Another day, another attempt to appear normal

So another day, and another attempt to appear normal. Supplies were running low and a trip to the bigger supermarket in the next town was in order.  But first, we stopped off for a bite of lunch and a browse around the bookstore. I was feeling tired, so I gratefully plopped into the nearest chair in front of me, while DH took himself off to the nerdy section. I turned to my right and there at eye level I stared into pictures of beautiful babies and mothers caressing pregnancy bumps. I had managed to sit right beside the pregnancy section – your week by week guide, happy, healthy pregnancy, your pregnancy journal (short journal in my case). Thought of DH’s words to me the day before – the world isn’t designed to torture you – even though it feels to me like there are booby traps waiting to get me around every turn. Did you know that if you want to appear normal and do normal everyday things – go for a coffee, go shopping, go to the library, go well almost anywhere in this world, it is impossible to avoid seeing children and pregnant women everywhere?!  I thought I would be brave and instead of running away from the pregnancy books, I took one from the shelf, checked the index and looked up “m” for miscarriage. There were just 2 pages on miscarriage and it was the usual explanation you read everywhere – except for one statistic I hadn’t seen before – “if you see a heartbeat at your first scan, you have less than a 1% chance of miscarrying”.  I didn’t know what to make of this, so I rushed over to DH, book in hand, past the land mines of buggies and bumps, and thrust the book in his face, jabbing at the sentence. For some reason, this statistic seemed to reassure him that we had “almost made it” – what good is “almost” making it??? Does “almost” give you a baby to hold?? Mmmh! not sure what I make of the 1% statistic – does that mean that we were just really unlucky? Or is that statistic a valid one at all?

While I was pondering this, I overheard a father speaking to his little girl, who was sitting on a chair in the childrens’ section. “Daddy is going to go get a coffee, so stay there until I come back”. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing – he was actually going to walk off and leave his little girl who looked to be about 4 or 5 years old, on her own, where anything could happen to her. My husband was standing right next to her, what if he was a paedophile and spotted his opportunity right there? All he had to do, was tell her that he was a friend of her Daddy and Daddy had asked him to fetch her and bring her back to him! I wanted to go right up to that man and ask him what the hell he was doing. Once again, DH had words with me and told me I was projecting my own feelings onto the situation. Whether I was or not, I still don’t think the father’s behaviour was correct. So, off he went for his coffee! And I wouldn’t leave the shop until he returned because I wanted to make sure the little girl was ok. I hovered close by, keeping an eye out for potential paedophiles.   After about 15 minutes – 15 MINUTES when anything could have happened, 15 MINUTES when she didn’t stay sitting, but wandered off around the store,15 MINUTES  when she could have wandered right out the wide open front door, looking for her Daddy and anything could have happened her –  her father finally returned and I could abandon my watch over her. DH had to stop me from going right up to the feckless father and asking him why he thought it was ok to leave a little girl on her own like that. Why is he being so careless with such a precious gift? Why are so many people in this world so careless with the precious gifts they’ve been given?


14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gabby
    Aug 22, 2010 @ 09:08:25

    I like your booby trap analogy – this is so true – it is unavoidable – lying in wait at every turn – ready to trigger the grief response. Wonderful post Marie.


  2. Ash_09
    Aug 22, 2010 @ 09:09:20

    Oh my god, the ignorant of that man! Does he not know what kind of world we are living in?? you are completely right to be angry at his behaviour.


  3. Caoilinn
    Aug 22, 2010 @ 09:10:01

    I share your anger about the father’s behaviour too. I think you should have gone up and spoken with him!


  4. Emma
    Aug 22, 2010 @ 09:10:49

    I am stunned that the father would just go off and leave a little girl alone like that. I really think you should have had words with him – your husband was wrong to stop you!


  5. Gill
    Aug 22, 2010 @ 09:12:03

    Whether or not you were projecting your grief and anger onto this situation as your husband says, you were perfectly right in your estimation of the father’s behaviour. His actions are totally unacceptable and as a parent of a 4 year old, I am shocked to hear about it.


  6. Angie Lomax
    Aug 22, 2010 @ 09:13:44

    Why are so many people in this world so careless with the precious gifts they’ve been given? This question tugs at my heartstrings because alas we see it every day – parents ignoring their children as they drink their heads off in pubs on a Sunday afternoon, being just one example.


  7. Deirdre Burke
    Aug 22, 2010 @ 09:14:45

    A terrific post Marie – you encapsulate so much of what I feel too when I see parents being so careless with their precious charges.


  8. Helena
    Aug 22, 2010 @ 09:15:38

    You are a great writer Marie – I really felt like I was there with you in that bookstore and I share your anger and frustration at that stupid father’s behaviour.


  9. Steph
    Aug 22, 2010 @ 13:29:44

    I think the father was totally wrong to leave such a young child alone like that and I really admire you for the concern you showed for this little girl. However, I’m glad you didn’t intervene as I’d worry that the father on his return, might have hurled abuse at you for “interfering.”

    I think I would have explained the situation to a member of staff and asked them to oversee the child until the father returned. I’m sure this sort of thing probably happens all the time in shops (book stores in particular) and I would hope that that there’s a staff policy in place for dealing with irresponsible parents.

    Marie, I wonder if you’re putting too much pressure on yourself to appear normal? You are barely a week out of hospital after a hugely traumatic experience. You and your husband are both grieving, albeit in different ways (and this is absolutely normal) so it’s hard for you to be there for one another at the moment. Go easy on yourselves and if this means going about life differently for a while, so what? It’s OKAY!

    The most important thing here is that you allow yourself whatever space you need to grieve and bit by bit, you’ll find yourself ready to face the world again. I’m willing to bet, the world will seem a much nicer place when you reach that stage.

    Sending you and your husband, understanding hugs.


  10. Luann
    Aug 22, 2010 @ 22:46:34

    Marie, I agree you are a wonderful writer and could feel your heart race as you read your statistic. The only analogy I come up with is I remember when I was first diagnosed with BC. My gosh the whole world seemed crazy as did I. Things like women with hair, eyelashes lead me to be jealous in some sort of crazy way. The smallest things set me off. As time went on I was able to “settle” into the change actually being ok with the new hand that I had been dealt.

    I suspect what you are feeling is normal in light of everything you have gone through and by the way I share your thoughts on that father.

    So the way I see it is the good news – you got out of the house, you went to the bookstore, you smiled today, you were able to pick up a book open it up on pregnancy, you were excited about a statistic, you were able to write this blog, I’d say you made great strides today:) By the way, You were on my heart this AM while I was at worship service and I lifted you up to the Lord. Marie, I guess all we can do is take one day, one moment at a time which you did well! Hugs coming in from North Carolina 🙂


  11. Carlos
    Aug 23, 2010 @ 10:07:15

    Note to Self: Christmas present for Marie “The Irish Missile”….1) Punching Bag 2) Boxing Gloves 3) Copy of the movie “Rocky”. 🙂


  12. Carlos
    Aug 23, 2010 @ 10:08:05

    Oh Yes…..4) Copy of the song “Eye of The Tiger”


  13. Angie
    Aug 24, 2010 @ 08:48:04

    Thinking of you xx


  14. iamstacey
    Aug 24, 2010 @ 17:45:29

    Argh, I can’t believe you sat in the pregnancy section! What are the odds? Wait – I spend too much time wondering what the odds are about everything.
    I don’t know about the 1% thing. I don’t even think it’s that low once you get to the 2nd trimester, much less as early as the first heartbeat. That doesn’t sound right to me.


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