I know my blog is about the stars in my life....known and yet to be met. For the past week I've thought about the entry i wanted to write...and future entries along the same vein. This morning, after reading an article by Michael McLean who is going to offer up the history of some of his songs with the free MP3 download, I decided that before the morning starts I would write what I have put off writing....the beginning of my heroes....altho I have no background music to add....just my grateful thoughts.
Last week, as you know, I sold tickets in the AC'd booth with L who I have known for decades. I recently called her the pied piper since I realize that's what and who she is. Somehow, with a casual comment and leading the way, she can get just about anyone to do just about anything. I didn't know anything about her private life really. So she made a comment about a 1st husband and I commented that I didn't know she had been married before. And thus began quite a story, Her Story...and I am sharing it now, recording it now, so that I will remember what an amazing woman she is, as if I didn't know this already.
L was married to W in the 60s. He was in the military and away (I am assuming Vietnam). He returned in April of 1969 and they were together. Then 2 days after Christmas, that same year, while driving over the high level bridge in Lorain, their car was struck by a drunk driver and W was killed. L was broken and still has glass in her to this day. She was in a body caste for a long time. She had been on her own for years already and couldn't really return to her parents' home. Interestingly enough, a local doctor took her into his home and with his wife, nursed her back to health. She then worked for him and he would drive her to his office, set her down in a chair, arranging things so she could put up her casted legs (2 heroes there).
It was sad and lonely times for her. Working helped UNTIL the wife and daughter of the drunk actually showed up as patients. L commented on how hard it was to keep quiet. The drunk was given a slap on the hand, told he was a bad man. Period. Nothing else. As L said, you have to be kind to all patients.
A friend kept encouraging her to get out. But she didn't want to go anywhere. The place the friend wanted to take her to sounds like it might have been a group for singles who lost their mates, sort of a therapy/social meeting. Finally, after being bugged enough, L agreed to go to ONE meeting, have one drink and leave. Instead, she met K there...her current husband....and she didn't leave as quickly as she had planned. L and K married a year later and had 2 children.
L's first mother-in-law had only had the one child, W. When the m-i-l got cancer, L would take her son over and they'd visit with the woman. The boy would stroke his "grandma's" arm until the pain was too intense. That's when L moved in with her former (and still) m-i-l and K took care of the kids after work (meet another hero here....K). When the woman died, L and K and children continued on with their lives....doing things but always taking care of someone. First it was her parents. Then it was his. Currently, his mother lives with them and she is suffering from alzheimers. They seldom can go anywhere together but know that it won't last forever. They spell each other in caring for the mom.
But L has another friend, K (who I also know). K is single, has always been single. And currently she is taking care of her elderly mom who has dementia. Day to day, the same routine. But the minute K has a moment where she is free, she calls L. And L's husband always says, "go be with K. She needs you." And L goes off to give K a break from the mom duties.
So today, my pied piper is my hero. I wish you all could know her. She's involved in everything in the city. She's head of the Friends of Domonkas Library group and when I attend the meetings, I marvel at all she knows. She is our Queen Mum for the Red Hats I'm in. She's on the community council. She runs an antique business and is a clown. A real clown. She knows magic tricks and is one of those story tellers. And she has great stories to tell. Some I think might be based on her own life's experiences, but told with great humor and joy. Sometimes even scary stories for kids that are more fun that scary. She is very active in her church here in Paradise and it seems she runs the monthly soup/sandwich kitchen which raises money for the church.
I have come to really love L. She has more energy than anyone I have ever met. She has more plans and ideas that can be put into immediate action than I would think possible. But nothing seems to be impossible to her. She's amazing.
And on the last night we sold tickets together, she brought me a gift. We had talked about tea cups. I don't have any tea cups. And I wanted one. And she brought me one...oh wait, I can't tell those details. I forgot. But it is the most lovely of tea cups..just look at the shape and the lovely craftiness. See the roses inside the cup? This is most definitely a lady's cup, and fromEngland. And she said, as she handed it to me, "Now you can have something lovely to drink your Postum out of." But it'll be more than that. It'll be many special moments with a gift from L to me. And it represents all the beauty she has and is. All the genteelness. All the grace. All the love she has for those around her!