On Sunday, my husband and I went to get groceries, which seems like a relatively harmless, maybe even 'safe' outing. We had planned to leave early in the morning, but I wanted to take care of a couple of things, and thus we ended up leaving later than we hoped.
Even during the busy rush of the holidays, we prefer to shop at a nearby box store....it's nice to have an 'all in one' stop, as we can only bear so much 'holiday cheer'. We had a few things on our agenda outside of groceries, including Christmas gifts for four little boys. We headed straight to the toy section and found one item on our agenda. We opted to look at the book selection, but found it disappointing, and began to meander towards the cold food section.
As we headed toward our next stop, I saw a mom on a cell phone with three young blond girls heading towards us. I realized I knew the mom, and tried to think of who it was. I was excited and asked my husband, "Do you know who that was?" He wasn't sure, and I said her name. Then it hit me that this mom was a mom to an "oldest" daughter, and twin daughters.
|Catelyn being bapitzed. May 2010|
Where were the "little" girls? Why weren't they little? They should be little. They are younger than Catelyn, after all...
And then reality crept in. Yes, two of the girls in that family are younger than Catelyn, but they aren't so little any more. They have grown. They get to continue to grow.
All of this hit my heart like a lightning bolt. First, I felt it begin to shatter in slow motion, piece by piece. Two aisles away from where I saw them, I could no longer keep up with the pieces. I couldn't think straight. I could barely breathe. I was looking at the grocery list in my hand thinking that it must have been written in a foreign language because nothing was making sense.
We had 5 items in our cart, and I was about to ask my husband to take over with the list, when he looked at me and said, "I don't want to do this anymore." I said "Neither do I, let's just get these items and leave."
We scurried to the front of the store where we checked out and left.
As we drove home, I was silently bawling in the passenger seat. My husband took my hand and asked if I was okay. I said no, and cried harder.
When I was finally able to speak again, I explained that it has been extremely hard watching our friends' kids growing up, but I've become accustomed to it. I hate it, but there is nothing I can do to change it. We see a lot of these kids all of the time. One of my best friends' son is 2 weeks older than Catelyn. It sucks, but, again, there is nothing we can do about it.
To see a child (or children) we haven't seen, since Catelyn's death, is so much harder though. It almost feels as if Catelyn just died again.
It is purely agonizing to see how much time has already passed.