Friday, January 15, 2016

Unexpected Grief

The Last Gift

I had a sort of a meltdown the other night at Target.

Christmas 2014, my sister gave me a Target gift card. It was the last gift she ever gave me. I’ve been carrying it around in my wallet, not intending to spend it. But how stupid to let it go to waste (she wouldn’t have liked that). Spend it and save the card, silly.

So my daughters and I were in line at Target and I gave the guy two gift cards (Dawn gave me the other one). It was quite hectic and he was an idiot, so in the moment of Dawn and I trying to bag stuff up and him using the two gift cards plus my debit card, he failed to give the gift cards back to me, and I forgot to ask. I usually use them in my crafting (they’re great for applying paint and glue), but I wanted to keep Martha’s card forever.

When I asked him for my cards back he said, “Oh, I threw them away, sorry.” And I said, “But…I’d like them back, please.” He looked down at the garbage box at his feet and started to bend down, but he didn’t and just said, “Sorry, they’re in the garbage.” And so I said, “But I’d like them back, please. My sister gave me one of them and now she’s dead.” He looked at the garbage again and just shrugged his shoulders and repeated himself. So I thought, okay, you’re making this into a bigger deal than it should be, it’s just a card. I finished paying and waited for my daughters to buy their stuff.

But the longer I stood there, the more I wanted her card back, and then I started getting anxious and teary. I kept telling myself, it’s just a card, stop being a baby about it. But I couldn’t and so I mumbled to Dawn I had to leave and ran/walked out, crying, unable to control myself. I sat in the car and bawled. Over a stupid piece of plastic.

And then Dawn called me and asked what the card looked like, did it have penguins or dogs on it and I said penguins, but when she brought it to me I knew it was wrong, but I wanted to just keep it and pretend it was okay because I was being stupid and their thoughtfulness trumped everything.

But they wouldn’t let it go and went back inside to the register and rummaged through the garbage bin themselves and brought me every single card they thought was anywhere near what I thought it looked like. They embarrassed themselves in front of all of those customers and made that guy allow them to look through that nasty box of garbage at his feet.

My daughters did that for me!

And so I continued to cry, but it was from happiness from the love they showed for me. This was in-my-face-we-would-do-anything-for-you love, but they did it with grace.

They did that.

For me.

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