• melindafox

Stefanie, with an 'f', not a 'ph'

Would you like to know how kind and understanding Stefanie is?

I have much that proves this point but for today I'll stick to one experience.

First, you must know that names matter to me. Even though I struggle remembering them when I'm in groups I try hard to remember names.

Your name is special.

It's unique to you even if thousands of other people share the same name. When you hear it something speaks up inside you. It's a verbal and visual collection of letters and sounds that was gifted to you, to be yours.

I once heard that the sweetest sound to anyone was their own name- I believe this.

In the foyer, before you come into my home studio, there is a small board that says "Welcome," then my person's name.

This shows that you are welcome here.

You are expected.

And you are wanted.

On Stefanie's fitting session and on her photoshoot day her name was displayed wrapped in twinkling lights.

I addressed her by her name in all our emails and texts.

Only after her photoshoot when I looked at her signature did I see me massive, multiple times repeated error . . . (you read the title, you know) I had been spelling her name wrong for weeks!

It's an 'f' and not a 'ph' as in Stefanie not Stephanie.

I truly, honest to goodness, felt terrible. I felt like I had disconnected her from an experience that should have been completely hers but was instead shared with the fictitious 'Stephanie'. I apologized that night.

But you know what, Stefanie, never once said anything.

Not a word.

Not a joke or brush off.

I don't know why Stefanie didn't make a big deal of this . . . or at least point it out? She would have been well within her right to do so and I would have happily accepted the correction.

I don't think it was a big deal to Stefanie.

I think she noticed it, of course, she would- she's brilliant.

I think she saw me, someone trying to do something good, someone making an imperfect effort, but a good hearted one.

I think she saw me, saw my flaws, noticed a mistake that involved her and appreciated all of the effort anyway.

I know Stefanie is a truly good person because she treated me with unspoken kindness and understanding.

It's easy to point out flaws in others.

It's even easier to point out mistakes when you are the victim, and there is nothing wrong with that.

I don't know what the difference is between compassion and the lack thereof.

Maybe it's really big things.

Or maybe its the small stuff . . . maybe its the difference between not correcting a 'ph' into an 'f'.

Love, Melinda

Photography Studio in Athens PA. Serving Athens, Sayre Pennsylvania, Towanda Pennsylvania, Corning New York, and Twin Tiers area.

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