Saturday, December 5, 2009

Moment Among Light bulbs & Plungers

I walk through the store, getting groceries. We've been living on take out and bagels and coffee and Dun.kin donuts, and so I must buy milk. I see a child, likely older than the four-feet might suggest who pushes a cart with Daddy beside and mom behind. And the child has DS and I can't stop staring and I realize that Dad has caught me and has misunderstood. People don't like to see others stare at their children who have special needs, and he gave me a look that I would describe as "protective."

"Hello," I say and smile with the tears waiting in the wings, and I pause and make eye contact.

He softened and and replied, "Hahwah---ya." That's the way they say it here in this part of New England.

"Good, thanks."

I pass the mother and smile at her as though she knows me and she returns the expression.

Turning into the very next aisle the tears make their entrance and I'm so pissed and jealous and sad and can't afford to lose it in the grocery store, not after two years. I'm supposed to be stronger now. Healed. Carrying the load. I stand there thankful that others don't need the light bulbs on the left or the plungers on the right of the aisle; they all are buying milk. I can have my grief moment staring the nightlight size bulbs.

They have pink and blue ones.

I struggle to cry without sobbing sounds, but I hear a squeak behind me. I release my hand from holding my now sweating forehead and turn away from fake study of the light bulbs and push the cart, though here they say it like this "carriage," and that feels more crappy.


  1. Two years is so long and yet not. Amazing how loaded a grocery store is.

  2. you have such a gift for exactly describing that moment of aching pain that ambushes so unexpectedly.
    hugs to you.

  3. Sorry you had such a lousy day. My brother (he's 49 now) has Downs Syndrome. I remember giving my share of "protective" looks. It was always nice when I realized I had misunderstood someone's intentions, just as you were misunderstood.

    Hugs to you!!

  4. xx

    I have the same moments when I see a child with cerebral palsy. I get caught staring. I want to tell them why I'm staring but I can't. Not without loosing it and burdening them with my pain.

    Hugs, Audrey.

  5. Some days are just rough, no matter how seasoned we are. I've been having some really bad days lately for no discernible reason. You do have a gift as Karen says. XO

  6. It is so hard, even after two years. These moments sneak up and take us off guard. We don't know when or where it will happen, but it will happen. It sucks when our trigger is found in a public place like a grocery store though.

    Thinking of you and Caitlin

  7. You have an amazing way of helping me understand what it is like to walk in your shoes.

    It's beautiful, yet it hurts.

  8. Im so sorry. I have these moments too in stores when I see babies that are close to the age B would be or look like him. I hate having this public moments but sometimes we just need them. *HUGS*

  9. I can totally see where you are coming from...thinking of you! Your blog is so beautifully written-thankyou for sharing your thoughts.

  10. Ouch. There's no way to prepare for these moments, is there? Thinking of you.

  11. I've left my cart in the middle of the store and ran for my car a couple of times. Something about the grocery store.


  12. Sometimes I wonder how I manage to venture outside of my house.


    2 months, 2 years, 20 years. Anyway you dice it, you are still without your child, still a bereaved parent. The pain still knows how to show up and catch us in those moments.