The place of late night grocery shopping. The place of sweat pants, messy buns, stained shirts and last minute school supply shoppers. At least, last night anyway, that was me.
It’s also the place I seem to find myself breaking down …. a lot.
In Walmart. Again. Awesome.
I forgot to order my daughter’s school supplies from staples at the end of the school year. Something I regret not doing and something I will never forget to do again.
Though most of her supples had been gathered hectically the week before at Staples, the crowd was insane, and I felt overwhelmed. I left without the Ficsar scissors and the USB saver thingy(I can never remember the names of these things.. Anthony would be laughing right now) to avoid the elbow bumping, cart smashing, and losing of the child in aisles.
So, there I was, searching for the thingy and the scissors while gathering some lunch snacks in the grocery section. All of a sudden, it’s as though I’ve been plucked from my present and thrown back in time. I’m unsure of what the trigger was; a smell, a sight, Walmart itself or the first day of school, but I was having a flashback of my sweet husband on one of our evening shopping trips.
No specifics really. Just him running up behind me and smacking my behind like he used to. It infuriated me when he pulled stunts like that in public, at home though, I openly loved his playfulness and flirting. And, maybe secretly, it really didn’t bother me when we were out and about, but I worried others would see it as inappropriate.
It felt so real. I could see him. I swear I felt his swift, large hand smack me and I even laughed for a second. When I realized I was standing alone in the aisle I gasped sharply, and then, my stomach turned. What the hell? Why this? Why now? And then came the tears.
I need milk duds. NOW.
I held back the tears as best I could, anxiously running my hand through my already “crazy lady” dishevelled hair. Milk duds. Where are they? I need to calm myself down and I need the milk duds to do this.
As inconspicuously as I could I wipe the tears from my face, and continue on filling my cart with the last few items on my list. A well meaning Walmart employee caught my eyes and began to approach me.
I could imagine the conversation ” Excuse me mam, is there something I can help you with”
Employee: Are you sure?
Me: Unless you can tell me when this ache stops and where the hell the milk duds are, nope. You cannot help me. Unless you can bring back my husband or at least help me with the jobs he took care of like getting the library card every year, then nope. You cannot help me. Unless you have a bag of milk duds and a bottle of Vodka, nope. You cannot help me. I cannot help me right now.
The conversation never happened because I ran down the aisle before she could approach.
They’re probably in the bulk section.
A stood in front of the orange bulk crates staring at the milk duds. They don’t look that good. I slipped my hand in the bucket and quickly threw one in my mouth… and they certainly didn’t taste that good either. Damn it! I took one last plunge into the chocolate macaroon bin, and decided they weren’t really what I wanted either but they would do the trick.
Pay. Leave. Eat. Cry.
About 7 minutes later I found myself in my car in the baron Walmart parking lot full on ugly crying filling my face with chocolate macaroons.
I miss him. Peter, I miss you. She misses you. Our son misses you.
Sometimes I feel like if I scream his name over and over again, he might just come back. I want to be back in that moment where I felt him, where he was inappropriately flirting with me in public. I want that moment back so I can feel him again.
But I can’t go back. I can only move forward, and my daughter needs her things for school tomorrow.
The next day I get up, we get ready for school and life moves forward.
It’s been a year since my Firsts post. What I’ve realized and am having difficulty accepting is, this was the second first day of school without him. Our second anniversary, his second birthday… then there will be thirds, and fourths….. they won’t stop because he is always going to be gone.
Thank you second year of grief.
Thank you Bipolar Disorder.
We’ll just have to keep moving on and through. It just kinda sucks.
He loved milk duds.