Crying Times

I learned this past week that sometimes the smallest or strangest things can knock down walls. I was out running errands and I stopped to meet a lady and pick up some children’s clothing she was selling. I was getting a huge bag for a small price, and though it contained an unsorted variety, I figured I could sort through, take what “Bug” needed, and pass on the rest. As we approached the storage unit she was keeping them in and she pushed the door up, I was taken off guard by a piece of fabric. There peeking out of a big black bag was a small bit of fabric, maybe 3 or 4 inches of peach and brown stripes with a tiny floral pattern and bits of blue. I’m not sure what all the lady was saying, something about the fact she had plenty of bags if I needed more, and that she also had bags of women’s tops available, but I just kept staring at the fabric. Suddenly I burst out, asking if I could buy this blouse. Here we are, at this door for less than a minute, and I’m asking to buy something else, almost sight-unseen. I looked at her, and she had this puzzled look on her face. I was trying to contain my overwhelming emotion, NOT to cry. I tried to gather myself, and calmly explain that this fabric, this pattern, were on a shirt my daughter used to wear. I say tried because my rambling words went around in circles until I finally started bawling and blurted out that she was in prison… I said the word prison to a complete stranger! I try to stick with incarcerated… It sounds less harsh in my own mind, I guess… As a mother herself, the lady reacted with such compassion, she reached into the bag and GAVE the blouse to me. I clutched it, trying to turn off the tears, and calm my body. After leaving, I began to think about this shirt, and how we have so few things that Bec wore. I did save a scarf/sash and another blouse that got in with Bug’s things, but this pattern and fabric I remember very well. I clutched the shirt for a while as I drove to pick up my husband. I tried to think about why it set me off, and how I could make something from it. It’s been sitting by my bed for a few days. I’m still trying to decide what I’m going to do with it. It’s not Bec’s shirt, it just looks like it. Maybe I will make something out of it, maybe I will put it away with all of Bug’s important paperwork. Whatever I do, that shirt has a story to help me tell others.  A story of a mothers pain and a daughters journey…. and neither of those has found it’s destination yet…


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