At Walmart

I am starting to not enjoy shopping at all. It used to be a fun outing for Jenna and I. So, when I went to Walmart yesterday, and the middle boy volunteered to join me, I welcomed his presence in the hopes he would be a welcome distraction. It was not to be. We were both sad.

There is something about going to Walmart, from the time I leave my parked car and enter the store, until the time I check out and return to my car, that makes me miss Jenna acutely. Everything is a reminder of her.  I still obsessivley fold out the little toddler seat thingy even through there is no toddler to put in it. Jenna and I had many sweet conversations while she was sitting in those shopping carts and I was pushing it around. So I fold it out in honor of her.

There were girls around Jenna’s age all over the store. I heard the first one before I got to see her. She was having a hissy fit about something and people were staring and exchanging glances with one another, obviously thinking: “What a spoilt child.” I immediately felt for the mom, who stuck to her guns admirably and eventually came out on top. She was obviously feeling harrassed and embarrassed. I wanted to run to her and blurt out that it was OK, and that it was just a ‘moment’, but that soon the hissy fit will be over and she will get to enjoy her little girl again. I am not so lucky.

That was the first time I teared up in the store.

Then there was the little blonde, pony-tailed little girl who was skipping around her mothers’ legs just like Jenna used to do. And the little girl who carried on similar sweet conversations with her mommy at the vegetable stands. At the check-out, we stood behind another little blonde girl who giggled at my son’s attempts to play peek-a-boo with her. I longed to witness Jenna and her brothers having fun together like that again.

The store – no, my whole life – is full of reminders of Jenna. Everything either sparks a memory, or reminds me of an unfulfilled wish. I never got those doll clothes for Jenna that we looked at before our SA trip. There is no-one in the house to buy mozarella cheese sticks for anymore, only Jenna liked them. Those cute shoes at the end of the aisle are no use to Jenna now.  She will never get to ride that big-girl bike with her brothers. The list goes on.

 The boy and I had several moments yesterday when we would just turn to each other with a knowing look of a shared memory.  He teared up several times in the store too. Taking him with me was not a comfort as I had hoped but it was a good time of bonding.

Today was a more weepy day than most.  I realise I am not only grieving for Jenna but I am grieving for so much more. She was my only daughter…a heart’s desire come true. At age 42, I know there will not be any more children for me. A heart’s desire snuffed out.  No more pink in the laundry basket. Part of me hopes…and I hesitate to say this…that somehow perhaps God will fill my arms again. Yet I know I am not young and time is short. Hubby and I feel an urgency to get prepared for ministry and that is where our priority lies right now.  

Jenna was the only toddler in our home.  It is a magical time of discovery that I have absolutely loved in all of my children and I miss having it cut off from our lives so abruptly.  No more Dora the Explorer for us, no more tickles and giggles and games of peek-a-boo or hide and seek. No more cuddles in front of the tv, or sleepy toddler breath fanning my cheek. No more mispronunciations and childlike interpretations of the world to make us smile. Our lives are just a bit duller and more mundane without our little Jenna to add her spark to it.

I could end this blog off on a semi-high note and find something to say that might sound encouraging. Some spiritual insight or whatever. But I am not going to. I am tired and I need to go to bed.  My head is spinning. 🙂  I suppose I can say that through it all I still have hope. I can’t see the forest for the trees more often than not, but I know enough about Jesus to know that he is faithful.

Boy, did this post ever come out differently than what I had planned! I really shouldn’t write so late at night…no more brains left.


19 responses to “At Walmart

  1. (((Sumi))) When I lost my baby the grocery store was the hardest place for me too. You don’t always have to be encouraging. God knows you are hurting and so do we. We rejoiced in Jenna with you when you rejoiced and we weep with you now. May God surround you with His comfort and give you the strength you need for today.

  2. Sumi,
    Thinking of you daily and praying for you. There are no words to say right now that would even touch your pain I am sure. Just know that you have such an army of people thinking of you and praying for you.

  3. Sumi,
    There are so many people praying for you everyday. Know that you are being lifted up to the Lord. God knows your pain and will comfort you. He knows exactly what you need when you need it even though you may not. Keep your faith strong and in the fore front of your life, God will bless you Sumi!

  4. Oh, Sumi, I’ve been there. I’ve SO been there. Hannah was my shopping buddy. I had a terrible time keeping her hands off everything as she was desperate to feel and touch it all and take it ALL in. She would find something and say, “Cuuuute!” just like I would. Oh, the Hell of those first shopping expeditions.

    I’m holding you close in my heart and sending so many prayers.

  5. (((Sumi))), I’m praying for you.

  6. Sumi,

    I am reminded of the passage that says , weeping may endure for the night but JOY comes in the morning.

    Unfortunately, God is not bound by time like we are. When we lost our Matthew to drowning 7 almost 8 years ago, we were left without laughter. Sure, we occasionally enjoyed a few laughs here and there but it was not the same after Matthew’s death.

