Mayfield: Have a little extra empathy in the snow, we could all use it

Nov 30, 2022, 8:20 AM | Updated: 10:58 am
Snowman (Photo from listener submission)
(Photo from listener submission)

Who is that guy on the radio? Why does he keep mispronouncing that CBS correspondent’s name? Why so casual with the news? He’s certainly no Dave Ross.

You think I can’t hear you saying those things at home, right? It’s ok. I don’t mind. I can take it, I was on TV for years. But this commentary segment is also a great spot to surprise you a bit and admit I’m having a rough morning.

More from (not) Dave Ross: Why monkeypox should alarm the straight community

Our 5-year-old came home sick yesterday and he spent the evening throwing up. It’s the second time in recent weeks he’s been sick, the last time, we ended up spending 8 hours in the Emergency Room.

Before you say, ‘every kid gets sick. Every parent deals with it.’ Let me say that it’s different for our family.

Seven years ago, our oldest son Tommy, had a cold and then a bloody nose. I took him to the ER, and 12 hours later, under the care of some of the best doctors in the world…he died.

He was 2.

He went to the hospital with a cold and then was just dead.

Mental health professionals I’ve worked with since that day on my own grief have all agreed I have PTSD. Things trigger me. I spiral. I panic.

A big trigger is when one of our other kids gets sick. My heart races and doesn’t stop. I feel volcanic anger, unrelenting terror, and bottomless helplessness. My physical body goes into fight or flight and stays there until the kid is well again, sometimes for days or weeks.

You can look at your kid’s tummy bug or cold and think, ‘he’ll be fine.’ I look at my kid and fear that he could die.

That’s where I’ve been since yesterday.

I don’t reveal this for sympathy, but for empathy. Not for me, but for others.

That neighbor who hasn’t shoveled their sidewalk yet. The person who clearly can’t drive in the Seattle snow. The co-worker dripping melted snow all over your desk.

They all have something else on their mind…and you may never know what it is.

It might be something big, like a death. It might be something small like heartburn, but everyone has something going on.

You too!

And don’t you want to be seen? Don’t you want a little forgiveness?

So today, how about a little more grace? At home, and on the road. For the guy on the radio who isn’t Dave Ross.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Mayfield: Have a little extra empathy in the snow, we could all use it