Sunday, March 13, 2011

The bookstore was our sanctuary

“Mom, it’s me. Don’t go home. It’s bad.” 

This was the message from my daughter.

“Meet me at the bookstore.” 

It was our distress signal. 

Wherever we were, we would make an immediate detour and head for the bookstore. If we were home, we'd quietly slide out the door, leaving behind the chaos.

On days like this, when Romeo’s anger consumed the house, the bookstore was our sanctuary. The designated safe zone.

Here, the girls could escape to another world, a peaceful world. 

In this bookstore, I found out my oldest loved French poetry.  (She can speak some French and a little Finnish but zero Spanish. Fantastic!)

In this bookstore, my youngest discovered the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. (This later helped her ace two book reports. Right on!)

In this bookstore, I discovered Gabriel García Márquez.  (And Seattle’s Best coffee!)

In this bookstore, despite the circumstances, my girls and I shared our love for reading. 

In this bookstore, because of the circumstances, my girls and I escaped our reality, if only for a few hours.  

Since then, we’ve started a new life. We left Romeo and the angry house.

And since then, we’ve returned to the bookstore but on new terms: Because we want to!

So now that the bookstore is closing, I thought about closing this chapter in our lives. But we can’t. We’re still healing, still coping, still remembering.   

But we’ll get there…someday. And when we’re ready, we’ll close that chapter for good.

Until then, we’ll find another bookstore.


  1. So sad your bookstore is closing! But how great your girls love reading. You are absolutely right, sitting down in an aisle of books and skimming pages--with a cup of coffee to boot-- is a wonderful, transporting experience.

  2. Beautiful story. Sad to hear your bookstore is closing, but that's just a building, after all. The real bookstore will always be there. My son and I had a bakery-cafe that we would go to breakfast at every Sunday morning. Sundays just aren't the same without him and that cafe.

  3. Sad to hear your bookstore is closing.
    Awesome blog though.
    Following you with GFC - found you through Bloggy Moms.
    You can reach me at:

  4. What a beautiful, moving post. Whenever someplace I love closes I take it as my sign that I am ready to move on to a new chapter a new place. Thank you. I found you on Bloggy Moms, and I'm now your newest follower. I look foward to reading more of your lovely posts.

    If you would like to visit I'm at

  5. Sorry to hear about your bookstore closing, your fish, and your divorce. I went through divorce almost two years ago, and it still stings.

    Found you from Bloggy Moms. Follow me back if you like:

  6. When i was in my early twenties and going through some kind of crisis i would go to the book store and sit down in the sections until i found one that helped me understand what was going on in my life.
    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Thank you very much for your feedback. All very much appreciated. If you posted a blog link, I'm now your newest follower. The bookstore sent me their final "going out of business - doors closing" e-mail. I'm taking the girls this weekend for one last visit.

    @Lara - I was so in denial that I would look for books to help "fix me." That person is a stranger to me now.