The car pulled to a stop and I felt relief come in waves throughout my body. While it wasn’t physical relief, knowing that the car was stopped and I could step outside, brought me sheer happiness.
The drive to Presque Isle was always a challenge. Windy roads. Neverending hills. And the back seat. All these led to a nausea like none other.
We opened the door to the S & H green stamp store. One of my absolute favorite places to visit. I had carefully placed all the stamps in the books with my mom. I had waited for this day to trade them in for whatever household items my mom wanted was a treat I waited for. All of that was now lost. I couldn’t focus on any of the joy… rather I just wanted to find a bathroom with cold water and fast!
My mother walked to the front register briskly, like a woman on a mission.
“Excuse me, do you have a restroom we could use?” she asked.
“Sorry. Restrooms are not for customers,” the woman replied with a barely a lift of her head or a glance at my mother.
“I truly am so sorry to bother you with this, but my daughter is really not feeling well and we were just in the car, and we truly just need the restroom to splash some water on her face. It will just take a moment,” my mother pleaded.
Not missing a beat and not giving my mother a moment of her time, she replied, “There is a restroom at Pizza Hut across the street.”
“Mom, we should go.” I said. I felt the waves coming. You know the ones. Where the feeling grows and grows and you know that it can only end with one thing.
“PLEASE,” my mother begged. “We won’t make it across the street.”
The woman stopped. Looked up at my mother. Looked down at me. Her disdain was radiating from every fiber of her body.
“I told you. There is no bathroom for you here. You can go across the-“
I pulled on my mother. I grabbed at her coat. And then, I turned and tried to run. But it was just too late. I vomited all over the front of the counter where the cash register was situated. The relief was immediate. I looked up at my mother with tears in my eyes.
“Oh my gosh, what is she doing?” the woman yelled glaring at my mother.
“I told you we were not going to make it across the street.” my mother said while taking my hand and walking out of the store.
I looked up at my mother with shock.
Is this the woman who would help anyone?
Is this the woman who would be the first to clean up a mess? Not walk away from a mess.
This is the woman who forever put her children first and would do anything for them. The definition of a mama bear. And I love her for it.