This afternoon I did it; I walked in to Costco, one of my husband’s favorite big-box stores, and renewed my membership for another year. I told the clerk that I needed to update my information because my husband had passed away, and she very kindly looked after me. We talked about cancer for a couple of minutes–when a person asks me how my husband died and I say it was esophageal cancer, that person invariably offers a story about losing someone in his or her family to one form or another of this terrible, life-robbing disease. Sometimes it’s colon cancer, other times it’s bone or breast or lung cancer–the specifics vary but the outcomes often remain the same.
Once the clerk deactivated my husband’s card, changed the membership to solo and took my picture, I steered my cart into the main shopping area. Now, I am not nearly the shopper that Gary was: he loved to look at every single thing in the store, and so he walked up and down each aisle, watching out for great bargains on gas-powered pressure washers or paper towels or stuffed olives. I was quite content to browse in the electronics section and then meander over to the book section before meeting him in the fresh vegetables aisle. I usually had plenty of time to read the dust-jackets on any book I was considering purchasing, and even to stop at the snack bar for a bottle of water and a sit-down while waiting for hubby to finish filling our cart with his found treasures.
Today I was determined to buy only necessities; I needed laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent and facial tissue, and perhaps a magazine at 25% off the cover price.
What’s that I see? Padded mattress covers that would be perfect on two of the beds at my cottage–well, I had to put those in the cart. And pre-cooked spare ribs would be great reheated on the bar-b-q this weekend if we decide to forego the chicken skewers that I had already placed in my cart next to the twelve boxes of facial tissues.
And so I went, up one aisle and down the next, inexplicably drawn from coffee makers to laminate flooring to slabs of cheese that would last me several months if they didn’t expire first! I could feel Gary’s presence, urging me to stop for a minute to check out the latest in food processors, and gently poking me in the ribs to remind me to pause at the selection of potato chips and oh, don’t forget the French onion soup in the frozen food section.
By the time I left the store my shopping cart was full. Besides the items I originally planned to purchase I also bought the aforementioned ribs and chicken skewers and a ready-to-bake lasagna for tonight’s supper. I picked up large blue garbage bags and large green garbage bags and pro-biotic capsules that might help my digestion. I even picked up a twelve-pack of paper towels and a very large bottle of stuffed olives. The only thing missing from my grocery cart was a gas-powered pressure washer!
I think Gary would have been proud of me.