Note to self: Going to Walmart on Good Friday will not be a quick trip. Ever. There will be people swarming every aisle. Said people will stop and look and ponder, for ridiculous lengths of time, every possible candied egg or bunny or duckling.
Having just returned from vacation, the house was void of a few essentials..... milk, lettuce, fresh fruits and vegetables, all the things that go bad quickly after a week away. And......having been a week away from Moise, I decided to take him with me, which instantly banishes the idea of "quick." Moise and "quick" are not words that can often be use in the same sentence. By the time I find an available parking space which will accommodate his wheelchair lift--not an easy find at Walmart-- and lower the lift, release the wheelchair from it's straps, unload him and raise the lift back up, "quick" is nothing more than a nice idea. So I embraced the outing with my boy.
As I maneuvered through the aisles, pushing wheelchair with one hand, pulling cart behind me with the other, I noticed one particular woman that repeatedly passed by. She was attractive, stylishly dressed, young, early thirties maybe, and appeared to be on a mission to get through the store as quick as possible. She was clearly irritated by the number of people so I tried to make sure she had room to quickly move past Moise and I whenever I saw her approaching us. When I got to the checkout she was in the aisle next to me, anxiously tapping her foot as she waited for the customer ahead of her. Tension practically oozed from her. I watched, intrigued as she hurriedly unloaded her items. Two cases of diapers in two different sizes, four brightly colored sand pails with shovels, and an assortment of Easter candies, 4 of each, told me she is a busy mama with 4 little ones. That's when I realized that she reminded me of myself 10-15 years ago. Uptight, stressed out, working too hard for things that don't really matter.
Sometimes I wish I could turn back the hands of time. Go back and do things over, knowing what I know now. I'd move more slowly, enjoy my children more and worry less about things out of my control. When I think back to the short time I had with Laynee, I never think of the things I bought her-- the Christmas gifts or Easter baskets or sand pails. Never. I remember reading her favorite books, her soft hugs, dancing with her in the kitchen, walking next door with her to see her beloved horses. I remember the house being in disarray because that's the way she played. Those are the things I remember. Those are the things I miss.
I don't know all the things that are going on in the young woman in the store's life, but chances are they aren't as important as she seemed to think. They probably weren't worth all the stress. For the briefest of moments I considered saying "I've been where you are. Slow down. Enjoy them while you can." I said a prayer for her instead. I remember people telling me the same thing. I heard them but I think I didn't really know how to take their advice. This lesson is one that can't be learned by telling, it can only be learned by living. I pray the learning isn't too hard for her.
We returned home form the south to find that spring has come to Illinois. We welcome her with open arms.
One of the best things about spring coming is that Moise's swing is back in business. That means Moise's radiant smile returns. He teaches me to slow down.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
Happy Spring!! Happy Easter to you and you and you.
God is good, all the time.