Sunday, January 18, 2009

He Knows How I Am!

It's been nearly a month since Mom died. She was buried on December 26th in Meadville, PA. None of us was there. Winter can be so nasty in northwestern Pennsylvania that we didn't want our daughters, their husbands and our grandsons to chance the 7-hour drive. I suggested that we all go up this spring. So no one was there the day after Christmas except Mom's friend, Dale. He used to do her yard work, take her shopping, do minor repairs around the house. He is profoundly deaf, but he and Mom became the best of friends. She was like a second mother to him. So it was Dale who met the hearse at the cemetery, said a prayer, placed three yellow roses on her coffin, and watched the burial. I'm so glad that someone dear to her was there on that bleak morning.

Last Sunday we had an informal memorial gathering at our house for the immediate family and a few friends. All our Christmas decorations were still up because I've just been so tired.

Today, when I took the tree down, I chuckled at the memory of Mom and Dale's disagreement over Christmas lights many years ago. Mom always decorated her front "stoop" with lights. One year she decided three strings would look better than two, so she wanted Dale to join three strings together end to end. Having read the warning on the box, Dale informed her that two strings was the limit.

"Nonsense, " said Mom, "I never had any problem before. I've always put three or four strings together." Nothing Dale could say would change her mind. Three strings it was.

Before long, one string burned out.
Dale went downtown for a replacement.
Another string burned out.
Dale went downtown again.
And again.
Eventually Mom had to admit that Dale had been right all along. She gave up on the third string.

Later she said to me, "He should have INSISTED that I use just two strings. He knows how I am!"