Notes from Jan

Group Therapy

June 3, 2021

Maggie and I watched the white-haired couple seated near us at a table for two. They exuded interest in each other, not cellphones. Maggie caught my wistful look. She knew I missed Jud. Especially, since it was May 31st, our wedding anniversary. Which was why Maggie, Kate and Rose, their friend, lunched with me at Davio’s. Because sometimes you just have to hunt new ways to affirm life as it is, not was.

When the server stopped by with menus, she asked, “Are we celebrating anything special?” I said,”Just being together.” And Maggie said,”Her anniversary and her birthday in two days.” Then I added like it mattered to anyone besides me,”Well, my husband died a few years ago and this was one of our favorite places so I brought my Grands to remember and party with me.” The server responded with the usual, “I’m sorry for your loss.” Then added,”How nice you could be together.”

Nice. One of those catchall words. Like, “Have a nice day.” Or, “You look nice in that color.” The OED defines nice as “pleasant, agreeable, satisfactory.” And our anniversary lunch was all of the above, except for two incidents. The first incident came when Poco, half way through her meal, announced, “I don’t feel well.”

Well, that put Maggie on red alert since she’s playing Elsa in her school’s production of Frozen this weekend. And justifies why Maggie recoiled in dramatic horror and warned, “Poco, don’t breathe on me! I can’t get sick!” Rose, a doctor’s daughter, calmly felt her friend’s forehead and pronounced, “She’s fine!”

But Poco didn’t feel fine. So I opened my arms, inviting her to my lap to curl up and breathe, guilt free. Which she did all over me. And as Poco proclaimed on my 80th birthday,”So far, so good.”

However, the other incident was on me. In an attempt to elevate the conversation, I made the mistake of saying more than necessary. It’s one of my lesser gifts. So I turned to the three girls, ages 10, 12 and 13, and announced in somewhat biblical language, “It’s appropriate that you Grands are celebrating this anniversary with me. You are the fruit of our love.” (I didn’t say “loins.” ) Nevertheless, Maggie, age 13, responded with, “Eww!”

Well, I laughed. Why not?! Life’s a mix of “Eww!” and “Wow!” and all the in-between moments. Ordinary days, like today. Life as it is, not was.

This story has been viewed 64 times

0 Be the first to HEART this story
Notes from Jan

Doing What’s Possible

He stood on a Gloucester street corner playing a flute. Odd sight except for a tip bucket at his feet. I rolled down my windows to catch the sound of someone doing what they could with what they had. The talent wasn’t worthy of…

May 28, 2021
Notes from Jan

RX: Music

Stepped outside, unmasked, and inhaled the scent of lilacs, fresh cut grass and mulched earth this morning. I love this time of year, the season when earth sends surprises, hidden but not lost in long, dark winters. During these days of leafing, blossoming, and…

May 20, 2021
Notes from Jan

On Backpacks and Baggage

My purse landed with a thud beside Martha. We met to breakfast at the Ipswich Inn, where bacon’s crispy and plump blueberries sweeten pancakes. Martha asked, “So what’s in there?” The there referred to my purse not my brain, hopefully. It set me wondering…

May 12, 2021
Notes from Jan

Lost and Found

April turned to May, since I last wrote. I’ve missed you but missed my family in California more. So after two shots(not what you’re thinking) and a dose of hope, I flew west for a month to hug and be hugged. I jumped into…

May 4, 2021
Notes from Jan

Holy Fools

Mama loved hats, but nothing like Ms. Laverne who I met on ABC news last night. She’s 82 and a member of the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Every Sunday, during the pandemic, Ms. Laverne watched church on-line but dressed like she was…

April 2, 2021
Notes from Jan

Palm Offerings

Poco beamed as she presented her gift to me. Nothing wrapped, just something cushioned in my grand’s five year old hands. Slowly she opened them, revealing some coins in her palms. “Momo, this is for you. It’s everything I have. ” Everything totaled $1.02,…

March 28, 2021
Notes from Jan

No Ordinary Joe

No, I’m not talking about our President, Joseph Biden, nor some new blend from Starbucks. Today the Church honors Saint Joseph. Think Christmas. If you were a church-going boy, he’s the one you hoped to play in the Christmas pageant, since Joseph spoke no…

March 19, 2021
Notes from Jan

Hope is Bi-Partisan

As winter goes, ours was mild, but felt harsh due to the pandemic, politics and isolation. One can take just so much winter weather or words. But I sensed we’re on the cusp of spring, after listening to President Biden address our nation with…

March 13, 2021
Notes from Jan

Thoughts on Privies, Pedestals, and Ponderables

The toilet sat outside, just beyond the condo’s front steps. I noticed it when I walked down the street to the mailboxes. The condo sold a few weeks back, so I supposed this was the result of internal renovations, not a bizarre housewarming gift.…

March 5, 2021