Monday, January 20, 2014

The Afterthought. (That's Me)

A few years ago, I saw a family member--my second cousin, to be exact--while I was out shopping at Target. I had not seen this particular family member in years, but I still recognized him instantly (and I expected him to do the same, but alas). I must have looked quite different from the last time he saw me. Either that or he had totally forgotten that he had a second cousin named Heather, as once I stopped him in the middle of the aisle, I had to reintroduce myself to him:

"Hi, Tony**, it's been awhile!"
**Obviously not his real name. Not that he reads this blog.

Blank stare. Wife and children eyeball the woman addressing their husband and dad in the middle of the laundry detergent aisle. Uncomfortable silence, followed by a slow "Hello."

Then nothing.

"Uh, well, I'm Heather. I don't know if you remember me. (Clearly you do not, or this conversation would have gone down a much different path.**) Our moms are actually cousins."
**Obviously I did not include my parentheses thoughts in my actual conversation.

"Oh, hi."

And then. Yes, then he extended his hand to shake mine. As if this Target reunion weren't awkward enough. Cousins. Who have actually met before and hung out, although not frequently, shaking hands as if we were two strangers meeting at a Southern Baptist church picnic.


I walked away feeling a) really, really stupid and b) like I am completely and utterly forgettable. An afterthought.

And it's really hard to feel like you are an afterthought.

Or, as it were, not thought of. At all.

I was reminded again of that chance meeting over the weekend when my daughter had a friend spend the night. I remember sleepovers. I remember acting crazy and rude to my parents because I could get away with it while the friend was there. So why am I surprised that my daughter does the exact same thing? Maybe because I see myself as a completely different kind of mom than my own mother, one who is hip. And very, very cool, who does not deserve to be forgotten.

But my daughter may as well have forgotten all about me. It was almost as if she was surprised by my presence in the house, as if she were silently saying, "Oh, you. You're still here?"

Ugh. An afterthought.

My cousin may not remember my name. (Or the fact that he even has a cousin, but I'm trying to get over it.) And my daughter may put her friend ahead of me on the totem pole of people she'd like to hang out with. But I was gently reminded of this:

God made me. On purpose. He has a plan for me. On purpose. And He loves me.

On purpose.

And I am not an afterthought.

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future,
nor any powers,
39 neither height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
{romans 8}


  1. Thanks for being so open and sharing this. You're right--God made you for a very specific purpose and you're most definitely not an after thought....especially to me!