Mrs. Grace

Mrs. Grace

 

She lives for others but dies alone

A single breath within a home

But so much life her one breath brings

In her air, the world is spring

Light and luscious, new and learning

My eyes are wide, the Earth is turning

We found each other

When her husband passed

But since that time

The world spins fast

I am here

She is still there

Baking for an empty chair

I told my sister to take my place 

But she needs time and likes her space

So Mrs. Grace, I’m sorry to say 

I’ll have to visit another day

 

My neighbor, Mrs. Grace lost her husband three years ago. When my mom found out, we were ordered to deliver casserole. That day, after stepping through her door, I haven’t stopped. Making paper origami. Baking strudel. Learning calligraphy. You name it, we did it. It started out being more of an annual visit, until about a year and a half ago. Every other year turned into every other month turned into every other week turned into, by the end of the summer before coming to Susquehanna, every other day. However, this rapidly growing friendship was abruptly halted by one thing: college. I went to Pennsylvania. She didn’t. When we had this last fall break, I visited her. We talked for hours over a homemade German feast, catching up and sharing laughs. After about 6 hours of conversation, the clock read 10. We both knew I had to leave, but neither of us wanted to say it. After about 20 minutes of talking about absolutely anything to fill time, she said, voice low, clearly somewhere else, “You’d better go.” She walked me out to the driveway and said she’d miss me. Saddened by her deep-seated heart-ache, I told her I could visit her again before I left. We made plans, but they didn’t work out. I felt awful. I told my sister she should pay her a visit every once in a while, but she said she’s got a lot on her plate. So, here I was, with a lot of longing and second-hand sadness and nothing to do with all the emotion. So I wrote this. Love you, Mrs. Grace. Can’t wait to have lunch with you over Thanksgiving break!