For some strange reason grocery shopping continues to be a trigger for emotional overload. But the family must eat, so I must shop. Yesterday, I made a special trip into Kroger (not my favorite place and certainly NOT where I shop on a regular basis) to fulfill a random request for Sriracha for my husband. I picked up some bananas and some cherries which were on a super great sale for cherries. I may go back and get more. Within minutes of entering the produce section I saw a sweet mom with long red hair pushing her cart with a red headed boy of about 2 years old. The boy had down's syndrome. My breath caught in my chest and I hurried for the door, putting my items on a shelf on my way out. When I got to the door I stopped and thought of how God had put them right in my path - for what? To run away? Or to make an intentional choice to shape me and maybe minister to them.
I walked back into the store and scanned the area to see where they had gone and slowly moved towards them, positioning myself so that I could run into them easily, but somewhere not so in the open. Fine, okay...I stalked them...but it was for a good reason. We ended up in an aisle together and I pretended to browse the natural supplements. Ha! I know! Right?! I caught the little boy's eye and waved to him. As I got closer, I told him what awesome hair he had and when the mom smiled at me, I dove in and struck up the conversation. We chit-chatted about red hair and how she has 3 other red heads at home. I joked about my dark haired husband and I having red headed children. And then I asked it, "Does he have Down's Syndrome?" "He does," she very kindly and sweetly responded. I erupted into tears and hastily tried to explain the tears so I didn't look like a total imbecile. "I had a baby 8 weeks ago. She had red hair and Down's Syndrome. She only lived 28 hours. I love her and I love your son." I sounded insane, but the woman touched my arm gently, cried with me, and asked me questions about my Sweet Violet. She told me their family would be praying for me. She introduced me to her sweet boy who kept waving at me and saying "Buh-bye."
Maybe moments like these will get easier. But I am so glad I didn't walk away from it. I don't know what God's intention was, but I can't help but think my story touched that woman's heart in some God-sort of way. I know she and her son touched my heart and made the gaping hole get a little smaller, a little more full.