[picture: Ricki assembling a map of the world puzzle]
My good friend and I were walking, as we often do…. "C" is a wonderful walking partner (and a lovely all-around person, as well). However, among other things, she wanted to stop in the nearby mall to pick up a gift for some relatives. In addition, I promised to show her which store in the mall sells the cheapest jewelry. Both were fine by me.
What took me by surprise was when she decided to pop into a toy store near the entrance, dragging me along with her. I don't think that I have been in a toy store since Ricki's passing (except for a store that sells crafts materials as well).
[ I used to enter nearly every toy store I passed, looking for new educational materials for Ricki. Any new approach to a skill she was studying was likely to be purchased. Studying was to never be done with "that same old boring toy" for her, oh no!]
What surprised me was my reaction. I almost felt like I couldn't breathe. I even considered leaving, but decided the price of my friend feeling bad for taking me there was way too high a price to pay for my comfort. I just decided that to feel the loss is normal, permissible, and maybe even good. So I took a few deep breaths, and managed ok for the few minutes we were there. But I was surprised. But I'm OK with that, too.