My mother-in-law, Virginia, has a number of friends that go out with a couple of times a week. They’re all widows ranging from early eighties to mid nineties. They go out to eat, Wednesdays and Saturdays, going to specific places each day, making sure they get home before dark.
A friend fell a couple of weeks ago breaking her shoulder. On Sunday, Margery and Virginia went to visit her in a rehab facility in a town about forty-five minutes away. Both ladies live at their homes in the country.
We received a phone call from a friend at around 4:30 that afternoon. There had been an accident just about five miles from my mother-in-law’s home. True to form they were going to be home before dark.
Long story short, we are very fortunate that we are not planning funerals this Thanksgiving week. The car flipped at least two times, that Virginia remembers, end over end. Both are still in the ICU with various injuries.
Needless to say, preparing for Thanksgiving has taken on new meaning this year. I’ve managed to get started with the cooking, we’ll have at least 13 at my house, but the loss of Monday spent at the hospital means my house will not be as clean and neat as I had planned.
I hope to take a lesson from this. The obvious is to be very thankful that both women are alive, and will, hopefully, continue to recover. Margery will have a second spinal surgery on Wednesday.
I would like to remember that having a perfect table, immaculate house, creatively prepared foods are all very nice, but they are not truly important. No one will remember if there was a pile of newspapers, a spot on the carpet, the counters in the kitchen cluttered. If they do, then that’s their problem, so what.
We will have a good meal whether things are up to Martha Stewart’s standards or not. In my house it is definitely not, ever. Nothing really matters but that two good friends, and very much loved women are alive. Compared to that nothing else matters.
Sign up for Sophie's Newsletter. You'll get Keith's Coming, a Love's Infestation short story for free.