My Mistake, Their Kindness

My Mistake, Their Kindness

It was my fault. I’m not sure if it was because of my body misbehaving earlier in the week (fever, chills, and stomach upset) or my house misbehaving (roof leaking, overheated dishwasher, and dryer malfunction), or perhaps I simply had a “senior moment” (now that I’m in my sixth decade of life). But for whatever reason, I was late to the book talk I gave last Thursday at the Page Turners’ 20th Anniversary Celebration event.

I was horrified.

I cut my teeth on my father’s oft-said mantra, “What’s planned is possible.” My preparation for this event was no exception.

Twelve days before the event, I scheduled a trip to the library. I met with Mr. Mike, the host librarian, and toured the room where the event would be held to see if we would need to make any special accommodations for my wheelchair.

Six days before the event, I revised my remarks and rehearsed. I planned to read three excerpts (totaling nine minutes), allowing the rest of my 30-minute time slot for questions.

Four days before the event, I received and reviewed the detailed agenda from Mr. Mike that included a timeline for each section of the program.

Two days before the event, I confirmed my transportation arrangements with Jess, a Towson graduate and current special educator who began working with me during her sophomore year of college and continues to help me from time to time.

“All set,” she texted me back.

The night before the event, I selected my outfit—my gold sequin boots (of course) and a bright knit jacket that matched my nails, OPI’s Cajun shrimp.

The day of the event, we left 15 minutes before my scheduled 6 p.m. departure, as marked in my calendar. We found the perfect accessible parking place, just as rehearsed, and arrived in record time, 6:30 p.m., a half-hour early.

I thought.

But when I opened the library door, I was immediately met with a warm smile from a lovely woman sporting a bright green- and silver-sparked shirt that read “The Page Turners.”

“You’re right on time,” she said.

“Oh,” I said glancing down at my watch. “I thought I was early. Doesn’t it start at 7?”

“No,” she said, and began ushering me down the hall. “It started at 6. But you’re right on time. You’re up next. So glad you could come.” She smiled again.

What? I was late? Heaven forbid!

She led me into the presentation room, filled with an audience already listening to the other guest author, novelist extraordinaire, Odessa Rose.

Mr. Mike spotted me and came over to stand beside my wheelchair, bending down to whisper his welcome.

“I’m so sorry,” I whispered back. “I must’ve mixed up my times. I planned to be here early.”

“You’re fine,” he said, resting a comforting hand on my shoulder. “You’re right on time. So glad you’re here.”

“Thanks.” I exhaled, shaking my head. The 6 p.m. note on my calendar must have been the start time for the event—NOT my departure time. Ugh!

But before I could reel in the rest of those spinning thoughts, I heard my name along with some introductory remarks and the next thing I knew my mouth was moving and words were coming out.

Even though I hadn’t had a chance to mingle, or scout out the best place to park, or to adjust my legs to make sure my boots hadn’t fallen off my footplates, I felt at ease.


Three times I’d been told I was right on time.

In my mind, I was late, a half-hour late. Yet, because these welcoming friends assured me that I was right on time, my anxiety lifted.

Their kindness reshaped my expectations.

After my nine minutes, the thoughtful probing began. I was quickly impressed with the audience’s knowledge about my book as well as the range and depth of their questions and insights. They really made me think!

As I reflected on the evening, it occurred to me that there is great power in feeling “right on time.”

So often our expectations of ourselves set us up for disappointments. What if, in the midst of our angst, a warm, kind voice assured us we were right on time?

What a relief! What a great reset button!

So thank you, Mr. Mike and the lovely greeter who welcomed me. Thank you for resetting my expectations. Your confidence fueled mine and I am grateful.

How about you? What reassures you when you are falling short of your own expectations? Tell me about it. I’d love to know.

My best – always,

Becky  (Nana B)

P.S. Tomorrow, Friday, May 4th I’ll be Chestnut Grove’s First Friday guest. I promise to be on time! Thanks, Rita, for the lovely notice on Facebook:

P.P.S. Thanks for your wonderful responses to Madison’s “Small Step” and for your thoughts and prayers for her continued success in her day and residential programs. There’s still time to honor her on our Madison’s Banner for our annual Pathfinders for Autism Golf Tournament.

Honor Madison

AND Amazon did it again! My eBook is back at 55 cents. You can buy OR give as a gift. Note: you can SEARCH the eBook version. Handy if you are trying to remember a quote or scene! A good deal for you and me!

Buy or Gift eBook – Rethinking Possible