It’s been a couple of hours and I think I’m still shaking. I’ve been lucky in that since Taylor learned how to walk at the age of 6, she never really strayed away from my side or line of sight when we’ve been out.
However, since we’ve noticed the decrease in some of her functions, she has stepped away from my side but never really completely out of my line of sight.
This morning, all that changed. She loves to go to the grocery store with me. She always stands with me at checkout because she wants to make sure those food items that are specifically hers get put in bags. God forbid we leave something behind.
This morning, I was busy running my debit card to pay, just assuming Taylor was right there with me as usual but when I was done and looked up, she was nowhere in sight. My heart dropped to my feet. I started calling her name and looking at the usual places she might go. The deli ladies at the store know and love Taylor and so I thought maybe she walked over there, but no.
By now, I was panicking, thinking that as friendly as Taylor is, she walked away with someone. I was crying, the clerk was crying (yes, Taylor is well-known & loved at Safeway…gotta love a small town) and the manager was helping me try to find her.
One of the stock boys saw us and said, “are you looking for Taylor”? Yes, I know, even the stock boy knows her name. Anyway, he said that Taylor was in the back of the store in the bakery section, looking at the freshly made bagels. When I saw her, I had that mom moment where you can’t decide if you want to strangle your child or hug them to death.
I opted for expressing my displeasure at her behavior and holding her hand then hugging her while trying not to faint from relief. I looked at her face and realized that honestly, she wasn’t all there. She had this vacant, disconnected look on her face. I think that scared me even more.
I’m hoping that it was just “a moment” and that it’s not going to turn into a regular occurrence. Knowing that Taylor wasn’t going to wander off is apparently something I took for granted and now I know…I no longer have that luxury.