I was picking through a carousel of t-shirts at Nordstrom Rack. They were perfect, soft, moderately funky (like the trendy funky) and inexpensive. Why were they so cheap? Why wasn’t I having to fight the other Saturday shoppers for dibs on my size? I held a shirt up to my shoulders.
The shirts were ridiculously long, too long for just about everyone and anyone, unless you happen to be 5’ 10” or above.
Which I happen to be.
I snagged a dressing room and started trying on tees. It felt odd, being out by myself. I hadn’t left the house alone in weeks. It was time.
How did I know it was time?
Let me tell you. That morning Tyler was on his way out the door to play soccer and it creeped out. Resentment.
As I had watched Tyler get ready to leave I totally guilted him.
“I guess I’ll just stay at home. Again. Oh no really, I’m fine. I can manage. Who needs a shower? Not this girl. No totally, go have fun. Enjoy your freedom and your friends. Please just Live. It. Up.”
Oh wow it was ugly.
The sad thing was, I celebrate Tyler playing soccer. As much as he can, whenever he can. His soul breaths better after 40 minutes on the field. It so wasn’t about soccer, it was about me and my yucky heart.
Clearly I needed a respite. And a shower.
When Tyler returned from soccer, we agreed it was time for me to get out of the house.
“Where are you going to go?” he asked
“The Rack” I replied.
I’m not sure what drove me to the Rack, after all, going to the Rack on a Saturday at noon was like going to Target 3 days before Christmas. You avoid it at all costs.
I think it was a need for a long stretch of freeway and a fast lane. To feel like I was moving. Going somewhere.
As I left the dressing room I casually browsed the baby section. Moms and their strollers parked round every carousel. A baby was perched on her mom’s hip.
My mind wandered, “ I wonder if Nora will be able to sit up like that…”
I stopped myself. I knew where this was going.
My mind slowed, but I could still feel it. It hurt. It just did.
I made my way to the check out.
Huge line. Of course.
As I approached the front, I scanned items that surrounded the checkout. Just as the next register opened, a digital watch caught my eye.
I snagged it and carried it to the front.
I asked the attendant, “Do you mind if I open this? I just want to see if it has a stopwatch. The instructions are inside and will tell me.”
“Oh sure,” she replied, “you go right ahead.”
I’m not sure why I kept talking… “Sorry to hold up the line, my daughter is having seizures, and I want something on my wrist to time them. I bought a stop watch at Target, but this one is way cuter and almost the same price.”
The attendant looked at me.
I focused on reading the watch instructions.
Why was I spewing words? I didn’t need to tell her my whole life story. She just needed to know if I was buying the watch or not.
The attendant started ringing up my t-shirts.
Long pause. Great, I thought, she thinks I’m nuts.
“Gosh I’m so sorry about your daughter, do they have medicine for her? ”
“They do …” I replied, “She’s still having 2- 3 seizures a day…even with the medicine. There are also other things wrong…her brain didn’t develop properly… we aren’t quite sure what her future will look like…”
Oh my gosh Jesse. Stop. Talking.
Now I was really holding up the line.
Long pause again.
“I understand.” she said, “I have a child with special needs. You’ve got to keep the faith. Your daughter is going to be just fine. You seem like you are an amazing Mom.”
She finished ringing me up and handed me my bag.
“Keep the faith. I’ll be praying for you and your daughter.”
I thanked her.
As I drove home her words echoed…
“Keep the faith”
Of course her words were scripture based, and the full verse from 2 Timothy came to mind. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
I breathed it in.
I got home and kissed Tyler.
“Thank you.” I said, “I’m so glad I got out of the house.”
He smiled, “Me too.”
Photo credit (top): Jessica Rice Photography