The lobby at Bob Evans was hopping. We were not terribly hungry, but needed to eat and did not care to do it at home. She still was not familiar with this new, unwanted companion called Grief...and being unfamiliar with it myself, I was at a loss as to how to help her with the harshness of her new constant reality. All I knew to do was go along with her to dinner, prepared in a kitchen we couldn't see, served to us in a place that did not force us to ignore the empty seat that should have been filled. Every single last night of the week. (Quite honestly, by the end of my tenure as her live-in companion, I longed for homemade food. She probably did too. But I knew "homemade" equaled the thought "meals for one"-or maybe two, but it wasn't the two she knew for 45+ years). The downside to eating out, was the glaring fact that this is a 'couples' world. Some nights, such as the one at Bob Evan's, I recall how painfully aware, but how purposefully hard we tried to ignore that we were surrounded on every side by a booth or table containing a Mr. and Mrs.
My grandfather passed suddenly in 1997. The older I get the younger I realize they were. At the time, I was freshly graduated from a school in upstate New York, and it made sense for me to move into her now-hollow condominium with her. Since she is not sitting here next to me as I write, I can say we would both look at that time as unique (and for her, unthinkably sad) time in our lives. It left me forever aware.
Which leads me to Valentines Day.
I'm not bitter. I like it. I like the color red, so that helps.
So does having a good man who loves me well.
I like to decorate with hearts, God is love, and so it gives deeper meaning to me.
There is a deeply ingrained truth that cannot be ignored that holidays such as this, which are pounced upon by the likes of Hallmark and 1-800-Flowers, are akin to a slap in the face, or, at the very least, a painful breeze wafting by the soul who has experienced a death. I'm not just talking physical death, either. I know those whose living husbands or significant others might just as well be dead--and in fact, if they had died it would have been an easier burden to bear than the death of trust that they must reckon with.
Hmmm....a tad heavy. But it is a reality for so many and I feel to ignore it, is to be slipping on my rose-colored glasses and taking a ignorant pass to the pain felt by those who need it acknowledged, even if has been chipped away at through the years. It's still there.
If you are one of those women, whether I know you or not, consider yourself acknowledged.
And prayed for.
And prayed for.
On a significantly lighter note....
Take a look at this darling little faux-fudgy creation my mom (who has always made Valentines Day special for her girls) gave to me...
No calories for this dishtowel masterpiece!
By the way...
my 200th post is coming up. I've decided, even though I'm a teeny little homemade blog among the millions of polished and professional whose giveaways are of great magnitude, I am going to hold a GIVEAWAY soon.
One for one who has commented in the past and one for the first timer. I'll show you what I'm giving away in a post or two from now. (Hint: It's vintage and it's imported from England).