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I know this is a bit off topic, doesn't have anything to do with LC, but I know you guys listen. I have a girl at work who is 2 weeks younger than my late daughter. Her baby is due 4/15. Since about 2 months ago, she has in effect, stopped working. Won't even open the mail; talks on the phone non-stop on personal calls. She is the bosses favorite, so complaining will get me NOWHERE. I now have to do all her work. No one will say if and when she'll come back and if she does will this go back to her, or am I stuck permanently. At the last meeting they all just laughed. Just the fact that she is only 25 (my daughter's age) and will soon have a baby is tearing me apart. Now, to make matters worse, we have all the "HAPPY BABY PEOPLE" at work who expect everyone to give her a gift. This girl barely speaks to me, does not like me I feel because she is extremely, extremely religious, feels I am a demon for having lung cancer, which according to her I caused myself. Her exact quote was "any parent who smokes around their child is a bad parent." She is a very "different" Christian than I am. Do you think I am wrong for not giving her a gift at the "BABY SHOWER" I have no good thoughts for her. I know it will look bad, but frankly, I don't give a rat's a--. what it looks like. Don't you think I would be a hypocrite to give her a present and stand there and smile while inside I'm crying? It's now 19 months since I buried my 23 year old daughter. They'll never understand. I was thinking of anyone who asks me What did you get her? My response will be "I'm still trying to pay off a $13,000 funeral bill."

What do you think.

Joanie :cry:

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Are you awful for not wanting to give a gift? No way, No how.

Since she has told you what she thinks of you, why would anyone in their right mind buy into "Oh she is having a baby, isn't that wonderful?" I honestly think some people in this world need to have a permit to breed. Just because they can, does not mean they should. My heart goes out to the baby that would have a hypocrite for a parent. Imagine what that child will go through in life. Yikes it is scary.

Work is a place you go to to earn the money you need to LIVE. Work is not your life. If you have made friends with those you work with that is great. But just because you work with someone does not make them worthly of your friendship. Consider the fact that you have to do her work for her already is a gift unto itself.

I read a quote a long time ago that was to the effect of your reputation is what others think of you, your character is what matters. Be true to yourself.

I have been there and done this type of thing before. It is not worth the heartache and concern it is causing you.

Nowhere in an employers hand book does it say you have to participate in this type of activity. No one should be made to feel that they have to give a gift to a co-worker that they don't care for. And some places conside this activity harassment and is not allowed in the work place.

IMO if you want to have a social event such as this, take it outside the work place. I am sure your employer will be just giddy to know they are paying out wages some to have a party on company time.

I wish you the best in dealing with this.


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I would suggest totally avoiding the baby shower, not just not giving a gift.

I agree with Shirley on the work you are doing is a gift in its own right...and one not given freely - isn't that extortion?

I empathize with you on the fresh grief, comparing this spoiled wench with your lost daughter and all those unrealized dreams you had of grandbabies and more time. Joanie, you may need to talk to someone about your feelings - not someone at work, a counselor or therapist. The woman you work with sounds like a real b*tch, but this is hurting you far more than just working with a selfish, lazy piece of s...stuff!

Can you find employment somewhere else for the same pay or better? This isn't the first time you have posted about a less than harmonious workplace - is it possible for you to move on?

Let me know if there is anything I can do for you, please.



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Hi, Joannie -

I'll ask you only "what would Jennifer do?" Or what would you advise Jenn to do in a similar situation? Have the conversation in your head where one of you is telling the other the story and see what you come up with. I know your Jenn was a very giving person.

You know I feel your pain. We've both lost a grown child, and we've talked. But we do have to acknowledge that others don't see or feel what you're going through -- yes, they KNOW you lost a daughter 18 months ago, but they're removed from it and it honestly does not occur to them that watching the joy of someone Jenn's age experiencing things you wanted for her that she will never have, sends you through more agony.

I work in a small office with 7 other women and I know that in this situation it would be noticed that I'm not participating and I get the feeling your situation is the same. Perhaps you could confide in one or two coworkers that you wish this girl well, but the similarity in age brings home so much that you have lost and you just can't manage the celebration. Surely they'll spread the word and leave you alone.

I agree that you aren't obligated to buy a gift for somebody that treats you poorly. If the celebration is on work time and sanctioned by the management, you should probably try not to put a damper on it for anyone else, but you certainly have the right to ignore the celebration and carry on your work day as usual.

