The Old Man In the Store

I work in a big box store part time.  It’s helping with money, keeping me out of trouble and in general… I quite enjoy it.

I was stocking shelves last night and this old man comes up to me.  He’s looking for hams.   What is the best ham?   His wife had sent him.

And… then he started talking about his wife.  And his marriage.  And his kids.

He’s been married for 38 years.  His wife loves him.  He loves his wife.  She’s amazing.  Their life together is amazing.

As he’s talking, telling me about their life together, all I can think of is the life that was denied me.

I had 14 years with my husband.  We had SO looked forward to growing old together, to being grandparents together, him playing Santa Claus at Christmas.

So I’m listening, because there’s no polite way to disengage from the conversation.   I’m not busy enough, and there’s no other customers I could go “help.”

He continues on with his conversation, and finally winds it up.   He thanks me for listening to him, and wanders off on his way.

I think, I really do think I did a good job of hiding the fact that my heart was breaking.   I think that I managed to keep the pain out of my voice and off my face.

I finished up what I was doing then went on my lunch break.

On facebook, there was a post from one of my widda peeps.  It hooked into the pain that was being held back, and pulled hard.

The dam broke.

In the middle of my break.

In the breakroom at work.

All I could think was… thank goodness no one else is on their break.

I finished up my lunch… and ducked into the bathroom.   It’s hard to cry quietly when the grief monster hits.  I don’t get the pretty little “tears running down my face” thing.  I get big, ugly sobs… that are usually fairly loud.

I managed to get it together, go to work for the remainder of my shift.   Walk towards the back and there’s a lovely love song on the freaking radio.

I practically ran back to the staff only section.

I finally got myself under control.

I love stories of love that last.   But right at that moment?  I didn’t want to hear about it.. or be reminded of what was lost.   Not only my deceased husband, but also the potential Chapter 2.

But sometimes… I get to anyhow because the old man in the store needed someone to talk to.

Grey's Anatomy


One thought on “The Old Man In the Store

  1. Martha says:

    I have been following you for sometime…my beloved husband died after 29 years of marriage. There is much advice I would like to offer you…the journey is long and so painful, but you must travel through!


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