Equal what, exactly? I returned home the day after Dad’s funeral to a room full of flowers. These folks had never met him or knew of his life or career, they just thought he raised a pretty good kid, though I’m no longer a child by any means. I can tell you that he had 58 years of practice and that is how one gets to play at Carnegie Hall.
He played the capitals of Europe leading the 7th Army Symphony. When he was switched to hospice care he only received oxygen and morphine. He was able to sleep, finally. My brother called to say he was waving his arms about, trying to tell him something, and I replied “hon, he’s conducting!” He was, what we will never know.
So of my three amigos two are happily married. One gave me roses and a note. The other stopped by for an hour and marveled at the paintings and photographs on our walls. His eyes are not good and he had to find his way home to get a magnifying glass to see the number on our door.
The third is my tough case. He “allowed me” to make him breakfast. They all knew my husband would not be back from work for another 30 hours so they tag-teamed to give me company during my grief.
Then he showed me his domestic environment. He’s divorced and dating. I said if I was a younger gal (late 30’s, 40) and visited his home I’d be scared to death. It’s too neat. He’s never used the kitchen sink, oven, stove or washer/dryer.
As a friend I offered a few suggestions. Toss an empty pizza box on the kitchen counter. Pour out half a beer (I gave him an expensive dark ale I was going to use for a French stew) and mangle the cap and leave both on the coffee table.
I made good on those. Third is to find the handprint kindergarten ash tray I know his son made, buy a cigar, let it burn a bit to leave some ash, and leave it out. Now he needs saving by a good woman.
Today he’s reading the paper in a public place, watching the snow fall. He says he has a date and he’s going to get everything pre-made at our local grocery. What??? I can teach you how to make a roast chicken, mashed potatoes and roasted heirloom carrots in ten minutes!
I brought him the pizza box and a beer. Now he’s going to order dinner. He says he can’t cook, but I think he doesn’t want to mess up his sink, oven, stove or laundry to actually make a meal for someone he wishes to impress. I asked him to say “You are my life coach” and he replied that he would help me with any advice I needed.
No, sir, that is not what I meant. It’s one thing for me to take the dog out early in the morning, another for him to be sitting there reading the paper, alone. I am d’Artagnan to my aging Musketeers. Cheers! Dee
ps The flower arrangement I love most is whimsical. My florist said keeping a florist means you have someone who knows you and what you like. The “roses” are baby flowering kale. For my Scottish pursuits there are heather and thistles.
pps My husband must be awake by five. Oh, DogMa is going to hate that. It’s snowy and dark. D