As far as doing her work -- well, unfortunately we all do what the boss says -- it's not always fair. Just do as much as you can do well without pushing yourself too hard mentally or physically. If they expect more, just keep your calm and say sweetly "I'm working my hardest on this, but I simply can't complete the entire workload of two people in the same timeframes that two people did it. Would you please prioritize for me what you would like done first?" And then try and forget whose work any of it was and just work fairly and reasonably and document how much more you're doing in case it becomes an issue.

Hope I don't sound judgemental on this. I really feel for you. I've been in that type situation before and it's not easy. Either the celebration or the extra workload. But as long as you have to work there, it's better to have some semblance of peace prevail. Truthfully, I probably would schedule an appointment the day of the celebration and leave for the dentist, doctor, something. Or call in sick.

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Yeah, still stuck in the same old job. I guess part of the problem is not having the energy to look for a new job, because this job is just killin' me. Sometimes, actually, most nights, I fall asleep on the couch at about 9 or so. I'm exhausted from all this work. I know though, you're right, somehow, someway, I have to get off my behind and find another job. As soon as possible. Brian and I have gone to counselling for grief over Jen. That did help but, you know what, she's still gone. Never to return. And when I get very depressed, I really wish I was with her and all this struggle of life was over. Sometimes life is just too much. Today, when I realized that I was feeling so bad, I called my PCP- hours are 9-5 please call tomorrow. Then I called the rectory to ask a priest to call me back - no one called. But, my friends, here on line did answer! That says something. Thanks Becky for listening. Maybe tomorrow will be better.


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Don't go to the shower at all. I can't believe that girl said what she said to you. In my book, that type of judgment from her isn't very Christian at all.

I'm sorry you are going thru this on top of everything outside of work you are dealing with too....I'm sending prayers and wishes that it get better soon.


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Hi Joannie,

I feel for you, that is a horrible situation to be in. But you have to work with these people. If it was me, I would buy a baby gift. This gift is for the baby not the mom. That way there would be no contravesary period.

Then I seriously look for another job. Or at least put your resume out on Monster and see what results you get.

You don' t have to work in an environment like that after everything you have been through. To me these people are so heartless.

This is another reason, why we need funding for LC besides a cure, the public has to know that people who never smoke also get LC. That LC is the number one killer among men and women. I am at a point when I tell someone about Joel's LC, the first thing they ask is, is he a smoker, now I just say no. His biological father we found out die of LC and never smoked. This has to be somewhere in our genes.

Anyway Val, take care of your little sweetie, I hope you are getting some sleep. :roll:


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Yeah, the baby is the baby. I have nothing against the baby.Also, that baby has plenty of people to provide for her. I have two problems

How to deal with my feelings that day - not cry.

How to deal with the mother who said what she said.

Only problem is if i don't go to the shower which is at work hours 12 - 2. I have to leave at 12 that day, which costs me a sick day, also unscheduled, which is a new rule the b--- put in. Since it's unscheduled, that will give me a doo-doo point. 3 points and you're out!! Regardless, that i'm there 10 years!!!!!!

Maybe the best thing is to just call in that day sick. That will mightly pis_ her off. But so what???? Oh, I'm so sick of this. I still have to worry that I could get cancer again. No one there knows or cares. Just because I look well, they think all is well. Sneaky this lc, isn't it.

Just when you think everything is ok, bang. But they don't know that. Nor do they care. Someone said earlier what would my daughter do---- she would buy a present and go to the party. Unfortunately, my daughter was naive and didn't catch the finer points of life. She was a concrete thinker. Every thing was black or white. I tried to tell her there are shades of gray. We just started to discuss that when she died. But, maybe she was right and maybe she is being rewarded for seeing the best in people, which she always did, for some reason. I miss her so much. She makes me think about alot of things. She was so beautiful.


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i see that you are in queens, ny.. i don't know if you are from there or just live there now, but i was born and raised in queens, and what can i say. if you're from there, you know what to say, just let it out in your own semi-sarcastic biting way.. they'll understand if they too are from queens and speak the same language......

just an idea for ya!

so sorry about your difficulties with this situation, i can feel the pain in this. i'm with you.


