I am waiting for the bolt to be taken out of my tire and for the tire to be patched. The wait is longer than expected and especially difficult. My phone is about to go dead and when it does, I'll be cut off from my family. We are in the middle of a crisis.
Other people are waiting in the service area too. An older gentleman, a woman, and a man with a baby girl who can crawl. She is absolutely delightful and so happy! She moves freely about the children's romper room, comes to the door and wants to engage with me. She smiles and gurgles. Coos. Even laughs. But her preciousness just magnifies my pain. I smile and swoon over her as much as I can, but the tears start to roll and I have to turn away.
The father knows how adorable she is too, and when she flirts with me, he beams with pride.
Under different circumstances, I would ask what her name is. I would ask how old she is. I would tell him how beautiful and precious she is. I might even get down to her level and have a little chat.
The father leaves the romper room and sits on one of the chairs across from the door. Little pumpkin comes to the door, looks at Dad, looks at me, then ventures forward. She crawls across the tile, makes it to the carpet, then moves right past my back pack obstacle. Dad apologizes for her getting in my way. I can barely squeak out a "She's fine."
Almost two years ago, a dear family friend delivered a beautiful stillborn baby, who died from her mother's cholestatis of pregnancy. She was only days from being a healthy full term baby. The mother started to itch and one of her caregiver's missed the all important clue.
Today, my daughter called to tell me she's inflicted with the same culprit that took our friend's baby. Her baby must come early, by cesarean section, but it's a tricky decision. A life/death decision: push her birth back as long as they dare so she develops, or just take her now?
I want to tell the stranger with the baby girl how precious she is. I want to tell him I'm waiting to hear an update about my daughter's precarious position. I want to tell him, that my expectant daughter's older sister has a best friend and sister-in-law who both had a stillborn baby and she is in a near panic over her younger sister having the same thing happen. But I can't. I won't. I pull all my emotions inside and stand at the window and gaze.
I'm just another lady at the car dealership waiting for a repair. I keep my facade because that's what normal people do. Who could even imagine the thoughts and worries running through the quiet lady's mind.
I think of a small sign at the allergist's office: Be kind to everyone, you never know what they're going through.