A couple weeks ago, we took our first trip to the grocery store after Aviana died. We were just wandering around as always.
Dave: What do we need?
Jen: I'm really craving hummus. Can you grab some dill, and a cucumber please? I'll get a lemon.
Dave: Okay, anything else over here?
Jen: You know, I actually don't really feel like hummus. I don't know what I want.
Dave: Okay, I'm going to get some sweet potatoes.
The sound of those two simple words caused tears to rush my eyes. No amount of skyward staring or hand waving helped. I looked at Dave and told him, 'I'm really doing it. I'm crying right in the middle of the produce department. Aviana used to eat sweet potatoes. We used to buy them for her. We don't need to buy them for her anymore.' The tears were streaming down my face. At first I tried, but as I stared at the people staring back at me…I realized - there was no use, I was too far gone.
Suddenly I began firing on all cylinders. Smoke billowing. The thoughts were ducking, and weaving like a boxer, but a sucky boxer - maybe in his first fight, or one he was definitely going to lose. My thoughts were uncoordinated and bouncing all over, and into each other. 'What? Where did you come from?' I wanted out of the ring, but there was no way out. Oh no, uh uh…this is going down! Right here, in the middle of the store. And all Dave could do was sit ringside with the pumpkins and pomegranates. Everyone, watching my demise. At this point, I couldn't even see straight or tell what I was saying out loud, or to myself. I do know one thing though; I was talking to all three of us - him, her and me. In retrospect, I'm kind of impressed given how fast it all happened.
'We don't need to buy sweet potatoes for her anymore. She loved sweet potatoes. Baby, that was the one thing you did like, those sweet potatoes. Maybe you could have lived on sweet potatoes alone...for all of your life. No, that's crazy. You would've gotten tired of those, just like everything else. Aww, even if you could have lived on only sweet potatoes, it wouldn't have changed your life. Baby, I'm so happy you are out of this life. But we miss you so much, but we are so happy for you. But we miss you. Can you believe we won't ever shop for her again? How do you do that? How do you shop for someone, and then never again? We are. So I guess we know how. Oh Aviana, you taught us so much!!! All because of you we are eating this way. We would never have learned about nutrition like this if it weren't for you. Oh the irony. Oh Aviana...
Dave: Hon, are you okay? Maybe we should move over to the wine.
(Dave's the best. He always knows exactly what I need and that's to just be heard, a little direction and to go through it : )
Jen: Huh? Yeah. I'm okay. Really, I'm okay. I can stop crying. Noooo, I can't. Yeah…the wine section.
Dave: Are you okay?
...we would never even have completely started shopping here if it weren't for you!! If it weren't for Aviana we would never have learned to eat the way we do. She was the most unbelievable little girl. She taught us so much. She made us better people. I miss her so much. My gosh, I am so happy she is free.
Dave: I know. I am too. Honey, do you maybe need to go to the bathroom?
(He always knows I'll be fine once I have a little space and can breathe again. I just love him. A dance you perfect over time…for sure.)
Jen: No, I think I'm okay. Actually, now that you said the word, I do think I need to use the bathroom. I'll be right back.
~ Exit bathroom ~
Jen: Hey Dave, do you know how we're doing on crackers?
All over a sweet potato, but of course, it's not just about a sweet potato...