Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Freddie Mercury, Grape Leaves, and Banana Stickers

I went to a funeral today.  She was ninety-eight.  All of her children, and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were there.  As they honoured her, I was so moved.  She was fun and bright and full.  They talked about how she read to them, how she enjoyed ice cream and Wayne Gretsky and horses and Freddie Mercury, how she only let her hair go white once Queen Elizabeth did, how she loved people, how she made them feel special.  I studied the large picture of her smiling face and I thought, "There's a woman happily being herself."

Afterward, I walked to the grocery store to buy couscous and bananas.  I was still wearing the skirt I'd worn to the funeral and I discovered I like the feeling of fabric swishing around my knees.  I noticed my fingers.  The way I hold my fingers when I'm walking is lovely.  I've got a strong back.  And my mind is an interesting place to be.  My elbows enjoy cool air.  On the way home I smiled at my impatience as I devoured stuffed grape leaves.  By the time I had covered the whole four kilometres, I thought, "I must try this being myself thing more often."

I put my bags down inside the door (couscous, bananas, olives, feta, tortillas, hummus, salsa, hot chocolate, arugula, empty container where stuffed grape leaves used to be), and looked up to see Daniel standing there.  I offered him a banana.  He wanted the sticker, and he promptly put it on the bridge of his nose.  It complemented the top of the popcorn popper which he was wearing as a hat, and his Spiderman pajama top, and his lack of trousers, and his smile.  As I bent down to kiss the top of his head (through the hole where the butter holder normally rests), I thought, "He's got it down."

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