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"If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a Hope-er, a Pray-er, a Magic Bean buyer; if you're a pretender, come sit by my fire. For we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!" -- Shel Silverstein

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Where there's a will

The server here is down. Won't be up before Monday. I suppose I could walk the neighborhood and find an Internet cafe with WiFi but I'm feeling strangely free from that impulse.

So, I'm using my iPhone - not exactly an easy thing to do. Haven't figured out how to snag a picture off the Internet, but somehow that feels okay, too.

Oh, I've walked this neighborhood many times over the last 34 years or so. I know it fairly well. Even so, it still surprises me.

Like, yesterday.

I wanted to get an arrangement of flowers for the dinner table. I sort of remembered that there was a flower shop up the street - oh, maybe 3/4 of a mile - up on Columbus near Mass Ave.

I did a slow, gentle jog up the street and, sure enough, there it was, on the opposite side of the street. So, I went all the way up to Mass Ave, poked around a bit there, then came back down the other side of Columbus.

Lotus. Ah, yes. That was the name of the shop. But why did it feel like more than just a memory? Why did this feel like a significant memory?

Jimmy, the owner, greeted me. I know I'd never met him but he looked very familiar. Like I should know him.

Maybe it was the eye makeup. Or the sling back pumps which did not go with his shorts and T-shirt. An otherwise lovely Asian Quean, I'm sure but this is, after all, Mother's Day weekend and a girl's gotta make a living.

I explained what I wanted and he was on it. A low arrangement in shades of purple and lavender, with touches of green and white. Breathtaking in simplicity and beauty.

I applauded. He bowed. We bussed on both cheeks. I paid my bill, thanked him again, and took my leave.

Or, at least, I started to. Jimmy had been looking at me strangely the whole time. As if he had seen me and known me from another time or place. He called out to me, "I know you? Yes?"

"Maybe!" I answered.

"Hmmm.. . " we both said but knew it wasn't true. I waved. He waved. I left.

It wasn't until later - much later - before dinner as Sheri and Lois were putting the final touches on dinner and oohing and aahing over the flowers, that they asked me where I had gotten them.

It was then I remembered. The memory came cascading down in a series of images so heavy I sank to a chair by the table.

Years ago - oh, maybe 12 or 15 - when our eldest daughter, Jaime, first moved to Boston, her very first apartment was right there, in that building, above from that very flower shop. She absolutely adored Jimmy and he adored her. He would make a fresh arrangement for her every week. No charge.

I never met him - or his sister - but I certainly heard all about them. When Jaime died, they sent several absolutely beautiful arrangements in her honor.

Sometimes, we find things. Sometimes, we are found by things. I have no doubt I was led there.

Either way, it's an amazing grace.

I couldn't have asked for a better Mother's Day present.

Sometimes, where there's a will, there's also grace.


David |Dah • veed| said...

You must find a reason to return and then you can tell him that you have remembered how you know him. And you can thank him for the lovely arrangements from her funeral. And you can remember together.

suzanne said...

Well there you go, bringing tears to my eyes.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

It's been raining all morning. It just stopped. I'm heading out soon to do just as you say Dahveed.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thank you, suz.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...


Elaine C. said...

thanks my heart needed that!

susankay said...

I, too, have damp eyes

(magic word is "abide") Wow

Jeffri Harre said...

Blessings, Elizabeth. You've a touch of the Celt in the way you capture and tell stories. Thank you for sharing them.

Malcolm+ said...

God bless Jimmy.

And his sister.

And you too, Elizabeth.

klady said...

Tears in my eyes, as well. Thank you so much for sharing this. Amazing grace.........

Donna Henderson said...

Ding dong. Hello. Wow, impressive blog, and what a profile. I feel a bit intimidated and underdressed since I just wandered over here in my baggy sweatpants from Altar Ego's back porch. I feel this might be one of my best blogging bumbles to date, however, if you'll have me. I just bumble around in cyberspace from blog to blog sometimes and have found the best people that way. So sign me up, you look like great mentor material to me. It was your gravity/face cream comment, though, that sealed the deal. :>) D.H.

Riley said...

Very touching story. Hope you made it back to share a few memories of Jaime.

"Sometimes, we find things. Sometimes, we are found by things. I have no doubt I was led there."


It's how I feel about the day I found your blog. : )

Happy Mother's Day, sweet lady.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Lovely, Elizabeth.

Sometimes, where there's a will, there's also grace.

Well put, m'dear. :-)

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thanks, y'all. I'm on the train headed back to NJ. About to blog on my w/e experience. Stay tuned.

Welcome, Donna. I just took a wee peak around your neighborhood. Looks like we could be visiting each other a lot.

Hope said...

What a beautiful moment of grace.