Monday, January 23, 2012
a lesson from dolores: a meaningful life
we sat side by side on her couch last night, our thighs touching as we embroidered. i've been coming to see robert's grandma twice week for four months now. and while she has almost completed an entire set of pillowcases, i'm still working on the same dresser scarf. but we gab. we sit. she feeds me yams and chew bread and banana pudding, green beans with corn and apple fritters. and as lewis sits in the recliner cracking walnuts, an hour or two passes. then, she pulls the curtains forward and hugs me close, breathing me in and telling me how much she enjoys our visits. i tell her the same.
i asked her about courting. about her favorite movie stars (clark gable) and where she met lewis (walgreens. he stepped on her foot.)
she sighed. "you know, life sure is meaningful."
and we talked some more. and i completed a few more back stitches. but that sentence stuck with me. for its simplicity. its honestly.
it's meaningful, what we're doing here.
every corporate memo you type.
every time you fix the paper jam in the office.
every time you stretch against the kitchen counter waiting for the coffee to drip.
every early morning and late night meal prepared against music.
every phone call you make to encourage, to check in.
every time you're tired and just want to eat cereal, take a bath and go to bed, but you swipe on the lipstick and go dancing anyway.
every time you eat cereal and take a bath and go to bed.
every handshake you give and nod or tilt of the head.
every time you sit on your bed in the middle of the afternoon and watch the sun dance across your quilt and think about when you were young, and your parents were invincible.
every time on your knees, in a group, in your car or under the covers, you whisper a prayer.
every time you look someone in the eye and say i really, really love you.
they mean something. they are vital to your story. the story you build, shape, tear down and remold. until one day you find yourself in your eighties, sitting beside a woman you won't know until your children are older. i pray our stories are as colorful, detailed and bright. and sweet enough to stop someone mid-stitch.