Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Yesterday I was waiting for Mr. Baseball to come home so I could run a few errands sans children. You know, since I am home all day with them, it would be a nice break to actually go somewhere by myself. I timed it right, fed Little Bear so he would be content when I was gone, and then said to Mr. Baseball- I want to run to the store, can you keep the baby?  His reply was that he needed to enter some stats on the computer right now. You know, baseball stats from our past tournament this weekend. Side note- He will remain Mr. Baseball and not regain his former name of Hottie Husband until this nonsense ends. Additional side note- I would not be tattling on him like this if it were not of importance to my story.

So, I was irritated at this point and so as to really show him, I grabbed my keys and I put all the kids in the car and went to the store. Yah, I bet that quiet house with nobody saying, "Dad, dad, dad, daddy, dad." while he entered those stats really got him good!

I needed some clothes for Little Bear, so I went down to this local shop a few blocks away and picked out a few things. As I was paying for them, the clerk was commenting on Little Bear's cheeks. He was facing her in the bjorn so she couldn't help but notice them. She asked if he was a good baby. This is a question that I always find a little odd because if your baby is difficult, you would never say, "No, this is a bad bad baby!" Anyway, I told her that he was extremely easy going and just so fun to have. Then we got on to how many I have and she quickly realized that he was my fourth boy. Then she asked the very common question that I get, "Were you hoping for a girl?" Another odd question at this point because it does not really matter, but I said truthfully, "Yes, I was, but I wouldn't give this guy back for anything. I always wanted four and I am so thankful that I got my four."

Suddenly a woman ,who had been standing back waiting for her turn to pay, stepped forward. She was extremely thin with long straight hair and a hard but sad look in her eyes. She looked at me and said in a flat hard voice, "You should be thankful, my kid died." 

I was stunned. A bit flustered, I said, "I am thankful, I'm very thankful. I am so sorry." She looked away from me and shook her head, angry. I stood in the store for a moment, trying to think if there were something else I should do or say as she walked up to pay for some little girl's clothes she had in her hands. I wondered who they were for. Did she have another child? Not that it would matter. How did she lose her child? What could I do or say to help?

She started talking to the clerk.

I walked out of the store. 

People's pain doesn't scare me. I hurt for them, but I am not scared away by it. And obviously, her anger was an expression of her deep pain. Something about me so casually talking about "my four", my abundance, had brought that pain which was already bubbling to the surface, out for all the world to see. If I was in that much pain, I think I would want people to know too-just not to feel like I was pretending everything was okay when it very much was not.

I am still wondering today if I blew it, if there is something I could have said to her that might have made some difference. I'm wondering if the Lord could have used me in some way to help her heal. But, even as I think it, I realize that it is quite arrogant of me to think that anything I could have said would have made a difference. She had lost her child. 

So I went home.

I went home to my abundance. 

I went home to my husband. My husband, who although had irritated me today, loves me , makes me feel beautiful every day and helps me immensely. 

I went home to my four little boys, who are sometimes contrary, rambunctious and sports obsessed, but who are great kids who make me laugh every day. They are healthy and they are here.

I went home to my life and felt a little guilty for it. I know I had never done one thing to deserve this abundance. I also know that the woman in the store had not done one thing to deserve losing her child. 

Life is unpredictable and ever changing. 

So, I come back to what I always come back to. I will rejoice. I will not waste one day in anger or fear or worry. I will give thanks for this day that the Lord has made. 

The woman had said, "You should be thankful." 

She is right. It would be a slap in her face if I wasn't.


The Blonde Duck said...

Popped in from SITS to say hi! That was terribly rude what she said. It sounded like you are grateful to me!

New England Girl said...

What a beautiful post today. Thank you for sharing this experience with us. It's often easy to let the little things in life get to us while forgetting how lucky we all are. Like you, I am not scared away by people's pain, but often times it is hard to know how to approach someone or to reach out to a stranger.

Sending hugs your way! You are very grateful in all of your postings and messages to those of us who read. :)

3 Blessings said...

I love your truth in this post. There are millions of things to be thankful for each day. I too am very thankful for my abundance. I have had loss too though and it is very hard. I will be praying for this lady you encountered.

Lena said...

Abundance, what a nice word. Thats sad about that lady who lost her child. I am thankful as well that I have an abundance waiting for me at home. Thank you Jesus.

Buddy and Krista said...

Very powerful, my friend. Beautifully written, as always.

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

wow, wow, wow.

A reminder to us all, no matter what our situation is, that someone always has it worse.

In fact, I have a friend who was wife to a surgeon, with two small children, when her husband suddenly grew ill, and had paralyzing strokes. He is unable to speak or function, and is trapped somewhat in his own body. He lives in assisted living home, and is not even forty years of age.

