It was a belated birthday gift - an afternoon of high tea and conversation with my ninety-six year old grand lady. There is something rather dignified about sipping tea from gleaming fine china and nibbling on dainty crust-less sandwiches and bite sized sweets from a three-tiered trivet. It begs for a leisurely pace, moments to exhale and simply 'be'.
I held her hand across the table as we waited for the tea to steep, no words necessary, content and comfortable in the silence. Doris marvelled at the everything, clearly appreciating every detail and gesture. And even the din from the crowd in the room couldn't dampen our conversation. We chatted about the ordinary as well as the extraordinary. We talked about how the world has changed since her childhood, and how it feels to be living the last years. We exchanged fears and favourite memories, and agreed that loss of memory is not just frustrating, it is a huge loss in so many ways. Part of us is lost with every forgotten memory... each a tiny death.
Just when we thought we couldn't devour another crumb, the servers surrounded Doris, presented her with a mini caramel cheese cake and sang happy birthday. This humble Maritimer blushed at the fuss but was clearly moved, and when they urged her to make a wish before blowing out the candle, she paused, closed her eyes and then declared "my wish would be to come back again!"
And really, isn't that what we all want - leisurely time with the ones we love? Don't worry Doris, we'll do it again.
PS - This post marks a milestone for this blog --1000 posts. How appropriate it be about a special person who is also all about milestones!