Small occurrences change the outcome, or the path, or the way you think about something.
Today I drove a friend to a radiation appointment. "Twenty more to go," she said.
I sat in the waiting room with a husband and wife—his first appointment. I imagine that not too far in the past he didn't expect to be in that waiting room. He probably had other plans for his day.
Today I read an email from the minister saying that someone I know from a Bible study is dying.
Two weeks ago when we visited her she said, "The only places I haven't visited were Australia and New Zealand." I asked if she went to Antarctica, "Yes. I wanted to go to New Zealand, but the woman I went with didn't think she should take anymore time away from her husband."
We talked about the Bronx where she lived for over sixty years—remember Bathgate Avenue, pickles in barrels, and "the man selling jellied figs." I told her I loved his jelly apples and she mentioned figs and marshmallows.
We both mentioned the stars on the ceiling of the Paradise Theater and Fordham Road and Alexanders Department Store.
She told me how she came to Concord every summer to spend the vacation time with her aunt and uncle.
We spoke of egg creams and charlotte russes—those deserts in a cardboard holder "with a round of cardboard on the bottom. As the cream went down, you pushed the cardboard up from the bottom, so you could eat the cake.”
We spoke of the peddlers who sharpened knives and the peddlers who shouted " I sell old clothes." We spoke of the trucks that delivered seltzer bottles and a small store that sold buttons and sequins.
I spoke about going to Bathgate Avenue with my mother and she spoke about being a young woman and shopping for food and trinkets on that avenue. Outdoor tables displayed the wares from each store. Awnings kept the sun away from perishables.
Where did all the time go? Plans change—
Reading of her in hospice—her slow release of life was hard to read. Why only last year she was telling us about one of her trips.