Loss of a Corner Store… or better yet a Memory Holder.

Tonight I took my girls for ice cream at the localish corner convenience store… the one we have frequented for years, but was replaced by a new store. When we first moved here it was a convenience store- a place to buy beer for Beirut nights, milk for cereal or even sherbet for when I was pregnant. When I had my girls it kind of became a little bit of home. Let me explain…
I grew up one block from the local little grocery/family store (which happened to be owned by my family). My uncle was the butcher, my mother worked there and you could get your groceries on ‘old school credit’ (a little book where they wrote down what you purchased. My sisters and brother were there all the time. It was our place to visit family, to stop for donuts on Sundays with my grandparents and ‘the place’ for deli meat and quick groceries in a very different society that we live in now. I loved Tuesdays and Thursdays my mom let us pick out a 6 pack of different sodas and one bag of chips to share for our Recreation Centers Beach day. One of the amazing things about growing up with 4 siblings in a house that really didn’t have extra money was that fact that little things made such a huge impact. One treat for me was so special… anyway this was my life with a family grocery store about 1 1/2 minute walk from my home…


We now live in a world that everything is available all of the time and everyone wants/has/had everything. I have tried to not raise my girls like this and often think I have done well. Instilling a happy and a treat and a once and a while… this past year I have failed but hey, what’s a grieving girl to do?
This little store was about a 5 minute walk from our house. We frequented there… walks for ice cream… enjoying a supreme treat for my girls- the coveted Stewart’s Egg Sandwich… and of course stops coffee, or free cones for St Patrick’s day if you wore green. For weeks they have been building a new store directly behind our store. They built a lovely clean, bright, white and BIG store. My girls were soooooo excited to see it open, to get a cone and to see the other store be demolished. It opened this morning at 4:30am (I am sure we would have had to go that early but I told the girls it is dark and still cold and only crazy people doing long runs get up that early)… so we settled with getting an ice cream after dinner. We walked in and it was so… different. It was echoy, new, white, clean and so many were excited to see it that way. I was sad. My heart hurt seeing the old, tiny and full-of-patina Stewart’s being taken apart. I sat with the girls and cried… for all the times we were there as a little girl group, for all of the times we were there as our regular and full little Musto family and for all of the times we could never be there again. I don’t often cry in public. I don’t often feel a strong connection to a thing or a place. I guess for me it is the end of a never again time. I will never again take all of my girls for ice cream there, not even the 2 that are here. I will never again be a whole-Musto-family… not even the bit we are right now… I will never again sit at those seats that Madeline touched and sat and laughed and giggled and smiled and talked… and just watch the adorable old men, that got coffee together, look onto my girls with a sense of remembering their little ones.

I have so many memories… tiny little moments that I cant put a full memory too… or seeing three messy and crazy girls loving their ice cream in the dead of winter… with big freakin’ smiles and crazy clothes and eyes. Sitting with Madeline (and lucy) while Meme was at school having an iced coffee and a cold drink… because she gave me Strep. In fact that girl gave me Strep many times… and we would all go to Stewart’s after a dose of antibiotics and have something cold and soothing… mine with caffeine. My girls could be a Stewart’s commercial. Everyone we know, knows that the way to a Musto Chicks heart is through a Stewart’s Egg Sandwich and some morning juice. Those girls can eat a whole one… we often bring them up for fancy breakfast (yes they used to think Stewart’s hot dogs or Egg Sandwiches were our fancy nights out) with Madeline. I think she would like that. I remember how much she loved a good Egg Sandwich…

It’s funny the things that hurt. It is weird the things that don’t. I miss so much, but it is never the things people assume. The moments I miss are the ones that my mind deemed important and fun… the things I miss were so normal. Sometimes, I think I am used to the missing. Sometimes I am scared that my ‘new normal’ is too easily lacking a Madeline. It isn’t… I am reminded of her missing, her gone when I cry at a Stewart’s and wish so much to go back to a time that I had 3 amazing, crazy and lovely Musto Chicks and a Matthew Musto.


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