It’s been a busy week here on Widowhood Lane. I went to two lectures, my Movie and Lunch Club, a Red Hat tea, and a craft show. The coffee and donuts they served at one of the lectures was the best thing about the event. It had a bait-and-switch topic but I am a polite little old lady who doesn’t like to make waves in public so I listened without showing my annoyance at having to sit through an hour long commercial. The second lecture was titled, “I’m Dying to Talk to You.” Its speaker had been a Hospice volunteer for twenty-five years and his talk was packed with a lot of laugh lines. Who knew talking about death could be so funny? And I’ll bet you’re asking yourself why a widow would want to go to a lecture about dying. The answer would be that I was so bored when the senior hall newsletter came out last month that I would have signed up for a class on how to turn dog poop into folk art. I was that, crawling-the-walls bored and it seemed like a good idea of at the time to sign up for everything and anything.
The audience for talking-about-dying was large and after the lecture many of us shared warm/funny/tender/comforting etc., experiences that happened while being at someone’s death bed. I told the story of my dad dying in the wee minutes of Christmas Morning. He was in a Hospice home and he had been unresponsive for several hours. We knew the end was very near when his hard-of-hearing roommate turned on the televised Christmas Eve Midnight Mass. Pipe organ music filled the room and my dad opened his unfocused eyes and said, “Am I there yet?” I just knew he was looking for the Pearly Gates of Heaven. He died shortly after that and I was still laughing through my tears. I cherish that memory from my Dad’s last minutes on earth as much as a cherish the at-peace look on my husband’s face when he passed over. Being there when someone dies can actually give you a sense of comfort.
At my Movie and Lunch Club on we saw Non-Stop, a film that involves an airplane, murders and a bomb on aboard. IMBd describes it this way: “An air marshal springs into action during a transatlantic flight after receiving a series of text messages that put his fellow passengers at risk unless the airline transfers $150 million into an off-shore account.” At first I thought whoever picked that movie to see---given the mystery of missing Flight 370 going on right now---had their head screwed onto to a tree stump. But I went without voicing that opinion out loud because, as I said before, I’m a polite little old lady who doesn’t like to make waves in public. Sometimes its easy to see where filtering your thoughts saved you from the embarrassment of having to eat your words and this was one of those times. The movie turned out to be a good one with lots of twists and turns that kept you guessing who the bad guys were right up until the end. Of the eleven of us who went, though, another “little old lady” did voice her reservations about seeing the film and it made me wonder how many of the dozen or so others in the club who didn’t show up were acting on their qualms about seeing an aircraft hi-jacking. A movie and lunch club is like a book club. They both serve the purpose of pushing you out of your comfort zone and that’s usually a good thing.
This morning I got up at the crack of dawn to go to a craft show out in the boondocks. A couple of my Red Hat sisters were vendors there so I wanted to see their handiwork. Up and down hills I went as I traveled country roads to a place I’d never been before. Taking in the long vistas of snow covered orchards had me yearning for the days when Don and I took car trips. Living in the suburbs it’s hard sometimes to remember there is a whole different way of life out there in rural America and when the city got too much for us we’d take a day trip poking around the back roads to no where in particular.
The very first vendor I saw at the craft show was selling cross-stitched tea towels that read: “A house without Jesus can never be a home.” I’m still baffled by a message that seemed Church Lady snotty and judgmental to me. Four or five other vendors were likewise selling crafts with Christian messages and I was starting to feel like I was back in grade school and being judged not good enough to play with so and so because Jesus was not living where I did. About the sixth Christian themed vendor booth I came across I was thinking, where are the baked goods? I feel a sugar binge coming on! I found them and I went home with a plate of peanut butter cookies that looked and tasted exactly like those my mom used to make. ©