Sunday, August 19, 2007

the wind in her fur

A very long post.

The yard sale was canceled due to rain – all day, cold & windy also. I was happy, seeing as I only had 1 box, and my partner in the yard sale, Carol, who I walk with every morning at the crack of dawn was in agreement that it was just too nasty a day and we should post-pone. I did however get rid of three (free) pieces of furniture. 2 hand me down desks and a somewhat antique 3/4 bed frame (actually got 20.00 for that piece). Harry, who helped me lug those three pieces into the yard suggested that the bed was too nice to be free. The bed was gone not 30 mins after it was placed against a large pine tree in my front yard, and bought by someone I know, Rochenda, a friend, who's a bit of a tourist cottage maven took the bed for her latest venture, the fourth cottage in what soon will be George and hers' tourist cottage empire. The 2 desks were both gone by 9:30 Sat. morning and I had the first Saturday,
in along time, completely to myself. I work part time, Saturday's & sometimes Sunday as well at Harry's gift & decor store.

As Lester, my neighbour to the left, was carting away desk No. 2 in his wheelbarrow he mentioned that Jean's (another neighbour diagonally across the street and my favourite – she's a huge animal lover and over the years we've developed a close relationship because we share that love) husband Laird was in the hospital and likely dying, in a coma, had had a heart attack and his kidney's were failing – they both are well into their 80's but have managed to continue to live happily at home with the assistance of friends, family, Meals on Wheels, and Laird has been using a motorized chair to get around and down to the park which overlooks the harbour. Usually all I see of him zooming by my house is a flash of the fluorescent orange flag that waves on an antenna attached to the chair. I'm sure he zipped by my house not long ago. I had been talking to Jean earlier in the week because we were planning a shopping trip to town. That's a Maritime expression - going to town, the bigger community 35 mins away by car where you can get most everything that you'd need and most people who live in this village make a trip to town on a regular basis. I would drive Jean and I, in their bus (a maroon minivan), to do our errands & shopping and I called to chat about when we might go. She mentioned that Laird had gone into the hospital that day to be checked out after a day or so of not feeling himself.

So it was 10:00 am Saturday morning and I was trying to decide what I should do for Jean. I love to cook and I know that they both have a sweet tooth and I quite often take cookies or muffins across the street to them. The decision of what to cook was not the only thing heavy on my mind – I was also feeling that fear or dread of having to face someone else's sadness.
Just feeling that I'm not very good at that sort of thing. Being self conscious (I guess) about what to say, and how much to ask about, while all the time thinking I'm sure most people when faced with this situation must want to talk about it. I'm thinking now as I write this, that perhaps it's a mistake, that I always make, in trying to imagine how I would feel in the same situation. How would I feel if my husband and partner of a zillion years was in the hospital & possibly dying. What would I want someone to do, to say or to ask me? Once again far too much chatter going on in my head.

I decided on soup, a hearty split pea and vegetable made with chicken broth and lots of garden fresh vegetables. I had been to the Farmer's Market earlier and had bought 2 big fat cloverleaf brioche rolls (perfect to go with the soup). I remembered her sweet tooth and made a quick trip to the grocery store to pick up a variety pack of Shirley's (local bakery) squares and found the perfect cat themed post card to write a little note on. I knew that Jean had left with her son to visit Laird in the hospital so I walked across the street in the pouring rain to place my box of goodies in her porch and noticed that I was not the first to leave a parcel of food & love by her door. Back home I felt relieved, relieved that I had delivered my package of sustenance but most of all, honestly, relieved that I hadn't had to speak to Jean, that I was able to send my message without having to face her possible sadness (an emotional coward I am).

At 5 o'clock the phone rang and my call display told me it was Jean. As soon as she began to speak my worries and self consciousness vanished. She thanked me and continued on to say what a perfect place to live Black Street was, she was overwhelmed, I think, by the kindness of so many of her neighbours. Neighbours like me who love Jean ... and want to help out in any way they can. I asked how Laird was and she told me her main concern had been that he might be suffering in some way because of chest tubes and other medical interventions – however it seems this latest trip to the hospital she felt reassured that he was very sedated, not conscious and therefore comfortable and that gave her great peace of mind. I asked how she was feeling and I could tell by the strength in her voice that she was fine. We chatted for 10 mins or so and she promised to keep me posted and I promised to drop over and visit and that we would share a few meals this week.

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