As you may of you know my daughter was was hospitalized in 2015. She was unconscious for a week. Three of those days she was in a coma.
The second or third day we were there the mom of one of my daughter's high school friends came to visit. I will call the friend M and her mom B. M was getting married later that year and my daughter was in the wedding.
B walked in and was shocked by my daughter's appearance. I welcomed B to my hell and explained my daughter's condition. It was just the three of us in the ICU room.
I spoke to my daughter all the time. I read to her. I told B if she wanted to speak to my child she could. I made this offer to all visitors. My child needed to know people cared about her and wanted her to come back. What came out of B's mouth totally shocked me. In fact, I was appalled.
B told my unconscious daughter that she needed to wake up. Okay, that part was good. B followed it with the reason my daughter needed to wake up. B told my daughter to wake up so that she could be in the wedding. WTH??? My daughter's life has much more value than being in a wedding. My daughter needed to wake up to live. She needed to wake up to graduate from college. She needed to wake up to experience life and travel. She needed to wake up to meet a wonderful man and have the children she wanted. She needed to wake up to accomplish great things. Waking up to be in a wedding wasn't high on that list. Unless it was my child's wedding.
What a selfish message B dropped on my unconscious daughter.
I wanted to punch B in the face. I wanted to yell at B and tell her what I thought of her. I wanted to kick her out of our ICU room. I wanted to NEVER see her again.
It took a ton of self control to do nothing.
My fear was if I reacted the way I wanted to I would get kicked of the hospital. If I got kicked out how would I be there for my daughter? So I said nothing.
Then my ex-husband walked in and said hi to B. They chatted for a few minutes and then to my relief B left. My ex asked me how the visit with B had been. I calmly told him what B had said. Now, my ex was always the calmer of the two of us. I was usually the one to have the emotional reaction/outburst, not him. He's a lawyer so he's usually pretty rational. He was stunned by what B had said. He looked at me and asked, "how did you not react to that? How did you stay calm?" He said he would have kicked her out had he been there. I wish he had been there.
After that when B would ask if she could come by to visit I would often say it was a bad time. There was a test going on, visitors weren't allowed for one reason or another. The one time I let her come it was only because there were a number of people already there. I gambled that B would behave in a group and she did.
I didn't share this with my daughter when she woke up. I did try other ways to dissuade her from being in the wedding. And while I had kept my mouth shut with B that day I knew I would have the opportunity to confront her concerning her selfish words that day in ICU.
My daughter was released from the hospital in early June. In July my cousin and his wife visited us for a few days. One evening my child and I picked up our visitors for dinner. Something was bothering my child and she finally spoke up. My child wanted to make sure we interpreted the words the same way she had. M had called my child and had said, "I am so glad you made it so that you can be in my wedding." My cousin and I turned and looked at each other. Both us had fire in our eyes. His wife was stunned. Here it was again, the only value my daughter's life had to M and B was to be in the wedding. What shallow, self-centered people.
We all agreed my daughter had heard M correctly. I shared what had happened with B in the hospital. My story confirmed my child's feelings. It hurt deeply to know M had said that to her. We told my daughter M wasn't truly her friend. A true friend would never say such ugly words and wouldn't even think them. We encouraged my daughter to withdraw from being in the wedding. My daughter felt that since she had given her word she needed to keep her word and stay in the bridal party. She also wanted to stay because M didn't have many close friends. No surprise there. I admired my child for keeping her commitment but I felt in this situation it was totally acceptable to withdraw. I mean, M and B had said my daughter's life was meaningless other than their wedding.
A few months later I had the opportunity to let B know what I thought about her and M. An invitation to the wedding arrived in my mailbox. I was surprised I had been invited. I pondered my response for a couple of days. I declined and I added a note explaining why I wouldn't be there. I reminded B of her cruel words to my daughter. I told B that M had shared the same sentiment with my daughter. I told B that M wasn't a true friend. I spoke of my admiration of my child to keep her word and stay in the bridal party even though I thought my child should not attend. I discussed the true value of my daughter's life.
B responded. She told me I was wrong and she had not said that. She blamed me for forcing her to speak to my child. B had no idea what to say so she decided the wedding was a good topic. B felt being in the wedding would be a good incentive for my daughter to wake up. B should have just kept her mouth shut at the hospital. B could have said she didn't know what to say. Their wedding may have been a good incentive for them but it wasn't for my daughter.
I shared with my daughter what I had done and told her to expect something. My daughter called me about a week later. M had called her and told her what I had said. Then M kicked my daughter out of the wedding. I was so happy! And relieved! I could hear the relief in my child's voice. My daughter was close friends with the best man and when he found out what happened he spoke up and also got kicked out from the wedding party. His family had been invited to the wedding and had planned to attend. When he shared with is parents what had happened they changed their minds and didn't attend the wedding. They understood the wrong that been done to my daughter and stayed home to show my child that she did matter. What a great family! Thank you. I know their actions meant a lot to my daughter.
Our words and thoughts really can hurt others. Especially during hard times. M and B added more pain and hurt to what we going through. We had enough agony at that time and didn't need more.
I must admit life is better without M and B and their drama. It's during the hard times that we learn who our true friends are. Goodbye and good riddance to M and her mom, B.