(warning, this week’s entry is kinda meh.)
Belle sat knitting at the corner of the table. She had some nubby purple wool that she was knitting a scarf from. Not that there was a huge need for the scarf. But the wool felt good and sturdy and comfortable in her hands. and the ability to complete a project made her feel cozy and worth while. It felt good to be able to look down at the end of the day and sigh and know that something was finished. I was also good to be able to find a definition of finished to know when you had gotten there. The women on the other side of the table had always seemed to have a harder time figuring out when something should have been finished. She looked at Leta, her daughter in law and remembered laughing when Leta’s son had come home a day early and brought his new girl home to meet the family. The house was not clean, and after Leta had settled them quickly to bed, she had spent the entire night scrubbing the house so it was company presentable. All those women were that way – except they would likely have never been caught with their house not clean. Belle also knew that her granddaughter LaVerne would go to homes that were not as clean as hers – she was known to comment after getting home that the home might not have been clean, but the company sure was good. She could usually relax and enjoy herself in someone else’s space, but not always her own. Her own space had always been strictly regulated.
Belle wondered how she would adjust to this new life. This afterlife. LaVerne had dwindled away until she was barely there in the old world. Her belongings that she had accumulated ended up amounting to a pillow. Her eyeglasses were frequently missing, leaving her blind against the world. Her watch hadn’t worked and she picked at it when it was on her wrist. Her clothes didn’t fit, and had been lost and mixed in with others while she was in the home. The sheets on her bed were those of the home. All LaVerne had in the end was herself. and she was barely able to find herself most of the time. All the belongings she had taken such good care of ended up in the hands of someone else. That someone else was her perfect son, who left them covered in dust turned to dirt. Most of them went up in fire one night. It would be her steadfast daughter who would recover the most important things. Leta and Charley’s marriage license, LaVerne and Charles’ wedding license, their wedding rings. The family photos. It was all almost lost, but for the hands of a woman to save them. Such as it had always been.
LaVerne would have herself back again. Strong, if not as whole as she had wanted. She would have “things” again, whether or not they mattered to her, would remain to be seen. She would have a room of her own, filled with things she would find comfortable but foreign at first. She would either make these things her own or she would pass them on and acquire new belongings. Not that belongings were the most important thing here, but one did like to be comfortable.
Belle contemplated this woman who was born four years after her passing on. She had watched her her entire life, but never actually touched her. She still did not make a move to touch her now. They were familiar with each other, but they were not companions, they were family, but not friends. Hopefully, one day, they would be. Hopefully as time passed and they turned their focused attention together to the two girls left in that world, they would become partners in helping raise those girls, until long long in the future, those girls would join them and they could close that front door and all decide what was next to come.