Friday, April 02, 2010

I Am Pretty Sure...

I'm not capable of doing justice to this story with the use of mere words. But fuck it. I'll try.

I went grocery shopping yesterday. A typically mundane chore. Well, if mundane were to mean terribly exciting what with the added drama of one quite self-possessed toddler with her own mini-sized shopping cart (those things are a blessing and a curse) and one not-so-tiny big old baby who has just overcome an illness, the likes of which The Excorcist's Regan would have been thorougly impressed. That kind of mundane. Obviously, I am in dire need of a dictionary.

Zee loves the mini-carts at our grocery store. Love being an understatement. I love them... to a degree. They certainly serve the purpose of keeping her occupied and ENJOYING grocery shopping forays, yet they add all sorts of complicating, what an asshole of a mother, potential. Good times.

Zee has absolutely ZERO concept of OTHER PEOPLE SHOPPING. Something of which I am hyper-aware, particularly in a ski resort town. During March. Spring Break, in fact. I am SO aware of other people at the grocery store that I often find myself serving a can of black beans and tuna sandwiches for dinner because I drove through the parking lot and convinced myself I was actually JUST KIDDING about going inside. When the nearest parking spot to the grocery store is in front of the liquor store, six stores away, well, I don't need any more temptation than already exists to test my theory that there is a pork chop in every beer. For all ages. Ahem.

At any rate, Zee will cut people off in her fevered quest for hot chocyat and other goods. I admire the girl's zeal. Though, understandably, not everyone does.

Yesterday, during one of Zee's spastic shopping excursions, she set her sights on some yummy-looking grapes and ran directly in the path of a gentleman. I yelled out in exasperation, "ZEE, COME HERE and PLEASE watch where you are going!" I turned to him and said, "I'm sorry." He smiled at her and said, "Oh, it's okay."

The thing is, I know this man. He may or may not know me. I'm sure he recognized me in that 'we live in the same small town' kind of sense but beyond that, I just don't know. At one point in time, I had a number of friends who worked for him. And it had come to pass that they told me he'd lost his little girl.

I have taken Zee to play in the park dedicated to his daughter, his only child, on many occasions. There is a wall erected there, bearing a plaque with her image. She died of cancerand the brick wall is covered with tiles drawn by the children in her class the year she died.

When the moment between us passed, time stopped for me there in the pasta aisle. I could barely breathe, for breathing seemed to carry with it the threat of tears. I held my breath and choked back sobs.

It was as though the feelings I'd never fully been able to call up while tracing the bronze tendrils of his daughter's hair on the plaque at the playground came barrelling at me with the force of a...shit...I don't even know. This is where words fail.

I was overcome. Absolutely overcome. Overcome with the thought that my daughter might have reminded him of his daughter and how he lost his daughter and how I'd be simply devastated if I lost my daughter but I couldn't even imagine it, only holy fuck he KNOWS what it is like to lose a daughter and maybe seeing my daughter caused him pain. I tried for a moment to understand and found myself choking on sorrow. Borrowed sorrow. Which then felt ingenuine. I didn't even deserve it.

I remember MANY times during The Miscarriage Era, going to the grocery store and seeing rounded bellies everywhere. And on the best of days, I simply wished those women knew how fortunate they were. And this doesn't even compare to that. The situations are more than worlds apart.

I suppose that, for whatever reason I am writing this, it is zig-zaggedly getting at is precious. And so fleeting, however long. Cherish every bit of it.

I needed that reminder desperately. And I feel selfish for saying that. But I so feel it in a way that I hope is only self-consciously afraid of appearing selfish. And doesn't appear outwardly so. Though I'm going to assume it appears selfish. Because I have not ever suffered such a loss.

You just never know, in the throes of the pasta aisle at City Market, what will rock you to your core and remind you of just how human, and fragile, we all are. Every one of us.

2 Leg Humps:

Chickie said...

What a really makes you think about what's important.

Maybe seeing little Zee nudged a happy memory for him.

Zube said...

Chickie, I can only hope. Thanks.


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