All in all yesterday was not a bad day. Lunch with Margaret and her father Jack, our friend Nicole and her daughter Helayna – a school friend of both Florentina and Margaret’s son, Eugene – was nice.
You know, to be taken out to lunch is great, I like it, and to see Margaret’s father again was fun. Jack lives in California and I hadn’t seen him for a few years. A World War II Veteran, Margaret’s father knows about suffering. Upon meeting yesterday, Jack conveyed his sympathy to me over Andrew’s loss, with his eyes, for one brief but genuine moment, then he resumed his vintage… Jackness.
I’d forgotten that most of his conversation consists of poems. You say something to him, and he responds with a poem, making everybody laugh and trip over one another to give him a hug.
Meanwhile, having see it all before, his daughter watches on amused.
I had a relaxing and yes, fun, couple of hours. Thank you Jack for taking us out 🙂
In the afternoon I was off to the high school track, for Robert’s meet. The sun was shining and warm and feeling more open this time, I didn’t hide behind my sunglasses or a magazine.
When I got there I met a friend, Adele, one of the two mothers who organized Robert’s surprise birthday party back in February.
I hadn’t seen her since then, and it was nice to just sit on the bleachers in the warm sun to watch and cheer our children and chat. I loved her telling me of the first time she met Andrew, the summer when he was working at Chutney Masala, the local Indian Bistro, where Adele and her husband were having dinner one evening.
“Your brother is at our house,” Adele said to Andrew. “If you are not nice to us, we’ll keep him.”
“If you are not nice to me,” he countered.” I’ll leave him there.”
I laughed, I could just see my son’s posture and amused look as he said it. But as always, first I laugh and then I cry.
Still, sadness and tears not withstanding, I love it when people talk about my son.
Eileen, the mother of one of Andrew’s best friends, who was also there watching her daughter compete, came up to me and gave me a big hug.
Andrew loved Eileen, he was comfortable around her and felt completely at home in her beautiful house. When Andrew died, Eileen was devastated. One of the first things she did was to get a bereavement counsellor to go to her house to speak to her, her family and all of Andrew’s “gang.”
One of Andrew’s friends who is at college in Texas; wanted to come home for the wake and the funeral, and it was thanks to Eileen’s kindness and generosity that he was able to come and say goodbye to his childhood friend.
Within a day or two of Andrew’s death, Eileen went through hundreds of pictures until she found a couple that she liked. She had them framed, and gave them out to everybody.
The first picture of Andrew to hang in my bedroom, was one that Eileen had taken. During the early days of this nightmare, it was looking at that picture of Andrew’s smiley face, that brought me a measure of comfort.
Thank you Dear Eileen 🙂
Yesterday, sitting on the bleachers, she told me that Zack has that same picture of Andrew with him at college. I was deeply touched and grateful for my sunglasses, because I was crying again.
When Eileen left, we settled back down to watch our boys, and while Robert was setting his pole vault record of 8 ft. 6, Adele suggested we go out to lunch together and we settled on this coming Friday. Now I can look forward to another nice meal with a friend this week. And, on Friday evening, Hugh and I will scoot off to the City for our first Suicide Awareness & Prevention Fair committee meeting!
By the way, I was telling Eileen about the Fair that will include a yoga class out in the Square, and a meditation table where people who are interested, can put their names down for a meditation class.
Eileen in turn told me, not to my surprise, that in her company she promotes a few minutes of meditation before meetings; this simple practice has yielded great results in stress reduction and management.
And now I had better get ready for my yoga class.
See you tomorrow,