Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Beautiful Evening Indeed

The sun was a bit lower in the sky and the temperature was a bit lower too, as I left the Home. 

I'd spent longer than I planned, as there was a lot to talk about.  Rehabilitation can be painful and painfully slow leading to frustration, sadness and worry about next steps (literally and figuratively).  There was no way a few words about my blackberry picking or a few quips about the Yankees would suffice. There were tears and pleas to go home amidst clear awareness that you can never go backwards on this journey. 

Then, over ambrosia no less, we distracted ourselves with memories.  While neither of us likes ambrosia, there are some who consider it a tradition!  My Aunt, after a bit of prodding, talked about her mom's apple, green tomato and raisin tradition, lovingly referred to as her mincemeat pie!   In that old familiar way, her eyes lit up and her smile came back. "Perhaps, I could figure out how to make that memory come to life," I proposed as I patted her hand.  As I prepared to head home, she squeezed my hand tightly and thanked me, but not for coming to visit. "Thank your for talking," she said sincerely as I slipped out the door.

There was a part of me that wanted to slip quickly past Marie* (not her real name) as she sat slumped in her wheelchair near the door.  Yet, the beauty of the garden around her, the wonder of the late summer afternoon, and the power of the restored hope for tomorrow was in sharp contrast to the forlorn look on Marie's face.  "It's a nice evening," I noted, stopping for a moment to touch her shoulder.

"I guess it is," she said softly, "but my heart is not here tonight."  There was no way a few words about the sunset or a few quips about my blackberry picking would suffice. There were tears about missing out on a family gathering, an over-the-top wedding extravaganza.

Then, over home-made wedding dresses, no less, we distracted ourselves with memories.  "I made my own dress for about $20," I noted, "but that was a long time ago."  

"I made my daughter's dress of peau de soie and English lace with handmade buttons down the entire back," Marie smiled, "Every stitch was made with love."  She sat up and leaned forward as she stated firmly, "You know, I could still sew from this chair. I could also still do flowers, table decorations and invitations, the kind made of love rather than money." 

"Perhaps," I replied, "I could find someone who wants to get married on a beautiful summer evening, like this!  Dresses, flowers," I laughed as I patted her hand, "we could do it all!".  This time, she squeezed my hand tightly and thanked me, but not for coming to visit. "Thank your for talking," she said sincerely. 

It was well past 9 PM when I found my way to the porch, talking to my husband over dinner.  I took the time to put fresh cut hydrangeas on the table.  I wanted to linger a bit longer at the table, and talk, a bit more.  It was not the evening I had planned but one thing was certain: it was a beautiful evening indeed.

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