A few weeks ago, I ordered some super cute balloons online for Samuel's birthday. We decided to have them filled for his party tomorrow, so I called around to find the best price for having them filled. We finally found out our local grocery store would be the best price. The only catch was that the woman who did the filling only worked until noon on Saturday and not at all on Sunday. No problem, we'd have them filled today.
We went to have them filled and while she worked, the woman and I chatted about how cute they are and where I got them online and such. She asked what it was for and I told her, "Our son's first birthday party". Of course that was followed by all the usual "Oh, how fun!" and "That'll be a great time" and such comments. I just smiled and agreed.
She was just about done when she said something about how much he's going to love them and I just broke down crying. Right there in the middle of the store with everyone watching and the poor woman staring at me. I tried to pull it together and I said, "Well, actually, our son died just after he was born. We're having more of a remembrance party than an actual birthday party. We're going to send these balloons up to him in heaven".
Right away she said, "That's terrible, I'm so sorry. This must be so hard for you". (The EXACT words to say). I replied, "Yes, thank you, it's been a very hard year".
She gave a reassuring look and said, "I lost four of my babies before I had my son. And my niece and her husband lost their baby just after she was born. She had an undetected heart condition."
She asked his name and I told her all about him. I showed her the book of photos I carry in my purse and she looked at every one of them.
We talk for a bit about how sad it is to lose a baby and how people don't talk about it, but it's happening all the time to so many people. She was wonderful. Very compassionate and caring.
As I thanked her for talking and being so kind, she picked up the slip with the sticker to pay for filling the balloons and said, "I'm not letting you pay for this." I protested but she ripped it up and threw it away. Then she gave me a big hug and said, "I hope you can have a special day tomorrow".
I thanked her and headed to the door. She walked behind me and handed me a beautiful white flower. "Something for you", and walked away.
I left with a feeling of validation and support. I can't tell you how much that means to me.
I will never, ever forget this beautiful and compassionate woman; Bev from Cub Foods.
What a difference one person can make.