As promised, I took chunks of watermelon for her to snack on this afternoon. What a glorious, happy, mess! First the hand sanitizer, then paper towels tucked into her collar. She hadn’t had watermelon “since last year, at least.”
I don’t know why they have the lawn care people out there late Sunday afternoons, weed whackers and blowers going full blast, blowing dust everywhere. We started on the front porch, but I took her around to the back patio so we could hear ourselves think. It actually seemed cooler, being away from the building and under the large open roof.
She had lots to tell me, mostly about how nice it was to have so many people coming by to see her. Apparently some of the women at QO have been talking with her a little more. She stumbled mightily over Al’s first and last name (he visited her Friday), but remembered that he had been there.
“Do you know him?” (yes, for more than 40 years!) I told her about some of the writing he has been doing and she listened intently, though I doubt if she will retain any of it.
“Have you seen the folks lately? Your dad has been painting something. Sort of like a sign, but it’s not really a sign.”
She just couldn’t put into words what it was, but obviously painting has been on her mind. Then it occurred to me,
“Do you mean Reuben or Jack?”
“Let’s see, Reuben was Parker. But who was Jack?”
“Think Mother. Who was Jack Freeman?”
“I think he was my first husband.” (oh dear. But I had an idea about where this might go.)
“No, you were only married once. Do you remember Bob Habercorn?” (an early suitor)
“Yes, but I haven’t heard from him in years.”
“Actually, his wife sent you a letter a few years ago when he died. What do you remember about Jack?”
There was a long pause. “Well, we used to go to the movies a lot.”
They were married 67 years. Pleasant memories are the best.