Husband wanted to go to Sportsman's Warehouse yesterday. He wanted to get a new belt and decided that was the best place to get one. So, off we went.
This store is huge. There is everything you would need there. Now, I am not a shopper. Get in and get out is my motto. But, because husband walks in a very slow, spastic and shuffling way, I really can't look at any items, I have to keep my eye on him the whole time. Even with the walker, he is still very unsteady walking.
As we got to the camping equipment, I thought back to days gone by. Back in the day, when husband was well, we would go camping. We would plan our trip, along with friends. I would cook food and freeze it. Husband would get all of his fishing gear out, prepare the fishing poles, stock up on bait, making sure we had everything we needed in order to catch the "big one."
We would leave before the sun rose for our camping trip. Wanted to get the best spot. Once we arrived, we would set up camp and head for the water. There, we would fish all day, while children played, fell, fought, got absolutely filthy, all the while enjoying the whole aspect of camping.
Nights would be filled with bathing children, eating, enjoying a beer or two, sitting around the campfire and telling stories. The babies would fall asleep in my lap, totally exhausted from the day. The men would be sharing their fishing stories of how the "big one" got away, all the while, trying to outdo the other. We would finally all go to sleep, only to wake up at dawn the next morning, and start it all over again.
Oh, those were the days. Days in which we never thought anything bad could happen to our family. Why, we were so full of life, nothing could touch us. No harm would ever come to us.
And then, as if in the blink of an eye, here we were, husband shuffling through his most favorite store, holding onto the walker for dear life, me, walking beside him, guiding him. I could almost smell the outdoors, almost hear the roaring of the river, almost hear the laughter of children, the yelling of "Wow, look at the size of that fish", even smell the dirt. Almost.
Reality had a way of bringing me back to the here and now. I had such a wave of sadness sweep over me. I had to contain my emotions as I paid for the belt he wanted. I couldn't get out of that store fast enough.
Husband was quiet on the way home. I glanced at him several times during the ride home. Was he thinking of days gone by too? I don't know. His eyes are blank now, you can't see anything there. But, I wonder, does he remember those days? Does he long for those days?
Oh yes, those really were the good ole' days.