Try to remember


No longer needing to stand on his tiptoes, Philip watched our groceries being bagged.

“Wow, he’s getting so tall,” marveled the cashier as she scanned the items.

“He sure is,” I agreed.

“I remember when you were pregnant with him,” the smiling cashier added.

Her remark brought back a memory of my own: 

I was either seven or eight months pregnant. I’m not certain, but I do remember it was a warm day and my belly was quite prominent. I stopped at the grocery store on my way home from work. I think I only needed a few things, so I grabbed a basket instead of a cart. It took me a little longer than expected since I wasn’t as familiar with the layout of this store located on Cleveland’s west side.

By the time I waddled my way through the aisles and queued for the register, I wasn’t feeling well. This store didn’t offer the do-it-yourself checkout, so my only options were to wait or abandon my basket of groceries.

The longer I stood, the more light-headed I felt. I was regretting my decision not to use a cart since I had nothing to lean against as the store began to spin. I waited, willing myself to remain upright. When it was finally my turn, I answered the cashier’s greeting with, “I don’t feel very good.”

I was immediately ushered to that spot where the empty bags are filled with your purchases. As I sat there, the bagger, a lumbering fellow with brown hair (or was it blonde?), stood by with a look on his face that said, “I don’t know what to do.” The store security guard came over to check on me. His uniform inspired more confidence.

He offered me water, but sitting down seemed to settle my stomach and head. The bagger worked around me. I can’t recall if I stayed seated to pay or if I was able to stand up at this point.

“Is there anyone we should call?” the officer (or was it the bagger?) asked as he escorted me to my car. 

“No, I’ll be fine,” I assured him, grateful that this wasn’t my regular store and hopeful that I wouldn’t be remembered as “that pregnant woman who almost fainted.”

I nodded and smiled at the cashier who said she remembered me when I was pregnant. I swiped my credit card, grabbed my receipt, and Philip and I were on our way.

A nod and smile seemed the most polite response even though I knew the cashier was mistaken. Even though my own memories were fuzzy, I was absolutely positive I didn’t start shopping at this store until we moved here when Philip was two-years-old. But I nodded and smiled because the sentiment behind the false memory was completely honest.

17 thoughts on “Try to remember

  1. Such a sweet photo. Those moments are funny, aren’t they? When someone is sure they know you from somewhere particular and you know it’s not so, but you go with it anyway because it comes from such a sincere place in an effort to make a connection. I really liked this piece Cynk.


  2. Philip looks so joyful in that photo ( and I love the pics of himself on your iphone). I am certain you were not the first or the last person to pass out at the grocery store. I do just about every time, because I hate going there! 🙂


  3. He is a DOLL. I love that you preserved the cashiers kindness without telling her. It’s those little things in a day that make that day so special…small kindnesses. It’s like when people come up to say hi that you can’t remember but they remember you. I always smile and say, “Good to see you again.”


    1. I’ll take “almost” over actually fainting any day. Something similar happened at the post office, but I chose to leave instead of waiting. I don’t know why that basket of groceries seemed so important at the time.


  4. Cute photo! I have a few on my phone of my little one asleep in one of those carts with the car attached to the front. I would never know it ’till someone else would smile and point – I’d look down and sure enough, he’s all slumped over with half a happy meal in his lap. lol.
    I love when people genuinely try and connect, it’s so endearing.
    Great post, loved it!


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