Her entire life was "planned out" like so many of ours are, and when I asked her if she gets angry because she is still married, but her life resembles that of a single mother, two children under age 8, living alone for all intensive purposes, she responded like this. "Oh, I can always find someone who has it worse, and who am I to question God?"

If she can say that, I surely should say it when I feel overwhelmed.

denise said...

I love reading your posts. My heart breaks for that mama who lost her child.

Your story reminded me of my own trip to the grocery store today. I was crabbing to myself about having to go, when the Lord gently reminded me that I'm blessed to have the money to buy whatever I need from a well-stocked grocery store.

chicamom85 said...

I am thankful for my beautiful daughter and my husband. That was a very strange thing to say though. She must be in a lot of pain and very bitter. I feel sorry for her.


Anonymous said...

Theres nothing you said to cause what she said, and there is nothing you could say to make her feel better. But for sure, she was really rude and being sad doesnt make it ok to be rude. Its not like you were complaining in her presence incessantly, you know? I think you said the only thing anyone could possibly say in a situation like that, besides break down and cry for her, which you cant because she is not a friend that you know, and she has just starled you with her anger.
I lost my 3rd baby halfway through my pregnancy in 2003 and at the same time an emergency hysterectomy. It was hard to look at babies for several years, but my experience did not give me the right to yell at people to be grateful that they had not lost their babies, you know what I mean? So, yes I feel sorry that her child died but no I dont think she has a right to do what she did to an innocent person who was just out in the world minding her own business.

Dee said...

We are so often reminded of the blessings we have.

Thanks for sharing.

visiting from SITS

Susana said...

Just stopping in from SITS.

Great post, beautiful family and LOVE your blog too!

Hope you have a great Wednesday!

Emma Hughes said...

What a lovely post and lovely blog!

Amy said...

what a fantastic post. I love your blog! I'm going to snag your button, and stop back often. I'm glad I found you through SITS!

Little Nut Tree said...

Here from SITS too. Good post. Sounds like you did all you could there. (Perhaps she was angry with herself for the outburst, rather than with you. I would have been.)

Darcel said...

Stopped in from SITS. Beautiful blog. I enjoyed browsing around.

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

Thanks for sharing this. Those are the moments that can haunt for days (at least for me). I don't think there was any more you could have done!

Donna's Days said...

Popped in from SITS. That story brought tears to my eyes. How often do we take what we have for granted? Some may have felt her comment rude, but she must have been in a tremendous amount of pain to say that to a total stranger.

Thank you for reminding me to be Thankful for what I have.

Donna's Days said...

BTW, joined your site after reading some of your back posts. Beautifully written. Thank you.

Susan @thindependence.com said...

Moseying over from SITS. I'm not sure how I would have responded to her comment. I think in a sense her comment was rude, however I can see how sometimes things like that might just slip out, when you're in pain and I would have been completely flustered, not sure how I would have responded. Sometimes, while unnecessary, things like that remind us what we have.

Gina said...

Soooo once again I flippin cried reading your post. You get me all emotional.. or maybe it's like Brielle says.. "i don't know anyone who cries more than you do mom" I'm not sad... just feel it when I read. Gosh! good job again. I wish we could find that woman and tell her to read your blog... I love you!

Robbie S. Redmon, LPC said...

Just popping in from SITS! I'm following you. Come visit, I post marital secret for young wives, mothers, and couples.

SugarandSpice said...

What a touching and well written story. Thank you for sharing and reminding us that no matter how hectic our lives are...at least we have them. I wouldn't trade work, violin lessons, grocery shopping, cleaning, or laundry for anything because it means I have children to love,feed,practice with, and clean their clothes, and I love that!

Spirit Jump said...

Thank you for writing this! Being a cancer survivor I am thankful every day for all the small things and know that this could be my last day. Sometimes we get carried away with the little and unimportant things!

Stopping by from SITS to say hi and invite you to our Getaway Giveaway, 2 Round Trip Airline Tickets & a Sweet Spot Pink Putter.

Help support our charity & maybe even win a super cool prize!


Misty said...

I so needed to read this...It was great! My boys have been testing my patience lately and this was exactly what I needed to get through this! Thank you so much for sharing!

P.S. I can relate to the storming out with the kiddos....happens all the time here!!!! lol

Lena said...

Those are beautiful thoughts. I have eight children, and I've always felt blessed beyond my wildest dreams. I'm thankful too, but like you, I am always mindful of the people who aren't so blessed.

I think you handled the situation as best you could.

Anne Ericsson said...

WOW...I am so fortunate that God graced ME with such a beautiful and thoughtful daughter as YOU!
I am sure that you have impacted many lives as a Transparent Mama.
I love you so much.
From Your Mama.