They opened. I walked in. And then I choked.
What do I do now?
I’d really only atta-girled my way through the sliding doors.
<Insert second internal pep talk.>
“Focus, Sara, focus…
Just ask the girl organizing the carts two feet in front of you, she’ll know. Come on, quickly now, before she thinks you’re weird and just staring at her. ATTA…”
“Uh, excuse me, where are your canes?”
“Candy canes? Or walking canes?”
“Uh, sorry, walking canes.”
She quickly rattled off the aisle number and I fumbled there as fast as I could.
Now, I don’t know why I thought there would be a cane AISLE.
But I did.
Bless me, I really did.
So the one-foot section of fifteen canes threw me.
And so did the bedpan and toilet lift section next to them.
Then a new internal not-so-much-a-pep-talk began.
“Aside from being unsanitary, this just seems rude. ‘ First a cane!! Then a bedpan!!’ They might as well scream it out of the toilet lift opening so everyone can hear it!”
Then angry tears began to flow.
So I fumbled my way out of the cane “aisle” and stopped only to offer a teary, “Merry Christ (sob) mas…” to the Salvation Army bell-ringer outside.
(The poor man almost gave ME money.)
The minute I got home I huffed and sniffed right to the room where the hubs was watching T.V. (and, quite adorably, folding all our laundry.)
I opened with a passive aggressive, “So I tried to buy a cane at Walgreens…”
After twelve years of loving me, he knew to turn the T.V. off, put down the laundry and quietly say, “Oh, honey, how did that go?”
So I launched into the incense I felt over the whole cane next to the toilet lift thing.
Blah. Wah. Blah.
To which he asked in the precious earnest of a man trying to love his wife,
“Well, honey, where do you think they should put them?”
“The bedpans? The toilet lifts?”
And with a seriousness I cannot even repeat, it spewed forth,
“Next to the Ex Lax. At least THAT would be ironic.”
And then he giggled. And I giggled. And it was better.
Until the next day.
When I was in Walmart.
I slightly looked in the direction of the Pharmacy on my way to the Christmas lights.
A sigh of relief.
I even nearly picked up a lighted candy cane to bring home to the hubs to tell him I’d found the perfect “Sara” assistive device.
But then I walked back past the Pharmacy.
And I saw them.
Again, not a cute one in the tiny bunch.
AND THEY WERE NEXT TO THE TOILET LIFTS.
For the love, people.
So I kept on going and bought ingredients for sugar cookies instead.
And when I got home, we made a grand and glorious mess.
Sugar everywhere. Sprinkles everywhere. Flour everywhere.
I did not even mind the gargantuan clean-up.
This weekend I walked away twice from perfectly good canes.
I cried. I got mad. I avoided.
But in it all, I learned something precious.
Every one of us will have a moment like I had in Walgreens.
Where we want to take the cup we’ve been given and promptly chuck it down the aisle.
Maybe it’s a wig for chemo. Maybe it’s dinner for one, instead of two. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s a blasted toilet lift for someone deeply loved.
But whatever “it” may be, there will be moments where we all will want to chuck our cup.
And you know what?
It. Is. Absolutely. Okay.
For me. For you. For all of us.
It just may be that in these moments, we are a little more Gethsemane than Golgotha.
We know what waits.
But we cry out anyways.
We ask that the cup be taken.
And yet, we are willing to offer up the very life-blood of our souls.
Drop by drop, spilling out over the foundation of our faith.
So that when the moment comes…
Where the cup must be carried…
We will not bow in resignation or defeat.
We will stand in a gentle surrender.
In a place that is breathtakingly beautiful.
With a heart prepared to do whatever is needed.
And a body purposed to go the distance.
All for the glory of a King.
A holy road walked down before.
So that when this girl picks up her cane for the first time…
It will be with an unencumbered,
“For You, sweet Jesus.”
Always. For. You.