Wednesday, February 18, 2009

You Know

You learn that your neighbor's wife has passed away. You see cars at their house for several days and know something has happened, for she has been ill for some time. You read her obituary.

You and your spouse decide to walk to their house, down the street from you, to the house where you passed while walking the dog. You would see them in the summer sitting beneath the carport, watching people walk, watching kids play, watching cars go by. You feel awkward when you are ushered in and the family is eating. But they are so gracious and point you to chairs, offer you food.

You sit and stand around talking, listening to the husband describe how his wife didn't want to be back in the bedroom away from activity. You hear him tell how hard it was for her to breathe at night. You hear him say that in just a few weeks they would have celebrated fifty years of marriage. You and your spouse exchange glances, while one or the other of you is saying something comforting, or agreeing with the bereaved about some small thing, like how nice the huge trays of sandwiches and meats and cheeses are.

Your eyes meet, you memorize each others' faces again. You know.

It is time to go and you say your good-byes. The family tells you not to bring anything - they have plenty and that "you brought yourselves."

You walk home in the dark, chatting about everyday matters.

1 comment:

Perry said...

It happens, just like you wrote it. Always so sad, but it is about the only way to let someone know you are there if they need you.