What Happened in the Big O Parking Lot

Sunday, November 3, 2013

It was a day similar to any other. Kids and errands and food and cleaning and craziness. Naps and sippy cups, diapers, building blocks, cartoons and kisses.

Our new minivan needed to have the tire pressure checked out and an oil change so I headed to the Big O in Fort Union--because that is where the Groupon we purchased requires us to go. (It was a steal of a deal and I'm so glad Vic purchased it way back when.)

The kids and I played in the waiting area while they worked on our car. We got there just as they were getting ready to close but they squeezed us in.  I think we were their last customers. Vic was just leaving work once the car repairs were done so I suggested he meet us there and that we grab a bite to eat across the street at Lone Star Taqueria.  (Pretty darn good food).

And so we did. It was a beautiful evening. The kids were being darling (and crazy). Zoë insists on standing up in her high chair, climbing on the table, and eating with a fork or spoon, thus, causing all sorts of chaos and messes.

After our meal (we ate outside on the patio...it was such a lovely night. Zoë loved pointing out the birds flying over head and flirting with the tables next to us), we headed back across the street where I had left the van parked in the Big O parking lot.

I was happy. Really happy. I was filled with great food on a beautiful Friday evening. The weekend was just beginning and my children had behaved rather well that day. As Vic was buckling Peter in his car seat on the opposite side of the van from Zoë and me, I began to throw my Zoë June into the air above my head. She squealed with absolute delight each time she took flight. The sun was setting behind her and she had the most adorable gigantic smile on her face.

About the third or fourth throw up in to the air, something hit me entirely out of the blue. Zoë came down in slow motion and I could barely gather myself enough to catch her. I lost my breath and started crying. Really crying. (At this point Vic had already walked back to his car). I cried the entire drive home. Like, shaking crying. I could not stop.

When I say "something hit me"--it was like a literal punch of emotion in the stomach. Lucy. She wasn't there. She wasn't at Big O with us playing in the lobby. She wasn't eating tacos with us. I don't know.... it just...HURT. Maybe I'd had a moment with Lucy exactly like the one I was having with Zoë. Maybe something about Zoë's expression ignited something in my subconscious. Lucy's face. Lucy's expressions. I don't know. But it was powerful. It kind of scared me.

As soon as I got in the car and continued my cry fest, my very next thought was that I would blog about that moment. That moment of bliss and searing pain. But I was so bugged that I would even think to blog about it. I wanted this moment to be pure and just for me! I actually said out loud, "No! I will not blog about this! This is just my moment to think about Lucy and miss her and try to figure out what just happened. What triggered that? Why? What is going on? Let me just feel this for ME!"

That's when I called Justin and told him everything I just wrote here. " I feel like my blog and Instagram and social media take away from my moments that could otherwise just be pure moments. I think about sharing them and taking photos and blogging about them and it obstructs them somehow... It bugs me!"

In his wisdom he told me some things. Just...some things. Things that resonated as truth to me. About me. I'm a sharer. (Obviously...since the first thing I did after having these thoughts was call a friend and tell him about it.) Why not have this intense moment and share it?

So I did.

I don't even know if this post makes sense.


  1. This is the very same reason, that I share the fact that I am pregnant after the 12th dollar store test. (They can't be valid, right? They're a buck each! So I figure 12 positives equals one normal test.) I can't keep it in, no matter how much common sense tells me to shut my pipehole. If I try, I will literally explode. Your sharing, Molly, is BEAUTIFUL. Just as others' silence is also beauty. It's what makes you YOU. And it is also one of the few golden linings from Lucy moving on. Your sharing has helped so many others to HEAL. And so many other "others" to empathize, where it would otherwise not be possible. There is a reason that so many people I know, merely take a moment to glance at your blog for the first time, and end up spending HOURS literally glued to the screen, consumed by your devastation, also your hope, and most importantly, your endless and raw and "unedited" maternal love. Share on, girl. It's what makes you, YOU. And it also makes the world a much better place.

  2. My 2 year old nephw drowned the end of September, my sister in-law is struggling so much right now. She says some things that get her through are when she can talk to or read about someone who knows exactly what she's going through. Maybe you needed to share this for her or for someone like her so they know that someone else gets it. Just my .02

  3. Sometimes it helps just to say it out loud or write stuff down. There are times in my life when I didn't think I could take another breath....times when I was so sure that no one....literally no one would understand how I felt. So why would I share how I feel or tell anyone. But then I'm so like you....I have to tell someone. I was and still am so lucky that my bestest friend in the whole world was there for me every day. She cried with me, she laughed with me, she remembered "him" for me, she recalled stuff I forgot about that awful day, she understood, and she saved me from myself. It's ok to keep stuff just for you that is so sacred and special about your Lucy but I hope you know that sharing some of your thoughts helps all of us too. I love your raw openness, your honesty, the randomness of your thoughts. I wish so many times none of us had to go through sorrow or loss. But in sharing your thoughts, you have helped many others see that their reaction to their loss and the way they grieve is not so off the wall. I read comments on your blog where others have benefitted by your posts. It is so hard to feel such happiness and then such profound sadness all within seconds of each other. Remember....the love never ends and she is with you always.

  4. This post touches me & makes me glad that my sister isn't "crazy" when she still cries about the loss of her daughter. She's had 2 kids since she lost her daughter and yet, she still has those gut-wrenching moments... just like you. It's not crazy. It's human. Love you and love you for sharing this, Molly.

  5. Thank you for sharing. I can't express why--I am not sure why, didn't even know I needed this-- but you helped me this night.

  6. Makes perfect sense to me...I'll be devastated if you stop sharing these moments. They help me. Somehow I think sharing helps you. Please don't stop.

  7. Haven't read this post yet, but just had to comment how much Molly looks like her big sister, Lucy. WOW! I've been reading your blog, since the tragic day of Lucy's choking on the tiny piece of apple. You have three beautiful children and a wonderful gift of writing! And sister looks like lovely Lucy!

  8. Or wait? It that first photo of you and Lucy??

  9. I had that almost exact same thought the other day. Something happened & I started constructing a post in my head instead of being THERE in the moment and just working through the emotions.
    I'm so sorry that Lucy wasn't there. She would have laughed & smiled as she watched you. I'm sure she'd be the adoring big sister.

  10. Thank You Thank You for Sharing. I Love that you share these experiences. I have a love/hate relationship with moments like that. I hate the searing pain but I love that it gives me a chance to cry and miss Gabe in that moment. Life gets so busy that although I never forget him sometimes I feel like I'm so busy I am forgetting him. Those moments remind me that I will never forget him and will always miss his presence. They are bitter sweet tender mercy's for me.


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