I saw him and I then saw her, for the first time.
My heart immediately sank to the pit of my stomach where it started beating at some absurd supersonic rate, my hands trembling, my knees wanting to drop to the floor and let the tears come flood down to engulf me in my misery. The sickness that swirled around my already dizzy head made it nearly impossible to stand, but even to keep walking to the check out lane, as I fumbled and had to support myself on my son’s 6 year old head. I frantically searched for my card, swiped the few things we were purchasing, all while unable to make sense of words or letters. Feeling the piercing gaze as they passed, just hoping my son doesn’t turn around to see them, not wanting to have to find the energy to smile even though there’s a storm passing through my entire body. I snatched the bags as fast as I could and asked my son to please hold my hand. He took my hand in his and we quickly walked out.
While exiting and drenched in emotion I started to inhale and exhale, with purpose and reason. Inhaling my life, my loves, our love, and their love. Exhaling the heartache, the devastation, the pain, the loneliness, and the insignificance. As the peace and calm came back it made my body surrender into a bliss, all was well with my soul. All was well in my son’s soul. That’s what mattered at that moment.
I heard my son say “Mommy?” As we walked out of the store the sunshine hit my face, I looked up to the sky and then back down at him. He looked up and said “Mommy, are you ok? You’re doing a really good job at your breathing right now.” The proudest smile formed on my face and the hugest on his. We got in the car and left.
Best Wal-Mart trip in my life thus far.