A Father of the Year

I quickly flung the small box of pads in my cart, only my eyes glancing sideways at the selection.  I rushed past the man that stood obviously perplexed in front of the vast array of feminine products.  My cart was half full of groceries and I just wanted to be done.

“Excusa me? Can you ahhh help me?”  he asked in broken English before I completely passed him.  I was rushing more so as to not embarrass him in what must have been an awkward situation.

“Ohhh…of course,” I responded.  ‘This poor guy’ I thought.

“Ahhh, yes, for my daughter.  She needs.” he continued.

“Does she need these,” I asking pointing to a box of pads, or “these?” I continued pointing to a box of tampons.

His phone rang on face time and I was able to discern a girl’s voice on the other end speaking frantically.

“Oh no, she 12 years old,” he told me as he turned the phone to let his daughter see the options.

I choose a regular pad in plastic packaging that would be appropriate for a 12-year-old and handed it to him. “These are good,” I encouraged.

“Oh no, she say a box,” he was scratching his head now and his cheeks blushed.  His daughter prompting him in the background.

I had never wanted to find a box of pads in my whole life.  This father had been standing in a Market Basket aisle for what seemed like forever for his daughter.

We searched more together, the three of us.  Suddenly, I was not in a rush anymore.

“You may want to try CVS.  They have more of a selection.”  I still waited by him in the aisle as he spoke to his daughter.  I did not want to abandon the search, but it was obvious that the “box” was not in this selection.

He struggled to communicate with me, partly from embarrassment I would imagine.  My heart was full of appreciation for the father he must be to her.  Was he a single father?  I thought of my students who had been raised by a single father and warm blood rushed to my chest.

“Here?” he asked motioning in the direction of CVS.

“Yes, right next door. I think you will find what she is looking for.” I smiled.

He thanked me but continued to stand in the aisle motionless.  I slowly walked away, glancing back at him staring blankly at packages of pads.

I hope he found what she was looking for.






As I reached to open the shower curtain, my other hand cupped my breast.  In the previous days, I had not allowed myself to investigate it.  I gingerly removed my sports bra and turned on the water. A large white bandage pressed against it contorting its natural shape. The sound of the running water comforted me as my hand fall from its protective grasp.  The memory came to as I reached to check the temperature of the water, my fingers bouncing against the stream.

“Is it gone?” I asked as soon as I gained my orientation in the recovery room.

“It is.  You did great.” my surgeon responded.

“How big was it?”

She squinted her eyes and tilted her head, “About the size of a walnut.”  She touched my arm and smiled as I struggled to keep my eyes open.  For the first time in months, I took a deep breath.  I closed my eyes and drifted back to sleep.

My fingers raised again to the white dressing and scraped at the edges of the tape.  ‘Be strong, Mary,’ I encouraged myself as I peeled away one strip of the tape.  An eternity seemed to pass as I considered what I might unveil.  Another strip of the tape released its grip on my skin with barely any effort.  I was able to remove the entire dressing with the next strip, but I kept my eyes lifted to the bathroom window.  It was a gorgeous spring day.

I knew I had to look down, but I needed a few moments.  I was afraid of what I might see.  With each passing moment, my appreciation for my breast resonated within me.  I suddenly dismissed its aesthetic purposes and became grateful that it had provided nourishment for my babies.  “Thank you,” I whispered as I lowered my gaze.

I stepped into the stream of warm water and lifted my face.  A warm rush soothed my chest.  I was reminded of the warm water that soothed my sore body after my deliveries, as I gingerly cleansed myself.  This shower felt much the same.  New life pulsated against my skin.

In the quiet and solitude of the shower, I discovered renewed strength and peace.  “Thank you,” I repeated as I felt for the small incision. Again, nostalgia overcame me as I stood bare and exposed.  In the sanctuary of the shower, gratitude was once again conceived and has remained with me since.







Inspiration ✨

Whether you choose to evolve or stay as you are, both require the same amount of energy. The quality of energy is the only distinction.

Are you choosing to restrain or unleash yourself in this one life you have been given? Only you can make that choice.