One more thing about Rita yesterday.
I was sitting next to her at that table and I told her the story of my grandmother at 95 with a big glass bowl full of individually wrapped candies: she was offering my kids some. They were–here, let me try to remember–maybe 5, 7, 9, and 11 at the time? My mom was in town too visiting her mother while we were there.
Mom and I silently gave the kids the hairy eyeball–just one, kids.
Gram’s eyes twinkled: “Have some more!”
(Us: Just. One.)
They each in varying degrees of age and awareness took another piece in a combination of eagerness and hesitation and trying to figure out just what the power dynamic going on here was.
She egged them on yet again, and again, one piecetaking at a time: “Have some more!”
Till eventually they had filled their mouths, all their pockets, their socks by golly, everything they could think of, and at the last they totally emptied that bowl. And it was not a small bowl. If the number of pieces didn’t come out evenly between them, I don’t remember, but they had the good sense not to complain nor I think did we have to prompt them to say thank you.
Gram was having the time of her life.
I told Rita, “She knew she was making it so they would never forget her–and they didn’t.”
Lovely Rita looked at me with her good eye and this suddenly profound moment passed between us as she in her own great old age affirmed, “Yes. Exactly. “
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