My friend, G., on the 3rd anniversary date of her father’s passing, had phoned to alert me that her precocious patient was at that very moment making a beeline toward our front door. Said patient, our elderly neighbor, was hoping to somehow ditch the watchful eyes of her caregiver, who she thought she had just unwittingly snuck out on. Me, prepared for the unexpected, opened the front door to greet my hopeful neighbor exclaiming “You’re just in time for coffee and lemon cake with Henri. And look, your favorite TV show is on too!” Glancing backwards she quickly stepped inside leaving her caregiver patiently waiting outside.
Silently mouthing the words “meet me out in the greenhouse” to G., I nodded to Henri to take charge. Leaving the room, I had a plan whose time had come. A new batch of my home made raspberry liqueur was ready, and that morning I had remembered to decant it.
After making sure my inside duo was settled in with their cake and coffee, I grabbed the liqueur with a couple cordial glasses and headed out the back door as the full moon lit my way out to the greenhouse.
Giggling at the shear craziness of the events that precipitated this impromptu escape to the greenhouse, G. and I lifted our glasses to acknowledge this date on the calendar. The anniversary date of her father’s passing.
As she spoke of her last hours with him, a quiet, almost physical sensation of melting into calm could be felt. It’s really all she needed. Just a brief moment to remember the day he left.
Knowing we couldn’t remain out there for too much longer, the term "lunatic" came to mind as we gathered our courage to high tail it back to the house, keeping a watchful eye for the bear, or the family of raccoons that have been seen around the neighborhood as of late.
Safely back inside, we heard the familiar sounds and laughter from the rerun television show involving one Archie Bunker. All was well again and our brief absence was hardly even noticed.
Later, reflecting on the evening's events, I smiled at the special bond I now felt with my newly acquired greenhouse and the unexpected role it had played in its ability to provide comfort.
Next time, I promise you a day visit.