Being there
Tuesday March 06th 2012, 9:42 pm
Filed under: Food,Life

I always make chocolate tortes in pairs. Saturday’s first went to Becca. The second didn’t know whose it wanted to be when it grew up.

Last night, “Do you want a piece?” And we could freeze individual slices for nibbling after that.

But somehow neither of us felt like it. We did, but…not… Huh. So, no.

He called me mid-day today. He has a co-worker who was the de facto mother to a young woman she’d been close to all the young woman’s life, and she has shared parental worries with him from time to time, trying to be a good mom. I met the co-worker when she came to our older son’s wedding four years ago; she’s a good soul and that young woman was very fortunate to have her.

Whether it happened today or whether today was the day she was able to say it, I don’t know, but she asked the nearest person to let their office mates know so she wouldn’t have to repeat it again and again: her god daughter had just died in a violent accident on the freeway.

“It’s meaningless, really,” I heard the grief in Richard’s voice, “but…if you could…” He was hoping I’d be willing to bring that torte to the office. He knew I would.

And how!

We acknowledged the issue of the sun at mid-day and a full parking lot. But I knew. If I didn’t do this in person myself I would regret it forever.  And so I put the car as close as I could and then in utter defiance towards all the limitations that that stupid lupus imposes on me without my consent, I walked it in.

Richard came, and arm in arm we walked to the other end of the facility. We were coming down one hallway, and as we saw her office just around the corner from the end of it, she wasn’t there.

Just as we started to wonder what to do, we saw her coming from the other hallway that right-angled there. She saw the two of us, recognized what was in Richard’s hands–I’d sent tortes to the office before–and ran and threw her arms around me.

“I’m so sorry.”

We threw our arms around each other again. “Chocolate helps,” she told us, with a wince and appreciation all mixed together in a silent tornado of emotion.

A cake by itself was meaningless. A torte that created the chance to be there for someone in a grief I can hardly imagine–it was what we could do.

But just in case someone who didn’t know found it in the office fridge and snitched some before she could get it home, I just pulled another pair out of the oven. I want to be sure to be ready again. You never know.

8 Comments so far
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Yes. Chocolate helps. So do hugs. Love in person. I admire your extreme kindness and determination. May the lupus completely ignore your defiance.

Comment by DebbieR 03.06.12 @ 11:29 pm

What Debbie said… I hope your kindness stops the lupus in its tracks.

Comment by Channon 03.07.12 @ 7:25 am

Just right.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 03.07.12 @ 8:02 am

I agree completely with Debbie — I can’t possibly say anything better

God Bless

Comment by Bev 03.07.12 @ 10:49 am

The ones above said what I was thinking–hope there’s no flare.

Comment by LynnM 03.07.12 @ 12:28 pm

Readiness is good, because even when you don’t know what it’s for, you KNOW it is for someone, and soon enough you’ll know who.

Comment by Ruth 03.07.12 @ 2:31 pm

Do keep us posted on the state of your health!

Sending prayers for this family… They might not be as tasty as tortes, but I can send them without an address or worries about allergies.

Comment by Suzanne in Montreal 03.07.12 @ 7:17 pm

I think what she really meant was “the same arms that bore the chocolate help”. and you helped Richard, too.

Comment by twinsetellen 03.08.12 @ 7:23 pm

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