8.29.2016

Tangent thoughts on growing old...

I showed up with a cake on the doorstep of 79 year-old-stranger today. She didn't remember it was her birthday. I assured her it was the 29th and that yes, in deed, this cake was baked for her. She thanked me, commented on the cuteness of my children, then reluctantly shut the door as I reluctantly walked away.

I wanted to stay. I wanted to walk into her tiny trailer and pull back all the curtains. I wanted to open windows and flush out the smell of smoke and loneliness. I wanted to hand off a giggly Luna and let her hold young life while I washed her sheets and dishes and maybe even her hair. I wanted to hear where she was born and where she lived and what roads eventually landed her in a trailer park in Nampa, ID. I wanted to know marriages, births, deaths, hopes, dreams, and heartbreaks. I wanted to know if children or grandchildren or great-grandchildren would come visit today. I wanted to know if she would laugh or she would cry when she lit the single candle I placed in the center of her cake.

I wanted to know if I really did her a service by reminding her of another year passed...

 or if I stirred up some pain as she would have rather just forgot the whole thing.

I wanted to know but I held back. 

I took my three littles, buckled carseats, and listened to Knick-Knack-Paddy-Whack on continuous repeat, at the request of a certain 3-year-old, for the 20 minute drive home. I spent the remainder of the day rushing through laundry, grocery shopping, potty training, meal prep, and carpooling. I survived a crazy dinner time, a chaotic Family Home Evening, and a disastrous bedtime.

As sleep finally overtook the house and things fell quiet, I couldn't help but think of Billie Jo.

 I want to know what made her life full... 

and if she misses it.

2 comments:

Shelby Olson said...

❤️

Kassie said...

You definitely have a gift and talent for expressing your thoughts. So beautiful. 💜