Lost

Standard

I was selling my jewelry and shiny rocks at an outdoor market near a tourist attraction on a Sunday afternoon. The sky was overcast, the air chilly, the wind strong. There weren’t many shoppers, so I was able to give my attention to each person who stopped at my table.

I saw an older man spending a lot of time with the vendor next to me. Good for him, I thought of the other vendor. On such a slow day, I was glad for anyone who made a sale.

The fellow finished his business with the vendor next to me and made his way to my table. He was older than I am, maybe by twenty years, but he seemed to be in good shape. He walked easily without a cane and didn’t seem to be beaten down by life.

I said hello to him, but before I could tell him about my merchandise, he blurted out, I lost my wife.

At first I thought he meant he and his wife were there at the tourist attraction together, she’d wandered off, and he didn’t know where she was at the moment. That sort of situation occurs a lot at that market. So often, while one part of a group is browsing in the market, others in the party wander off to see the natural wonder.

I was about to reassure the man I’m sure she’s around here somewhere, when he continued to speak and I realized by lost, he meant dead. I was glad to have learned more about his situation before I opened my big mouth.

She’d died nearly two years ago, he told me. He was doing better, but it was still hard, he said with a sad smile.

She was the real shopper, he continued. If she had been here, she’d have stopped at every table, wanted to buy something from every vendor.

In the past when he’d traveled alone, he’d always been on the lookout for something nice he could buy to take home to her. Now there was really no point in looking at all the beautiful things.

I’m so sorry for your loss, I murmured, but I really didn’t know what else to say. I’m often surprised by how freely stranger share their grief with me. I wonder if these people share their grief freely with everyone they meet or if they sense some kindness or understanding in me.

The tourist man didn’t spend much time at my table. He only hung around long enough to apologize for not buying anything and to tell me how his lost wife loved to shop, then he was gone. I hope I helped him through his grief a little. I wish I could have done more.

I took the photo in this post.

About Blaize Sun

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now my (male) partner and I (a woman) have a travel trailer we can pull with our truck. We have a little piece of property, and when we're not traveling, we park our little camper there. I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

I'd love to know what you think. Please leave a reply