We’re sitting across from each other, cradling a Kurtz Orchard coffee mug, looking out across the lake. The weak winter sun struggling to warm the ice.
“I just want to tell you my stories”
I shift, trying to get uncomfortable, a hopeless task on these wooden dining room chairs.
“Life is just a moment, when you look at it with the big picture” Grandma pauses, starts to spell out on the table in front of her. “S. T. O…” “Stories?” “Yes, stories. They are important–they just keep coming back to me. Stories about my lover”
This name, Lover, not a name I am accustomed to hearing my Grandfather called. But since his passing, she has taken to call him, ‘My Lover’ instead of the familiar ‘Dad’ I had grown up hearing. She misses him. She misses her Lover.
“He would write me every day–no every other day while he was in the Service” *Pause* “But I destroyed those letter–He should never have to relive those memories–the men would be screaming in pain, the throng of wounded being lifted off the airplanes. Everything was g0-go-go all the time. Those things must have affected Dad.”
I nod in agreement, I can only imagine the emotional scars of being a medical tech during war time.
“When he had one week leave to come home, that’s when we decided” “Decided what?” “To be lovers”
She pauses, searching for the right words. “He told me that he was going into the ministry and if I couldn’t handle being a preacher’s wife–well I better tell him now so we could break it off”
She looks at me with an astonished face, an expression she does so well. “What do you think of that?”
“Well I think you made the right choice.”
“Well I certainly hope so” She laughs, fiddles with the coffee mug, lost in her own reflection. She misses him. She misses her “Lover”