Tuesday, April 10, 2012

for Peter....

In light of my most recent post, I thought it fair and appropriate to share another story about teasing.  Only this time, I am not the victim but the perpetrator.
His name was Peter. He was a quiet kid. An overweight kid.  He lacked hygiene. He was the kid everyone  picked last in gym class.
It was September of 1983 and we had just stating 8th grade.  It was unseasonably warm, which was very unfortunate for the overweight kid that lacked hygiene.  Peter smelled really bad.  All the kids were complaining about it.  Someone needed to talk to him.  Apparently, I was decided that it would be me.  So, with all the grace and tact of a 13 year old, I approached Peter at the water fountain and said to him, “You need to take a shower or crawl under a rock and never come out.”  Yup.  I said it. That poor boy.  I’m not sure what was going through my head.  I was not one of those mean kids.  I was actually one of those kids that would stick up for the underdog.  But not on that day.  No, I was more than mean, I was cruel.  The funny thing was that later that day, after school, I was at a friend’s house and was hit in the face with a rock.  It damaged my eye and I was missed a month of school. I always thought maybe God was punishing me for being mean to Peter. But now I wonder if God was being kind to Peter, in that he didn’t have to see me for a whole month and be reminded of what I had said.  I am okay with that.
I think about Peter often.  I wonder about his life.  What he has become.  Whether he married and had a family.  I wonder if he has sat in a therapist’s office, like I have, recalling wounds from the past. I wonder if I was the cause of some of his hurt.   
Someday, I will find Peter and I will tell him how sorry I am for what I said.  Until then, I will be kind to others and tell them all the wonderful things I see in them.  I will overlook their faults.  I will cheer them on.  I will help them up when they fall and encourage them to continue on.


  1. O Kathy, tears again. I also think of ways I may have hurt others in the past, and how I maybe hurting people now. I have to say, it was pretty surprising to know you said that. You have always been a kind person in my eyes. May God's love and forgiveness have found Peter, so when you do meet again, he will have already forgiven.

  2. OK, apparently I'm going to read your whole blog and comment on each post. I reconnected with a high school friend through Facebook and she wrote me a heartfelt apology about an incident. (She had driven me to a concert in downtown DC, in a bad neighborhood, when I was like 14 and left me there. When she was supposed to drive me home. She did this on purpose. Ironically a super nice guy drove me home with whom I had a nice friendship for years thereafter.) The funny thing is I had rearranged the facts of that night in my memory and completely forgoten that she was the one who had driven me and left me there. It was eating at her that I had reconnected with her and was being so super nice to her when she had never been that nice to me and had never apoligized for that event. Isn't that funny? I am just so darn happy now I don't care that she was mean to me (she was mean in other ways that I actually remember). I look back and still like her the way I did as a teenager. And I was right to, because she is a really good egg. OK, that's my story.