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hi there joanie

i was born in long island but grew up in fresh meadows (exit 188th street off the LIE) until I was 17 and went off to college... my dad died in our house on march 3 of this year. I have lived in Washington for nearly 15 years now, more or less. My grandmother, who passed away beautifully in her sleep in 1984, worked in St. John's hospital, although I'm not sure what she did. Something unskilled, maybe food service, I cannot remember. She was a Czech immigrant and I guess did it after her husband died to supplement social security. So that's my brief deal!

I wish you luck with your situation! Maybe you can just take a long lunch that day?? I mean if people know that you lost your beloved daughter, certainly at least the human people among them would understand. You deserve to have as much peace as you need and if avoiding that situation will help you, then I hope you find a way to do it.



Queens Girl


I was born on Queens Blvd. at what is now St. John's Hospital. I live in Jackson Heights>born in 1953. Been on the same block for 40 years. Boy, how boring, HUH! How about you?


Joanie C

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YEAH, have made up my mind to avoid it one way or another. We went to Washington in 1990 and had a great time there. What a great place! you're lucky to be there. My husband had a conference there but me and my daughter got to tour around while he was busy. We went to the White House, Ford Theatre, ARlington, the Vietnam Vets Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial. It was a great 4 days. She was 10 then. GReat memories.

We stayed in a hotel in Alexandria and we walked up and down Kingston St. looking at all the stuff we couldn't afford to buy. We also went to Mt. Vernon. I had such a good time.

Anyway, those are the great adventures from the girl born on Queens Bld. !!!!!!


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I am new, so do not know your hx w/ lc or losing your child.

I do, however, recognize and feel your pain.

Working w/ women just sux sometimes. All that nuturing and gentle stuff gets lost in petty mean BS. Why?

I have no clue.

I have experienced it in the workplace, as well.

What used to help me was to get out of the office, go outside and LOOK UP.

When you see the big sky you get an idea of tiny our segment of the world is.....................

Since we work with these folks all the time we forget that they and our office or workplace are IN THE WORLD..........rather than THE WHOLE WORLD>

Re: the gift: how about a nice card w/ a gift cerificate to Amazon.........no effort at all and you get to hold your head up and know you are true to your goodness.

It is hard............It is not fair.............It sux.............but IT IS. The question for me usually comes down to this:

The situation is (fill in the blank) Now: WHO am I going to be about it????

This is a great and loving theory that I manage to put into practice about 40% of the time.......................The rest of the time I am human and what hurts truly hurts and I act like I feel.

I get you............I care..............I am on your side!!

Pat in IL>

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Hi Joanie,

I would probably not give her a gift either..Its a little ironic that a so called christian woman seems to have no compassion, maybe after her baby is born she will begin to understand the love between a mother and child and learn not to say such ridiculous things...Who does this "Christian Woman" think she is standing in judgement of others..

I'm sorry that you have to go through this, I dont know your pain first hand I cant even imagine the depth of it, just know I am thinking of you and praying you can begin to heal and find some peace...

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Geez, Joanie.

I just get all sad when I think that you have lost your beautiful daugther. I have read this before and I wanted to say again how sorry I feel. How tragic.

Your life experiences have taken you down roads that not very many people are broad enough to even fathom. No one can know the pain and hurt that you have gone through. To make wild and crazy statements like those you describe are purely assinine. Anyone with an ounce of compassion and human kindness would never have made those statements.

If it were me in your shoes. I would thank God that I was a better person than they. I would thank Him for giving me the sensitivity to know what is right and decent. I would thank Him for my friends and supporters. Then I would by the baby a gift and during the party, I would get the diarrhea really bad. Turn green, the whole thing. Must have been the cake. Back and forth to the bathroom and back and forth five times. That way you don't get docked.

I sure wish that you would get out of there. I remember your previous posts about this sick workplace. It seems toxic.

Sorry you have to go through all of this. I really am. In the grand scheme of things, spiritually speaking, what is suffering all about, anyway? I don't have the answers.

Best to you, Joanie.

Now let's go get a beer.

Cindi o'h

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This may sound stupid to some---but I would give a gift , only to show that this person cannot get to you, despite her stupid remarks. I think if you show that you can take the high road, perhaps you will have the last laugh after all and perhaps, just perhaps, this woman may start to feel a little guilty ?

