So, today is Shawn’s 32nd b.day. Yep, I am at the beach. I am still coming to grips with his goneness. God gave me a little experience to help me to start to climb out of my pit of despair.
It was December 28, around 10 AM, just before my work physical. I had stopped in Rite Aid to get, hopefully, some clearance ornaments.While glancing over a front clearance table, I saw 1 box of gray microwaveable slippers. I thought they would be great for Bob. Sometimes, when he is very tired, his feet get very cold. I know how wonderful these type of slippers are, from my own experience. I was thrilled to find something, for Bob, small though it be. I went to check out. The moment I placed the slippers on the counter, the woman behind me, commented that she didn’t know such a thing existed. This only opened the door for me to, happily, promote the item.
It became evident that the woman would buy a pair when the store got them in, the next Christmas season. This next part hit hard, caught me off guard and I had to gulp. I do not think anyone noticed. I swear that Shawn was behind me, but I did not turn around to check. I heard Shawn’s voice, loud and clear. He was telling me to let the lady have the slippers. So, I told the woman that she could have the slippers. I think I saw her jaw drop. She said she could not remember the last time someone had been so thoughtful. I saw tears welling in her eyes. She said she needed to wait-I figured it was a money timing issue.
The Shawn promptings continued. I told the woman that I would buy the slippers and give them to her. She said, “No thank you.” I kept hearing Shawn nudging me to find a creative way to get the slippers to the woman. The slippers were put into a bag with other items. The woman said that she hoped my husband would enjoy them. I made a quiet comment, “maybe”. I hadn’t left yet and was going to find a way to give these slippers to her.
I actually started shaking. Behind me I kept hearing Shawn tell me to keep trying. I gathered my bags and placed them into the cart. The bag holding the slippers was still on the counter. By now, there were several folks in line. I know that they had heard our interaction. No matter, for some reason, I needed to give these slippers to this woman. I took the slippers out of the bag. I gave them to her, making sure she knew I needed to do this. I quickly left.
I was placing the bags into my van. I looked up and saw the woman approaching me. I was worried she was not going to keep the slippers. I was wrong, with tears in her eyes, she just wanted to thank me for the kind gesture. I told her, I did it in honor of my son. We quickly exchanged names and shared little bits of our stories. You see, she had lost 2 children, years ago. She assured me, several times, that in time, I would be able handle the ache. How ? I asked her. How does one move beyond the ache ? Her phone rang. Her nephew was almost out of surgery and she needed to get to the hospital.
This Christmas, I was trying to do things different. By trying to not be so sad over Shawn’s goneness. A couple of days before meeting J~~~~, at Rite Aid, I was visiting my aunt. Before taking a photo of her ornaments, I wanted to call and see where I could volunteer. Christmas day. 3 different associations told me that all volunteer positions were filled. I was a little sad, but at the same time, very thankful that others were of the same mind.
Just wonderin’, when God takes, why does He leave the ache ?
One more thing. Whenever I decorate the beach for Shawn, I always worry that I might offend someone, or make others feel they can’t come over to the area I have decorated for Shawn. Today, as in all the other times, God let me explain why I do my Shawn messages. This morning I was able to talk with folks close to my home. Did I ask names, or say mine ? Nope. The woman was speaking to me, from the balcony above mine. She kept commenting that I was a strong woman. Never once did I say thank you. I kept saying how I was God’s weakest person. I must needs change. I need to learn to say “thank you” when folks are complimenting me.
Oh, so much to work on !!!