blessings, connections, coping, courage, death, eavesdropping, grief, healing, life, moments, strangers

Dilly dilly…

I took myself out for a quesadilla burger last night.  I’d been thinking about them for a week or two, and since burgers are the Monday special at Appleby’s, and I had stayed home and cleaned the house most of the day, and all the pots, pans, dishes, and silverware are at the mobile, it seemed like the thing to do.

The parking lot was quite full, so I hoped there would be a seat available at the bar, and there was.  It was empty actually, I was surprised.  And as I sat there enjoying my burger a mother and daughter came in and sat a little bit away from me at the bar.  I couldn’t help but hear their conversation and it became obvious that the daughter was there to support the mother who had just lost her husband.  It was a brand new situation for them, should she ‘have something’ here, or was it okay to just do it ‘back home’ was a topic.  The Mom and Dad had apparently frequented Appleby’s.  Mom said that if her Michael had seen that they had ordered breadsticks with Alfredo sauce he’d have shaken his head.  She told the bartender that she didn’t know if she could bring herself to come there without him, but she decided that she could do it while her daughter was with her this first time.  I related to them so much, to the two or three days that my son stayed with me in the aftermath of Charley’s death, until I kicked him out, sort of.  I felt connected to them, though they had no clue and we hadn’t spoken a word to each other.

And then it was time to leave.  I had switched to a bigger purse because I’m carrying more with me back and forth, and I love that purse but I can never find anything in it. Like my wallet, but it simply wasn’t there.  This had never happened to me before and I wondered why I wasn’t in a total panic, but I wasn’t, and I quietly (I thought) told the young gal who was bartending that I was embarrassed, and asked if I could give her a check.  She said no, it’s fine, just stop by another time and take care of it.  As I asked for the check I heard the mother say, “We’ll take care of it.”  I looked over and she was in tears.  She thanked me.  She said that her husband would have loved this, it was perfect, it was just the thing he loved to do.  And while this wasn’t my finest moment I felt so calm as I saw what this moment was for her.  I thanked them, hugged them, and told them that my son and I had spent this same time together four years ago.  And Mom thanked me again, said her husband would be so pleased with this, and asked that the next time I go out and have a drink, to please raise my glass to Michael and say, “Dilly dilly.”  And I will…

blessings, coping, courage, eavesdropping, faith, family, healing, home, memories, photography, Pine Island, sunset

Connections…

Low tide let me down.  I was sure that low tide was always going to be the secret to a great sunset with lots of photo ops.  But not tonight.  All the sea gulls were too far out at the water’s edge to photograph, and no cute families playing either.  But the sunset itself was pretty…

1113sunset2

And an interesting conversation between some women who were sitting in beach chairs behind me.  Turns out they are sisters, but they only found each other last year.  One had come from California to visit the other one who lives here in Florida.  In the year since they have found each other they each have found new family members they didn’t know, or at the very least had never met.  They had the same father but different mothers, and didn’t grow up together, but they had similar mannerisms and sounded alike.  They were so happy to be in each other’s lives, it was heartwarming to listen to.  But probably still rude to eavesdropping.

My mother had eight siblings, and after the war they scattered to the four winds.  I had met all of them here and there when I was very young, so we weren’t lost to each other.  But in moving to Florida, and choosing the Nature Coast because of the proximity to my son when he lived here, I discovered family.  It seems that my mother’s sisters who had moved to Florida were right in this area.  Along with a cousin and his extended family, plus two more of the siblings who spend winters here.  For many reasons I have felt as if I was ‘supposed’ to land here at this stage of life.  Finding family here was an unexpected surprise, and another reason to feel as if being here was meant to be…