Blind-sided at Sears

Walking through Sears department store the other day, I passed by the boys’ and then the men’s department while calmly experiencing all the expected memories: the packages of socks, the work pants, the plaid shirts, the dress shirts. My mind drifted back to the time, years ago, when Hans and his dad spent several hours in the parking lot of this store, trying to fix the heater on our old Custom Cruiser station wagon – at twenty-something degrees below zero.  In the dark.

My thoughts drifted again and, from the fringes of the tool department, near a long row of shiny appliances, I stood gazing up at the glass elevator as it silently glided up and down, up and down. As a toddler, Hans liked to ride this elevator mainly because he liked to push the buttons – later, because he enjoyed the sensation of weightlessness. As a man, he shopped for tools and clothes there. At some point, he discovered that, from the topmost position of the elevator’s  journey, he could (unknown to his oblivious mother) keep me in view no matter where I was in the store. This knowledge served him well during the Christmas shopping season.

Yes, the Sears store in Fairbanks, Alaska holds many memories for us.

But, it’s different – now.

I turned my back on the elevator and continued on through the tool department where we bought so many Christmas presents for the men in our family: the flashlights, the socket wrench sets, the tool bags. I was feeling rather victorious,  thinking I had handled all that pretty well.

Feeling safe, I headed for housewares to look at sheets but then found myself in the little girls’ department, which comes just before housewares. I felt uneasy for some reason.  But, well, what could be safer than the little girls’ department?

I ignored the silent warning which told me to just look straight ahead and press on with all possible dispatch to housewares.  Instead, I let my eyes swing to the left to look at the little girls’ dresses, all pink and frilly and loaded with ribbons.  So girly.  No little boy memories here.  No, sir.

So why the tears out of nowhere, in the very center of Sears department store, far from the exit or even the bathroom where I can hide and compose myself?  Why does my heart hurt suddenly and for no apparent reason?

Because, there is a reason.

Hans will never have a little girl.

He would have made such a great Daddy.

Manfred holding Hans – 1 day old.


12 thoughts on “Blind-sided at Sears

  1. Pingback: Re-Post: Blind-sided at Sears | You Can Trust Him

  2. My mother went to be with the Lord after a sudden stroke when I was 21 and my first thought was that she would never be a grandmother (I was a 6 month newlywed at the time). Now, over 40 years later, I still have the pangs of that thought when watching my children and, now, their children accomplish various things. It is at those moments when that thought hits me that I remember her more fully than at “normal” times of the day, and I thank the Lord for sending that remembrance so she is raised above the mundane around me. Blessings to you. Life is difficult and loving exposes us to hurts that are crushing, but our Lord is stronger than all and He holds us tighter when we need His comfort most.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He is and He does. Thank you, Linda, for sharing your story. It is so easy to think of our loss as their loss. But it’s just not true. They have gained all and in reality we have lost nothing. If only our emotions could grasp this during those crushing times. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.


  3. April

    My daughter tries to comfort me by saying how Arlo will never have to experience all the negative things about our world today…and she’s right he will never know the pain of missing anyone, or the hurt of getting dumped by his first middle school crush…but he will also never experience the sand between his toes while the warm salty breeze of the beach blows through his hair…never smell a rose… And never know the pain of getting dumped by his first crush and knowing how nice a second crush can be

    Liked by 1 person

    1. April, I am sorry for the loss of your dear Arlo. And I am sorry you are hurting. It is so easy for us to dwell on all the things our boys will not experience here on the earth. You and I are confined to what we see here, and smell, and feel while we are earthbound. I try to focus on the fact that Hans is experiencing things that I cannot even imagine. That, for those who know Jesus, the beauties of this life simply pale in comparison to those we will see in glory. That God, in His mercy, has chosen to spare Hans from whatever lies ahead. I fully believe Hans has not missed out on anything. It is us, those who love and miss our children, who are missing out on seeing our dear ones grow and prosper. We miss them being in our lives and sharing in what we love. But I know that God will supply whatever I need to fill this void. It may take a while. Maybe it won’t be filled until I see Hans again. But He will do it. Let’s trust Him for that.


  4. rogerholmack

    When I get blind sided like that, I just continue on. I’m learning that there are times when the mask falls off that we just have to live with it. Perseverance leads us to the humanity of our grief that God teaches us that it’s ok to show our pain in public. Thank you for sharing this with us. I know how hard it is. ~Roger

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m so sorry, Kim, and am grieving with you now. Love the tender photograph of father and precious son; it reminds me that we are sooo precious to our Father
    On another note, I praise God for discernment – that you realize you DID discern the Lord leading you to do something which you opted not to do. He is our Father, and leads us on paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. May we ALL value and desire spiritual discernment. Love you in Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

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