of your very hurtful experience.

I cannot find words to soothe your wounds or make things better, although I wish I could.

Instead all I can offer is a heartfelt HUG.

Lindsay

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CATHYHASSPARK 6/13/2013 10:37AM

    Wow, man dude Im giving you a hug!!! You are an inspiration to me , and keep me going I love seeing your posts, you are honest and thats what I like about them and they make me think

If I heard them saying that about me I would have parked my car , walked into the store and say the next time you want to talk smack about someone make sure the microphone is off, and I would like to talk to your manager that is so unprofessional Or I would go online an complain , that is customer service and not good customer service!!

I do know how words can hurt, I would be in Costco with my husband and I hear a girl tell her dad " That Lady has a big butt" but do the parents correct their kids nope they dont so they are guilty for not teaching their kids manners.

but the thing is , any words that people tell you that can manufacture into a lie, you take that lie and throw it away , and tell yourself what is the absolute truth about you and believe that truth . people who say bad things about others , have a low self esteem of themselves, and feel they have to find something on others to talk bad about to make themselves feel better.

keep blogging mister you are an inspiration and keep being the wonderful person you know you are!!! emoticon

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NIXIEWILLOW 6/13/2013 10:33AM

    Thank you for sharing this terribly painful experience. It is so sad that we hurt each other so much with our careless words. I totally agree with you that there is nothing more healthy and nurturing than to focus on loving. It is the only way to heal ourselves and heal our world. Each of us is beautiful and perfect, and each of us shines like the sun - if only we could learn to see this in both ourselves and others.
Wishing that lots of happy, encouraging, healing words will come your way and blot out those others. You are amazing and nothing anyone says could ever make that less true. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CBRIGGS1956 6/13/2013 10:32AM

    John I understand exactly how you felt at the hurtful words because I have been there also; I on the other hand would probably have said something smart back to make good and sure they knew I heard them. Here's to the day I can be as big a person as you are. Love your blogs.

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