My first taste of this was watching a group of Sarah’s classmates going to basketball practice, while I was at school picking up her middle school homework. She should have been going to that practice, but, instead, was home in bed. That memory has been etched in my mind because it was the first time I had a good look at “normal” and knew that we were no longer in that category.
Over time Sarah has missed out on numerous occasions in her growing up years. For example, the majority of her spring breaks have been spent in the hospital. While her friends were in Florida laying in the sun, she was laying in a hospital bed hooked up to an IV. My mother’s heart would cry “this isn’t fair” and then I would go into my “fix-it” mode.
What do I do? I go shopping. For Sarah. I buy her clothes and shoes and fun jewelry. We have even been known to do on-line shopping from her hospital room.
On one such occasion she was frustrated with an on-line order she had been trying to place. The fact that she was receiving large doses of pain medication magnified her emotions and I found myself on the phone at midnight with a math-challenged sales person trying to explain how to work the discount that was being offered on the Banana Republic website!
Another fun hospital memory was Sarah and her boyfriend, at the time, taking a “walk” with her IV pole and returning from the gift store with a stylish pair of boots! I had to bite my tongue (severely) so I would not freak out about her trek around the dirty hospital floors with just her socks on.
At the end of the day, we all know that buying “things” will not make up for the losses we experience and the emotions we feel as a result. Shopping is just a distraction, not a fix in her not so normal life.