This evening, Eric and I were on our way home from Kathryn’s robotics competition, and Eric told me that we needed to stop at Costco to buy a big box of Bisquick. He had promised Peter that he would make waffles in the morning. He suggested that we split up and have one of us go into the store and the other one get gas. Since he was driving, I volunteered to go in. I also could pick up something that I could pop in the oven after church tomorrow for lunch as well.

The parking lot was completely packed so I knew it would be busy. Christmas shoppers were everywhere. Signs of Christmas surrounded me –  poinsettias, wreaths, centerpiece arrangements. The store had extra merchandise in areas that were usually open. As I entered, I saw something that Kathryn had asked for so I tossed it in the cart.

As I walked down the aisle, I saw a huge Nerf gun with mega-sized bullets. Right next to that were laser guns. Two years ago, I would be considering getting two Nerf guns or the laser guns for Peter and Andy. I started thinking about all of the family Nerf gun fights we had in the past. I remember Andy being so excited after Valeriano became part of our family. He told me that now we would have even teams. Our standard teams were Eric and Kathryn, Valeriano and Andy, and Peter and me. There would be so much laughing as we would play. Since Andy’s death, the Nerf guns have just gathered dust in the basement.

As I continued walking, I passed the  Christmas wrapping paper. I used to buy one new type each year to keep some variety in my carefully wrapped gifts that would sit under the tree. No need for that this year. We had again decided as a family that there would be no tree in our house aside from the small artificial one up north at the cottage. No need to buy more paper; there won’t be enough gifts.

I felt smothered by all of the happy shoppers, noting all of the gifts in their carts. I picked up a pot pie and bread for tomorrow. I felt myself getting anxious and the tears seemed ready to come. I needed to get out of the store, but it was so busy.

What was it I needed again? Oh yes, the Bisquick. Where was the stupid Bisquick? I looked down every aisle of food twice. No Bisquick. The trip was a complete waste. I considered just leaving, but I thought about the pot pie and the fact if I left it there, it would certainly need to be thrown out. In addition, I still would have nothing in the house to eat after church. 

After I got back in the car, the tears came. I miss Andy, I miss my old life. When we got home, Eric said he would go to the grocery store to get the Bisquick. I snapped at him for no reason at all, telling him to take Peter to get him some dinner. I could not make dinner now; the sadness was overwhelming me. I felt terrible for snapping at him like that; he didn’t deserve it. What have I become?

I went upstairs into our dark bedroom and climbed into bed, staying there by myself for over two hours. I thought about staying there all night, but I couldn’t fall asleep so early. If for some reason, I did sleep, I would be up at 3am tomorrow. I got up and went downstairs.

It is time to be a mom again, a wife again, time to sit with my family and watch football. I can’t sit in my grief all of the time for life does go on even though sometimes I don’t want it to. There are times, though, I just need a break from it all. I need to lay in a dark room and just miss my little boy.