Loose Ends: Small comforts

dollyviscardiIt is so odd what small things can give us comfort.
I admit I felt so much more than sadness when 9-year-old Stone Martin passed way too early in life — I felt helplessness. My emotional barometer sinks far below zero in the face of such unexplainable loss. I knew Stone as a toddler, when he would accompany his sister Alahna to my preschool class. His bright personality shone through each short encounter.
A local mental health counselor suggested that many residents might find themselves or their children in crisis, so sharing the grief could be helpful. A list of symptoms experienced by many people includes anxiety, sleeplessness, problems with concentration, irritability and demanding behaviors. My own reaction to the sadness over that loss took an unusual form.
There was no mention of developing an unusual interest in the little things that seem to offer some reassurance — like making oneself chicken soup or putting on a pair of warm and fuzzy knee-highs. My recent trip to a local mercantile recently demonstrated the importance of routine. It seemed to be of no consequence that my purpose in going shopping was to purchase of a pair of baby overalls, once I spotted the rack of exceptionally warm and cozy socks, I became an impulse shopper.
I made a beeline to the rack of heavy winter socks in the back of the store. They turned out to be the product of my dreams. While the label reassured that it was an all-season boot sock made with special materials to insure that the pair would not roll down and expose one’s legs to the elements, the socks didn’t feel heavy or scratchy. In addition, they had features that made them unusually cushioned, less bulky, with strong heels and toes. None of that really mattered. I couldn’t wait to get them home and put them on my feet. Cold, damp, boot-shod feet are a given during the long winter months, yet I have never found myself needing to make myself feel better about something by buying warm socks.
When asked if I found everything, I blurted out some inane excuse for adding this personal purchase to the baby gift I bought a few minutes earlier.
“Wow, these are the best socks I have ever seen!”
Babbling on and on about the footwear’s especially appealing qualities, I pointed out many of the product’s features. All the clerk could say was, “Oh, we run out of those socks all the time.”
Maybe this community is filled with others like me, who when feeling helpless, look for comfort in such little things.