Residue

January 16th Small Stone

Waiting in line at the Costco pharmacy a long time, feeling the impatience of customers and stress of employees, the woman at the register was still kind to me.  I’d transferred a prescription from CVS after they raised the price again … “Could you please step to the other window to fill out some paperwork?”  At the new window I asked the woman if they were short staffed and we started small talking about seasonality, snowbirds and cost structures, when she said, “The address we have for you is Marymont Place.”  I laughed and said, “That was 1996 – 1998.”  She replied, “I lived in San Diego then too.”  We both agreed that San Diego was freaking gorgeous and freaking expensive and chatted about which Coscto we shopped at then.  She commented, “I raised my kids there; we were in Oceanside.”  I asked if her husband was in the military at Camp Pendleton and she said, “We were together 25 years, went to our Jr. and Sr. proms together, raised our kids, I thought it was great and he goes and falls in love with someone else.”  She still looked relatively young, so I could tell they had been together since 15 or 16.  Then she started telling me about the other woman and how two of her kids followed their father’s footsteps in the Marines and send her pictures of places they lived while growing up there asking, “Remember when we lived here Mom?”  I told her she looked great, landed on her feet and to stay strong: “It wasn’t about you; it was about him.”  She replied, “Thanks for the pep talk.  You know, I try not to let it change me, but … but it leaves a residue.”  All I could say is, “Yes, it does.”

Waiting in the grocery check out, I wondered how many women who’ve been divorced for years still wonder why they weren’t enough?  Good enough?  And blame themselves?

Walking out of Costco knowing I saved money (always a good thing), I noticed some residue around my eyes and wondered if broken hearts heal stronger like broken bones do?  Or is there always the residue of fracture?

jan13badgesmall

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2 Comments on “Residue”

  1. Angela says:

    Great post Karen! Very insightful and a good reminder of how those brief interactions with others can change the course of our thinking (and maybe theirs).

    • Karen Baglin says:

      Thanks Ange! I heard my sisters saying to themselves, “How does she get into these conversations?” when I wrote it. Truthfully, I’m not sure how it happens but I know there was a message in there for both of us. Healing can happen anywhere … even in Costco 😉


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