    I can honestly say now that JOY has returned for our family. Only our oldest daughter remembers Matthew—-one was too little and the other siblings were not born yet. However, our last baby has restored the smiles and laughter in our home and in our family.

    The Lord may not choose to give you another baby but He WILL restore the joy in your life and family. Please know that I will be praying for you!

  7. Still thinking of you often and praying…

  8. Sumi, I was in a thrift store this morning and there was a little blonde headed girl in there about 3 years old. She was just talking away and trying on all the shoes and playing with the toys. I imagined in my heart that she was Jenna and that’s how she’d be talking. Her mom was nice but getting irritated with all her chatter. I wanted to say, “don’t get upset with her, she’s a little doll….just cherish your time with her”. Of course, I didn’t say anything, just smiled at the little girl and then said a prayer for you. You are never far from my thoughts or my prayers.

  9. Oh Sumi,
    how I wish I had some wonderful wise comforting words for you but sadly i don’t. I can tell you that the Lord will ease your sadness if you let him. I can tell you that even though my children were alive, that when I had to leave them for my own safety, that I thought and felt many of the same feelings you are going through, that the Lord carried me through that desolate time, that I think of you and pray often, that I’m so incredibly sorry that Jenna isn’t here on earth in your loving arms. Many hugs dear one.

  10. I found your blog randomly and have been blessed by your words. My three year old had been getting on my nerves, frustrating me, really, just driving me crazy. I cried and cried when I read about your precious child and your heartbreaking loss. When you wrote that you wanted to tell that mom in the store to be patient and not worry…well I just want to thank you for reminding me to never take what I have for granted. I went in to her bedroom that night and breathed in her hair and watched her chest rise and fall, and I thought of you and your Jenna. You would think I should already know this, seeing as I too lost my second daughter just this past Christmas eve. Though it was a very different kind of loss than what you have experienced, I do know the pain of losing a child…but, I guess the day to day routine of things creeps in making me take for granted that which is most precious to me.

    So thank you for sharing your broken heart. I think of you often now that I have read your words. I will pray for you.


  11. (((Sumi)))

    I too have a hard time going in walmart still. Everytime I went there I took 5.00 and got him a onesie with one of those cute sayings on it that was like 2.50. My first trip to Walmart was horrible and I still have a hard time being in there and not trying to automatically walk to the baby clothes and see what they have that he might look handsome in, or what I could get on him around all the wires and tubes.

    I am still praying for you and think of you daily.

  12. I’m continuing to pray for you, dear Sumi, and trusting that Christ will generously pour out his love and mercy upon you and your family this very day. May he give you peace and rest concerning the past, hope and joy for the journey ahead.

  13. Hi Sumi. I think of you often and pray for you daily. Love you!

  14. Sumi, while reviewing my Beth Moore study this morning, I read something that made me think of you. She was talking about those thimes that He has reserved for that One-on-one..where you are the only on in that class–Agonizing Trial 606- wondering “Where is everybody”…because He has decided to pull you aside so that you can experience with David in 1 Samuel 30:6- “David found strength in the Lord”. It is a time where old verses take on new depth in your life…where the intimacy you share with Him will be unlike any…
    May you know His comfort and counsel…May you know that He is carrying you right now..
    ((HUGS)) Sita

  15. Sumi,
    I just weep with you when I read your postings, but I am so strengthened to see you clinging to your faith…and your sanity..during this difficult year. Know that you are not alone. Our Lord is with you…He will NEVER leave you. And you are being lifted up by many across the globe.

    I join you in praying He will fill your arms again…and that there will be spectacular miracle to recount to the generations.

    Blessings, Martie

  16. Sumi, do you mind contacting me at my email address, ? I would like to ask you something regarding a post I am doing. Thanks.
    Love, Sita

  17. You are such a sweet, special mother. I know Jenna is so proud of you and is just rejoicing with Jesus in heaven right now. I’m proud of you too. I can’t imagine. All I can do is lift you and your family up in prayer often throughout the day as you come to my mind. Your posts make me sad, but at the same time give so much hope because of the trust you have in Jesus and you know that you will see Jenna again one day. I love you and pray that each day becomes a little easier for you.

  18. I cannot help but have the tears come automatically to my eyes when I see your name. I don’t even know you, but wish so much I could tangibly DO something, anything. But prayer does work. And I know He does listen, so again today, I will pray.
    Through your pain, through your honesty, you are touching lives. You have touched mine.

  19. Tears stream down my face as I read your blog. My heart is extremely sad for you and your family. I see pictures of your little girl, and just imagine what a little angel she was. I can tell from her pictures that she had such personality! I pray that you REALLY TRULLY feel God’s comfort, cause I know that God’s heart hurts for you also.
    I pray that her story lives on, and it continues to touch peoples lives. I pray for continued strength and support for you from those around you. Thank you for sharing, it helps in so many ways!

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