Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Walking In Walmart

The first time I came home after Emma was diagnosed in May 2010 was at the beginning of that August.  We spent the entire summer in Memphis.  While we were away, our local Walmart was remodeled.  Imagine my confusion the first time I went grocery shopping!

I remeber walking through Walmart wondering if anyone recognized me.  Did they know about Emma's story (it had gotten a lot of recognition because of how she was diagnosed)?  Did they know that my child had cancer?

But no, nobody paid a bit of mind to me or my shopping cart full of groceries.  Much, much later, I read a similar thought on another cancer mom's website.  Later than that, I read the same thought on someone else's site.  This lady had lost her mother, and she stated she'd walked through Walmart wondering how everyone could be so happy.  Didn't they know her mother had just passed away?!

That got me to thinking about that first trip to Walmart when I arrived home.  No wonder no one paid attention to me.  They were all wondering why I wasn't paying attention to them!

That lesson did me a world of good.  We all have troubles, and whatever yours is feels huge to you.  Be a little kinder to those you meet this week. You never know what they're going through!

18 comments:

  1. I had similar thoughts after my dad passed away. How could people laugh? would I ever laugh again?

    fantastic post :)
    sending a hug...

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  2. Such an important lesson, Katie. It's sometimes hard to keep in mind that every single individual has his or her own, complete life, just as complex and challenging as one's own.

    Your post reminded me of something: When my sister died many years ago, one of her friends gave a wonderful eulogy about pain. Doesn't matter what kind of pain you have, or whether it's physical or emotional. Every person experiences pain at some point, and nobody's pain can be compared to anyone else's.

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  3. Thanks Maryellen, glad you stopped my :)

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  4. So true, Anne! We all have hardships, and sometimes the best medicine for myself is remembering that.

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  5. We really don't know what others are going through, and I remember myself of that every time I start to feel sorry for myself. Everyone suffers pain in his/her life. My pain is no greater than anyone else's and quite possibly, someone else needs my shoulder to cry on more than I do.

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    1. It really is so important to remember, Kelly!

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  6. Sometimes we are shouting to the world from the inside wondering why no one hears. Seldom do we hear the silent cries of others. Sometimes we can see it in their eyes, but don't know how to reply.

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    1. You're right, Rick. It's hard to know how to respond, and I still struggle with knowing what to say or do. It's so much easier to pretend there's nothing wrong, but a kind smile to a stranger can really lift their spirit!

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  7. When my sister and I went shopping for my father's funeral clothes I thought the whole world must have known we were grieving. But everyone just went on with their lives around us.
    You make a good point, we have no idea what others are going through. Living in a tourist town, where I absolutely hate going to the stores during the summer, it is a good reminder to me not to lose patience with others. Thanks for this thoughtful post, Katie =)

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  8. Oh, yes! I felt that way for weeks (at least) after my brother died and grocery shopping after my son's diagnosis felt like an out of body experience with those same "don't these people know?" feelings for 8 months. Ugh. Both of those experiences have been reminders that we do not know what pain and burdens others carry.

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    1. Hi Theresa! Great to hear from you again :)

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  9. I try to tell myself that every time I run into someone who's rude, unsmiling, or just seems grouchy for no reason. You don't know what's going on in their lives. The best you can do is give a smile and hope it makes a difference.

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    1. You're right, Cat! A friend of mine said she was in the store right after her son relapsed with cancer. She said she was a mess. A man stopped her and said something to the effect of, "Hey, you should smile. It can't be that bad." She said she just lost it, and screamed at him, "My son has cancer!" We never really know, do we? Kindness is the best policy.

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  10. Very true. A few years back both my dad and husband were in an out of the hospital and I was trapped inside of myself, holding on for the kids. No one knew outside of my family. I kept to myself. I lost several friends during those years because I couldn't be there for them nor could i explain. Life has it's challenges but we do somehow get through it.

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear that your friends didn't stick by you, in spite of your inner trials! But like you said, we manage.

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  11. When I was little, I once saw it raining on the other side of the street and was amazed that it stopped/started on a very literal line. But when I thought about it, I realized it had to start and stop somewhere!

    Things that change your life are like that too, aren't they? There's a line that separates before and after.

    Hugs!

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    1. A line is the perfect way to describe it!

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