The vacant parking lot was a fore shadow of the ominous message on the darkened windows of the unlit store.
“We’ve Moved,” was painted in bold letters across the glass expanse.
Defying the obvious, I turn off the car engine, and walk up to the windows to peer inside.
Sure enough, they’ve moved.
I walk despondently back to my car. With my hand on the door handle, I slowly turn my head and look back at the closed store, and sigh.
They’ve moved to a BRAND NEW facility. It’s bigger! It’s better! It offers soo much more! These are signs of success and prosperity! It is good news, isn’t it? Then why do I feel so sad, so small, and so lonely?
I remember when this grocery store just opened. It was the first one from this chain brand to open on this side of the river. I remember when it was sparkling and brand new. I remember shopping here when I lived in my first apartment.
But the nostalgia is much deeper than that. I used to do my grocery shopping here when I was pregnant so long ago.
Since moving back to this part of “town” in 2006, I would often think of him as I walked down the aisles again. The squeaking wheel as I went along was a comforting sound. I could buy produce, cereals, and milk, all the while reminiscing the days when I would shop here for those same things with my son.
But another thing strikes me about all of this.
It is simply the words,
That captures the plight of an original mother. The memories are stuck, like a gouged CD, at a certain place in the past, and life moves on, but we can’t keep up with it.
Sure, on the surface we seem to, but our mind, our heart, our very soul carries us back to the last time… the last time I held him, the last time I saw him, the last time I sat here eating ice cream before he was born, the last time he was with me...
A piece of my soul will be left wandering, like a hollow ghost, in the aisles of the closed grocery store. I can no longer walk those aisles and remember having been there with him so many years ago.
But that doesn't matter to them, because they've moved.
I think this is another allegory at the ugliness of adoption. Losing a child (losing an original parent) leaves a lonely darkness in the heart, like the emptiness and lonliness of a vacant store which was once full of life and vibrancy.
So, there I stood, feeling forlorn as I look back at the store.