How I’m Feeling, Whether You Asked Or Not II- I Didn’t See Him, But He Saw Me
With all the hard news we’ve endured over the last couple of weeks, I was totally caught off guard over the weekend by a simple gesture of kindness.
So my husband and I had just picked up dinner and were walking to the car. As I got towards the door, I heard a voice say, “Hey man…”
I heard him but didn’t immediately catch that he was talking to me because I was fiddling with my phone and my keys trying to unlock the car.
I know the phone doesn’t unlock the car doors, or at least my phone doesn’t, but the keys and the phone were in the same hand and I was doing a little jig trying to shuffle the keys and —
Well I’m sure we’ve all done this dance before so you get it.
As I finally managed to get the door unlocked, I heard him say something else. I thought I knew what he said, but again, I wasn’t really focused.
I opened the door and as I was sitting, I turned in his direction and there he was, an older tall white man.
At the moment I saw him, what I thought he had said clicked in my mind just as he was repeating it out loud.
“Hey man, your life matters, and I’m with you.”
Look, I know America has a long way to go with racism, but I feel like in some ways this country is coming into an awakening of sorts. I think people are really starting to see how backwards things are.
Believe me. I know it’s a terribly long time coming, but I’ll take the few centimeters of forward motion we’ve had recently over the last few hundred of year of regression America has been in with matters of race.
I am fully aware that racism in America did not end with that man’s statement to me, but him saying those words in that moment, out of the blue and totally unprovoked…
It was one of those moments where you seriously question if people just appear out of thin air because I didn’t even see where he came from.
Then again, there was that struggle with the keys and the phone and… well yeah, you remember.
I was so overwhelmed I didn’t realize I hadn’t unlocked both doors, so my husband was on the passenger side of the car tugging at the door handle trying to get in the car while I’m trying to hold in an Oprah/Viola Davis ugly cry.
I managed to get out a “Thank you for saying that”. I wanted to walk over and hug him, but as much as I’m sure he meant what he said, I don’t think he wanted his sincerity tested by having a 6'5 black guy sobbing on his shoulder.
That may have been a bit much.
Sure, words and actions are two different things, but from time to time, words can be action, especially if they manage to touch your heart.
I guess next time though I’ll just be sure I’ve completely touched the remote and opened all of the car doors.
Because husband’s lives matter.