I am so sorry that you are going through a rough time, hopefully things will start looking up for you. ---


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I too would be buying a gift, probably one i couldnt afford even, just to show her up. I never have been one to keep my mouth shut or run into a closet, I want them to know I dont care what they say or do to me (even thought i may cry when i get home). Kill em with kindness..gets them everytime.


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Hmm Joanie, I have given this alot of thought, and I think what I would do is make a donation in the unborn childs name to a charity... maybe a favorite charity of your daughters? I think this would speak volumes without you having to say one single word... This woman in my humble opinion is not a Christian, although she may refer to herself as one. She is merely a judgemental fool who lacks compassion and knowledge. People say the dumbest things... I remember when I went to work the day after my meeting with the medium and I was so excited to share what happened and two women in particular laughed at me asking how I could be so stupid to be taken in by this.... it CRUSHED me... but, I just thought, oh well, their loss for not believing. I am sorry you are going through this.... Love, Sharon

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Just to wrap this issue up, in my mind ,as well as here. After reading and re-reading all the responses and thinking (probably entirely too much) about it, i've decided to buy a small gift, for the child, not the mother. As far as getting out of the shower with a dr's appointment, i'd love to but it would not work. The powers that be wouldn't belive me. So I'll be here in the office while it's going on. I'll float in and out of my cubicle. I'll manage, always have before. So now i've decided what to do. I'll buy a stretchie on the way home, have them wrap it and bring it in on Monday. This way i won't have to think about it anymore.

I'm wasting my mental energy on this. Thanks guys for all your great input and advice. I truly appreciate each and every one of you for your patience and kindness and great support. Happy Friday!


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I cannot even begin to understand what you are feeling. Every mother's worst nightmare is to lose her child, and you are living that. I expect it feels like all the colors in the world have disappeared, leaving you to stumble through in shades of grade.

When I read your post, it brought tears to my eyes because I was so much like that young woman when I was 25. I was a fundamentalist Pentecostal Christian, and I knew all the answers for myself and the rest of the world. There was only one way to do everything (my way). Right and wrong were very clear-cut and anyone who didn't do things the way they "should" according to my version of the world was just foolish and deserved what they got. I went to church 5-6 nights a week and all day on Sunday. I sang in the choir and taught classes. And I stood in judgment on everyone who didn't do the same.

Then life happened and my world fell apart. I learned painfully that people are more valuable than religious rules, that kindness, compassion and love are the language God uses.

While that young woman appears to have everything you wanted for your daughter, I pity her from the bottom of my heart. Her world is narrow and cold. Eventually she will have to make the choice to develop spiritually or have her heart solidify into solid concrete.

I hope you will be able to find it in your heart to ignore her hard-hearted attitude and someday maybe even feel compassion for her. Life will happen to her, and she will learn hard lessons or become hardened.

Just as a possible suggestion, when you are considering how to deal with her, ask yourself what kind of person you want to be. She hurts you out of her ignorance and blindness. Maybe you could take away her power to hurt you by recognizing that you are wiser, stronger, more loving and kinder.

I'm so very sorry that life has happened to you in the way that it has. I'll be adding my prayers for you.

Kind thoughts,


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Sounds like the problem is solved for the moment. I was going to suggest a gift to charity, something you like.

I am Christian also but I donated money to plant trees in Israel in honor of my husband, just because he would have liked the idea. Something like that would be a unique gift and no one could fault you for it, you would be doing good, and she probably wouldn't like it ...

As for her, she is so young. Some day she will feel exceedingly stupid for saying things like that. Like she is so good, her life and the life of her child is going to be golden. She has a rude awakening coming. I do wish them well, though, of course.

You are right though, just do what is easiest in your situation and let it go.


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I'm late coming in on this:

Just a thought. This could be an opportunity to witness to this young woman. She may not understand nor accept it now...or ever, because that is the nature of free will. But YOU'll know.

A small gift to her in memory of your beautiful daughter and in recognition of the bond between Mothers and the love they have for their children. A small gift that speaks to your forgiveness of her for her Immaturity as a Christian. If her belief in Christ is sincere, she will grow up over the years. And this one act on your part could be the beginning of that growth.

Just a thought, Joanie. I wish Lung Cancer had never happened to you, and I wish your daughter were still here on earth. I wish you didn't have to go through any of this.

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