Feels like yesterday...
She sat on the porch, rocking and drinking her coffee, deep in thought. She didn’t notice the girl,who carried so many of her own traits, approach. “Grandma, you were a million miles away! What are you thinking about?”
She smiled,caught in her daydream, and wondered how she could possibly begin to put it into words. How do you explain magic? How do you describe something so indescribable? She thought back to the woman she was in her late 30’s. How focused she’d been on her young children. How in love with being a mother she was…and about the sadness she’d had about having a husband who didn’t seem to want the same things in life, and didn’t share her excitement and enthusiasm about their children. She thought about her physical transformation, from massive weight loss and changes her body had undergone from carrying triplets and remembered how she’d never felt good about herself. Never felt attractive.
Then she smiled…remembering his smile. His face. The body she had found so powerfully attractive. The little things that thrilled her…like the size of his forearms, his height, the size of his feet…his voice…his strength…and that sheepish, boyish grin. She remembered his enthusiasm at spotting a wild boar and him running up an embankment to see it…and taking her with him…and the sweet stab at her heart when he grabbed her hand and said, “C’mon, city girl” and helped her climb. So many memories flooded back. The way his smile sent a charge through her. The way he spoke with and bantered with his co-workers...his fun sense of humor and great personality. The way he spoke of his children and grandchildren and got tears in his eyes. The way he looked at her. The passion they shared. The dreams they shared. Their undeniable, shared understanding that they were soul mates…and their inability to get enough of each other.
She grinned at the memory of everything first starting...how he sent her a picture of a bearskin rug…and how he asked her to come by his office because he wanted to show her something…and he’d designed a custom metal sign for her son’s door. She remembered, most, how strong and joyful she felt with his love…and how she had no doubt about his feelings. She thought of the expression on his face…the shock and power in it…when he admitted that he wished she could have his baby and cried about it. She remembered how he would call, minutes after leaving her, and say, “I miss you already. You’re my heart.” The emotion flooded in and out in an instant and she sipped her coffee, working to maintain composure and not share her secret.
She smiled at the girl and said,“I was just thinking about an old friend and wondering what ever happened to him.”
Sometimes she would daydream that there was a letter in the mail from him telling her that not a day had gone by in his life without him thinking of her. She thought about him saying he dreamt of pulling “An Officer and a Gentleman” and wanted to show up, unexpectedly, ring her doorbell and live happily ever after. She didn’t allow herself many of those dreams, though. She kept herself busy with her friends, her vegetable garden, her children and grandchildren…but she often remembered the devilish grin…and a certain “Elvis lip” in private, sacred times. She remembered an old song with a stab of pain. “Lost without a prayer…somewhere way out there…my soul would turn to dust…heaven help me if I ever lose your love.” She remembered, only for a second, how close she had been to having her soul “turn to dust,” and the darkest time in her life.
She looked at her granddaughter and said, “C’mon…I’ll beat you in checkers!” Her granddaughter laughed and said, “You can try!”