Well, I had my 3rd lil “moment” at work today, which isn’t bad for nearly 19 months at Olive Garden working with the public while dealing with grief. I just never know what will hit me or when. About a month ago, when I was hosting, I took a family to their table and the little boy brought tears to my eyes. He was around 8 or 9 years old and he so had the energy of Andrew at that age. His mannerisms, his smile, his demeanor, his interaction with his family, they just screamed Muck. I thought maybe it was just a fluke I felt that way so I tested myself. I walked back up to the section they were seated in, a few different times, and yup! Sure enough tears welled up each time. Even though he brought tears to my eyes, I couldn’t help but want to look at him every chance I got. I wanted to hug him so tight and not let go, but that would have been very inappropriate. I know when your at Olive Garden you’re family and all, but I didn’t want to be the weird uncle no one talks about. I’m already the weird server with a husband who talks to “dead” people and a son on the other side who works with him, that no one invites out. It is so bittersweet when something like this happens because I can feel Andrew so strong but I can’t hug him, and that mama gene wants her hugs!
Today, my 3rd incident, was a young man around Andrew’s age if he were still here. It was this guy’s hair, it was messy like Andrew’s hair was when he made a sad attempt to brush it before we went out. The shape of this young man’s face, it was like Andrew’s as well as slight acne, and his smile, but mostly his hair that struck me. I would always get on Andrew’s case about his hair before we went out. So he would either throw some water around it and pretend to do something with it or put his “It’s All Good” hat on that his girlfriend Jourdan got him.
This time I had a wee break down in front of Debbie, the “to go” girl, and Charley, the general manager. Debbie was encouraging me to just let go, she said it was ok, she’s such a bitch! LOL Well, the tears welled up and a few fell down my face as I explained why this young man got to me. I can’t even believe I said this in front of my general manager through my tears, but I said, “His hair is fucked up like Andrew’s would be.” Usually saying the “F” word will get you written up, but it didn’t this time. Hmmm Charley does have a heart! LOL Debbie then proceeds to tell me that I have a nerve to say his hair was fucked up with the state of mine! Apparently I had all kinds of shit in my hair! The 3 of us started laughing as Debbie is picking parts of what I guess was zoopa tuscana or chicken gnoki soup out of my hair. Don’t ask, because I have no idea how I get food in my hair when I’m not even eating it! I know, how do I get food in my hair when I am eating? I can’t tell you how I do that other than it’s a gift I have. At least there was nothing alive in my hair!
So this young man smiles at me when I come to their table and is so polite with thank you’s, yes ma’ams etc, all the politeness of Andrew, and the energy thing too, there is a certain energy that accompanies these moments, it’s Andrew’s energy. I can’t take my eyes off of him, but I have to be careful not to have the weird uncle stare. I do manage to keep my composure, except for my wee melt down in the kitchen earlier. I did find myself wanting to hug him tight too, but again it would have been weird and inappropriate, and I’m sure I would have definitely been written up for that one.
I’m not sure what Muck was playin at because I go into the kitchen after this and what song is playing? “Who Loves You” by Franki Vallie and The Four Seasons! SERIOUSLY!? Is he trying to make me a puddle in my own tears and snotters on the floor sucking my thumb? You know the song, “Who loves you Pretty Mama? Who’s always there to make it right?” I hear that line and it stops in me in my tracks and I look at Debbie, she knows what Andrew calls me. She hears it too and says, “he’s letting you know he’s here and that he loves you!” I said laughing, “He’s killin me!”
I leave the kitchen for a moment come back and then hear, “When tears are in your eyes, And you can’t find the way. It’s hard to make believe you’re happy when you’re gray. Baby when you’re feelin’ like, you’ll never see the mornin’ light. Come to me, Baby, you’ll see.” Seriously!? OMG! It’s like Andrew is talking to me. Hmmm come to me? Does that mean I get to leave here? Hmmmmm just sayin. Ok, now I hear Andrew, “No PrettyMama! You know what it means. It means to come to me, feel my energy surrounding you when you feel like this and I will make it ok.” Hey! You can’t blame a PrettyMama for tryin!
I leave the kitchen to deliver food and come back AND the song is STILL on, and I hear, “And when you think the whole wide world has passed you by. You keep on tryin’ but you really don’t know why. (I really do keep on tryin and don’t know why!) Baby when you need a smile to help the shadows drift away, come to me, baby, you’ll see.” Of course I don’t hear “Baby,” It’s the Pretty Mama that is louder to me, Andrew tends to accent the words he wants me to hear. Again, bitterweet, I love it and hate it all at once, but mostly love it. As I leave the kitchen again, I all I can hear is, “Who’s gonna love you, love you! Who’s gonna love you Pretty Mama!” Under my breath as I’m walking out I say, “you are Muck!” I gotta watch that because I talk to him a lot at work out loud. And it looks like I’m talking to myself. Again, it could be why I don’t get invited to anything at work. I’m like the weird aunt with all the cats no one talks about.
I’m not sure if there is a bigger message in all of this today, or he just wanted to send his PrettyMama some love and let me know he’s still right there by my side loving me every step of the way, but I do LOVE it when I feel my Muck like that around me, it’s worth the tears, AND…
IT’S ALL GOOD!