Daily Prompt: Apology
“…An apology is not necessary,” I replied.
I was recently on a very long trip with a large group of people, making multiple stops in many countries. So often as is the case, “Moctezuma’s revenge” hits hard and fast. Although I was with this large group, I was traveling alone. I still use the term alone right now, rather than by myself, because as someone who has been separated from my life partner for the past 2-1/2 years, I am still trying to map out who I am as a “me,” not as an “us.”
Being ill with either food poisoning or foreign amoebas is one of the most miserable experiences I think any human can endure. You know you are not going to die, but it sure feels like it.
I felt really rotten for four days. In those four days, we crossed half of the Pacific Ocean and made two stops at spectacular locations. At times, I barely had the energy to make it down to the communal area for a meal. I could have called for meals to be sent to my room, but I didn’t feel like eating, much less enjoying myself.
I was particularly feeling sorry for myself when we landed for a few days in Australia.
That first night was a heaping meal of Australian Barbie.
Courtesy, YouTube, Howcast.com
I remember really, really being in the midst of a very fulfilling pity party for myself at the dinner. I could barely eat anything, I was feeling alone amongst all of these people whom I had knows for maybe seven days and probably spouting off in my Texas-Southern passive aggressive voice when I am irritated, lonely, angry, hurt.
People came and went at the table, some giving me encouraging words. “You will feel better.” I knew they were right. Tonight, I need to start the antibiotics; I’m still just feeling too uncomfortable.
The next morning, I awoke, feeling much, much better. Down to breakfast I bounded, actually greeting people, who returned my more sunny outlook. It’s off to the Great Barrier Reef, then. I feel like snorkeling!!
While I was eating my breakfast at a table for 10 with people coming and going, a woman on the trip–a professor–who was a very terse, no nonsense woman, looked directly at me.
“I don’t know if you are the sensitive type or not, but I want to apologize to you for the way I acted around you last night. I was short with you and I am sorry,” she said, quite sincerely.
“Oh my gosh,” I told her. “I really don’t remember what you said. I am usually hyper-sensitive but this time, I guess your words did not register with me. But thank you so much for acknowledging me. Your apology is not necessary. I should be apologizing to all of you.”
“All is forgotten,” she replied. “Now let’s have a great day.”
But it’s not forgotten. I learned from that moment that to apologize for your actions, whether they were noted or not, whether the apology will be accepted or not, is part of healing. It’s part of being human and showing humanity.