Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Moment by moment

On a mundane trip to Walmart the other night, I had what I call a "Lauren moment." They come quite often, and usually very unexpectedly. I'll bet most grieving parents experience these same types of moments. Some ordinary, everyday thing will trigger a strong feeling or memory. I know these moments happen to anyone who has lost a loved one, but I think those of us who have lost children probably experience them in a more intense way. I believe that is true for me.  It's like a sharp physical pain for me. It sometimes stays with me for days, other times I get through it quickly.

The moment started when I saw the school supplies. My first reaction was, "Already? It's just July!" But there they were: the supply lists for the schools. Lauren was one of those kids who never procrastinated when it came to school. She might take forever to clean her room, but if the teacher gave her an assignment that involved a poster board and markers, we would be at Walmart the day it was assigned, even if it wasn't due for weeks. I don't think I ever had to say, "Lauren, do your homework!" It was done and perfect before I could even ask. 

The school supplies were very important to her. She had to have them the first day the list appeared in Walmart. Everything on that list had to be bought and brought home so she could get them organized and ready for school. I took her to Walmart her senior year to buy school supplies, even though she could drive. Mama had to take her. That's the way it was.

There wasn't much traffic in the school supply aisle the other night, but I couldn't bring myself to walk through there. The moment stayed with me for a while. 

I know there will be many other moments like that until the day I die, or I'm too old to remember them. I hope I am never too old or feeble to remember her that clearly and closely. That way, she is never far away from me. 

"Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address." Joe Fox, "You've Got Mail." 

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