Requesting the pleasure of your company

28 07 2009

dressBefore the leaves started to fall last year,  the save-the-date photo/magnet was carefully placed front and center on the fridge.  Patiently waiting through the long days of winter when the hope of spring brought another invite for a lovely lunch to celebrate a bridal shower.  Gifts were ordered and another date on the calendar noted.

When the large double enveloped invitation arrived she marveled that such lovely things could be sent through the mail.  It found a resting place on the room divider between the kitchen and dining room where it could be seen one hundred times a day and wouldn’t get tossed with the lowly newsprint that daily occupied the kitchen table as word puzzles were worked.

By mid-June, she had enough time to ponder just what she might wear and searched through closets till she found the dress last worn to her grandson’s wedding a few years ago when she was proudly accompanied down the aisle on Billy’s arm.  It still fit and she knew it was way too fancy to ever wear to a regular church service now that her place of worship has dropped its Baptist moniker and in liberation has her wearing pants.

Two weeks ago, appointments were made for hair and nails to be done the day before.  She was a little disappointed that it couldn’t be the day of – but we could work with that.  Anything was better than nothing.

There was also fasting blood work scheduled to be drawn at the lab that morning.  I was glad to have something to fill up the hours before the early afternoon ceremony.  An early drive to the doctor’s office and stopping for soggy french toast after barely filled 90 minutes of the long wait ahead.

Once we were home, I encouraged her to take it easy so as to rest up for the long day ahead.  By noon, there was no holding her back.  In a careful inspection of the dress, she found what she thought was rust on two of the buttons.  Actually it was gravy from the grandson’s wedding feast.  Spots cleaned – three more discovered – disaster averted. Panty hose mined from the bowels of a drawer that is brimming with unused pairs, would do the trick.

Two hours left till her ride came to fetch her.  The pacing began.  I could feel the static in the air.  I promised I’d help repair any damage done to the coif but only after her dress was on. Curling iron plugged in and heated up.  The safety clasp on the pearls secured.  Purse items checked.  A lacy hankie from Spain added to the contents.  It was time to stand guard at the front door.waiting

We are at such different times of our lives.  Events can be chores for me.  For her, they are reminders that she is still desired company.  Someone thought enough of her to send an invitation.  She wouldn’t think of declining.

When she came home before Round Two, we poured over the details of the program, the paper cone filled with rose petals to be thrown in lieu of rice, the grandeur of it all.  Sugar plum fairies danced in her head while she kicked her feet up to wait.

She apologized for abandoning me – a loud guffaw exploded from my lungs – and before she knew it her carriage arrived once again to whisk her off into the evening.

It wasn’t until almost 10 p.m. that I heard a stirring in the kitchen as she was accompanied to the door.  She could hardly carry all the tchotchke that was her’s for the taking.  I was just relieved she hadn’t lifted the salt and pepper shakers, silverware or floral arrangements.

There are a few more exciting party dates peppering her calendar this summer…a 50th anniversary dinner for friends, a baby shower for Shop Girl.  Details and dates for other reasons are the things that keep me awake at night have her dreaming of things to do.  Things to break up the monotony of word puzzles and weeding.  shoes

But here we are – a year past the time when days were counted in hours until Billy would wear the floor thin pacing back and forth because he couldn’t sleep at night.  A year of change – a year of adjustments – a year of no answers from the empty recliner next to her – a year where she marks these celebrations reflecting on her life with Billy as she requests the pleasure of his company forever and ever.

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One response

29 07 2009
Mari Matthiesen

Dear Wendy…
I just read your blog today, and it moved me to tears. Your mom and dad have been dear, dear, “parents” to us and “grandparents” to our Trav and Ashley….. During the past few months, every time I saw your mom , she has whispered in my ear, “I love your kids, I’m so excited for them, and I’m praying for them every day.” What a blessing that has been…and I know she does the same for many more! I’m so thankful this small event has given such joy to her…a bit of romance is wonderful!!! We did have a lovely day…may God be praised in it all!! PS: Thanks for all you did to get her “ready”!!!! Love, Mari

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