Slippers for Christmas. During morning coffee with my mom last week, her friend Leslie, mentioned a couple times where one of her slippers would fall off coming up the stairs in the morning. It simply didn't fit right anymore. After the first time I heard her say that, I instantly thought that a pair of slippers like mine would be perfect for her!
After a quick stop by Tuesday on morning, she mentioned something about her slipper again. As silly as this sounds, I tried to inconspicuously figure out her shoe size, to get her a good fitting pair of slippers. I felt so excited to pick this out for her, she would love it. A single woman of 60 years, an old failed acting career, and only a few close friends to mention, her life was lonely. But her heart and her person when she was around us was as big as you could ever imagine! You wouldn't guess she was as lonely as she was. She made you want to hug her until you couldn't hug anymore. She made you want to smile and spend more time with her. I complimented her outfit a couple of times, a black beret that fit her style perfectly, a colorful sweater gifted from her sister. She had that dramatic acting flair, but mellow. It was suiting and something to smile about. When she wore her beret, she smiled and said, "There's a song about that." Raspberry Beret.
As my mom and I were discussing our dinner plans on Tuesday, we both agreed we would make a comforting family favorite of arroz con pollo. Her simmering pot of the sauce smelled heavenly! Leslie walked in as I was sticking my nose in it and gushing over how good it smelled! I insisted she have some, it was one of my favorite dishes, my comfort food. It was too good to pass up. My mom agreed and she said okay.
We didn't know that would be her last meal. Two days later, and worry for her lack of appearance was spreading. As soon as my mom mentioned it, I wondered where on earth she'd be?! Knock on her door, she must be there! As it would turn out, she passed away peacefully in her sleep Tuesday evening.
As the news settled in, my heart began to ache and the tears began to flow. All alone for two days. What would happen now? As my mom and I held each other as the tears poured down, we found the silver lining. After experiencing too much personal loss these past few years, her peaceful passing seemed almost a blessing. There was little sign anything was wrong with her, although after thinking over her last few days, we realized that there were little things. But no one could've really known. It was sudden, unexpected, heartbreaking. A loss not soon to forget.
She's at peace. No more pain or loneliness. But I selfishly couldn't stop my mind from thinking that we wouldn't get to share our Thanksgiving cooking and togetherness with her. I was so excited to spend some time over the holidays spreading a little cheer around. And Christmas, her slippers for Christmas...