My Costco membership renews the same day I feel a burst of grief while shopping there. September 1. Yesterday. A deduction is listed in the banking app on my phone. Renewal fee. Has one year passed already?
It’s a quick run in with my husband for a bottle of wine and some beer.
Date night provisions.
I don’t grab a cart, because we are there for two things, and if I grab a cart I will fill it with extras. This is why we stopped our membership for a season. (You can read about that here, if you’re curious.)
It’s fun to look around, though, so my love and I take our time meandering through the aisles, dreaming of home improvements or new dishes or furniture. We finally arrive in the back of the store and part ways to make our separate choices.
I feel it rise in my chest. Grief in the form of a squeezing tightness. My eyes fill with tears that spill down my cheeks, and I know this is the feeling of loss. Unexpected loss. Another thing in a list of many.
Costco Run Grief
How many Costco runs have Mom and I done together?
How many times has she called me, the local daughter, to say, Let’s pretend I am visiting you from out of town, and I’ll take you shopping at Costco. I always get things for your siblings when I visit them. I want to take you on a Costco run. Get whatever you want. It’s on me.
How many breakfasts or coffees at Cinnamon Bear next door did we share before making a morning or early afternoon shopping trip?
How many times during that season of the cancelled membership, because money was tight (and even a “good deal” is not a deal if you can’t afford it), did she ask for a list of things she could pick up. She always added a few extras. Just because.
How many times?
How many times did we have the conversation that it was not expected for her to purchase my items but it was always appreciated when she did, and sometimes she let me write a check without protest because we learned to communicate about things like that?
When was our last trip to Costco together?
I don’t remember.
She was gone for the month of June, and life was still normal then, and summer vacation happened for me in July when she returned. We each did our own summer-during-a- pandemic-still things, knowing that there was always tomorrow or next time, until there wasn’t.
I took my son on a Costco run the day before he left for a trip out west. It was mid-August, and he needed some food and things, and that’s what moms do.
They take their kids shopping and make sure they are fed.
I remember thinking, This is one of my mom’s legacies. I am now shopping with my kid at Costco, and of course, I will buy him all of the things.
The following morning that son sat out on a back patio and had coffee with his grandma, and she went inside and cooked him eggs and bacon, and they shared one of the best times I have had with Grandma, Mom, before saying goodbye as he headed for his next adventure.
How many tears?
Tears fall freely as I try to finish this post. What am I even trying to say?
Costco Run Grief is real. It’s a vary real reminder that nothing is as it should be anymore and that nothing is guaranteed ~ not even the next shopping trip with my mother.
Instead my sister and I go to Food Lion today and try to make choices that will comfort and be palatable for her. We laugh at what’s not really funny and bristle at who said or did what, and at the end of the day collapse into the writing of words which is where the raw and the real is exposed.
And there is grief.