My neighbour Lena lost her husband Nick one year ago this month.
I greeted her this morning, as I left for work at around 7 a.m. Lena, I’m sure, had already been out and about for an hour or more—watering and puttering amongst her well cared for gardens in the front, and the back of her house.
I remember Nick doing the same—cap in place, rubber gardening boots on, he would be working hard tending to his many tomato plants, chives, lettuce and pear trees. It always amazed me exactly how bountiful was their harvest from such a relatively small back yard. And, of course, there was Nick’s homemade wine—Bellissimo! Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter—he never failed to deliver, to our own front door, a bottle or two for us to enjoy.
Lena talked to me this morning, as the rainbows settled into the water droplets on the plants that surrounded her that she dreams of Nick almost every night since he died. Both born and raised in Italy, they would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year.
The other week, Lena told me, she listened to some beautiful music, and it made her think about how much she and Nick used to love to dance together. Last night she heard the music again, but this time in her dreams, and even though she told herself, it was only a dream, she still felt Nick there with her, and she still felt his hand in her own as he asked her to dance.
“It must make you feel happy,” I said. “Dreaming of Nick.”
She shrugged. “It’s a dream…”
…and the morning comes too soon…I finished for her silently.
“He was a good man. A kind man.” Lena shrugged her shoulders again. “C’est la vie,” she said, French and Italian easy for her. “What you going to do?”
The fact is there are realities of life that you cannot change, no matter how much you may rail against the unfairness of it all. So, you have to accept it, because—what you going to do?