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By Kim Sandstrom

One day at the gym...

"How are you? he asked.

Wrong question.

Wrong day.

Wrong place.

And I told him anyway....

I said,

"It has been a rough three weeks."

He gulped as he remembered what he had forgotten about me when he asked the "loaded question."

He had forgotten that mothers who lose a child, never have a "normal" day,

never, ever again.

I saw him swallow hard,

ignored the "uh oh" look on his face and sputtered my reply.

"I have cried

more than "normal,"

and slept less than "normal,"

and "acted out" in ways that are not fit to talk about."

And though he didn't grasp the sound of truth in my voice:

(my words came out dry, scratchy, hoarse...

and this



just minutes before arriving

at the gym,

I had screamed and fought with God about the unchangeable past.

I said, "NO!"



"no, no, no....no no no no...

to God,

I said

"I want her back!"

God said....


So the poor man at the gym,

had asked this question

at the wrong time,

wrong place,

wrong day.

Poor guy.

I finished my exercise in truthfulness, and after speaking together a little more,

about my girl,

what it means to be her mother now that she is gone.

(We talked so intensely,

that I was afraid I had worn him out so much he wouldn't be able to work out!)

The man and I agreed that I knew more about my subject and in that conciliation he lit a candle for my heavenly daughter.

He was gracious enough to allow for that....

So the wrong question, at the wrong place and time, came out all right.

And the man exercised his right to ask questions and think his thoughts

at the gym,

and I exercised too,

at the gym....

more than "normal."
Kim Sandstrom is a wife and mother, and says that she will have overly mothered 7 children by the time she is 70! Kim's first child, her only daughter, Diana, went to heaven in 2004, at the age of 25. She left Kim her only daughter, Julia Belle, who was only 8 days old at the time. Kim is married to her superhero, John, who is refashioning a beautiful home for them in Florida, while also working long days at his regular job. Kim works as a drama director for St. John Lutheran High School in Ocala, Florida, and for fun and distraction sells vintage clothing under the name brightblessing on eBay. She writes a regular blog on myspace.com and a fitness column called "Body and Soul" for the Nature Coast Visitor's Guide. If you would like to write to Kim, you can do so through the Letters page of this magazine.