Mia: Shaken Not Stirred

The true life stories of a NYC female.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Widow

Mercedes the widow looked out her window anxiously awaiting the arrival of her home attendant. For the first time in weeks it wasn’t freezing outside, there was hope for spring’s return after all. It had been a little over a year since his departure… since she’d last looked upon his face, heard his voice. On Friday her heart felt heavier than usual it seemed as everything in the apartment caused an explosion of memories and an aching feeling in her heart. She even thought she had caught a whiff of his cologne several times.

They'd been together for over 50 years then Alzheimer’s gradually took him away from her. Eventually death finished the job and in the process managed to take a bit of her too. "It's only a matter of time before she is gone as well", people whispered after he'd been buried and in a way they were right. The vibrant playful woman with the dark sparkling eyes was gone. She had been replaced by "The Widow". The widow bore her broken heart with a quiet dignity for the world to see. Her pain was etched in her face, it lived in her eyes, it had become part of her voice.

As that Friday morning slipped away into the afternoon the widow commented to a visting friend that she felt ill. The friend expressed concern but the widow insisted she was fine, that her 89 year old heart had simply been overcome by memories. The truth of it was the widow didn’t look well. Her friend called for an ambulance and her family. As the home attendant paced back and forth waiting anxiously for the ambulance to arrive the widow reached for her friend and looked into her eyes, so much was said between them without uttering a word. They both knew what was happening. She asked that her stereo be turned on she wanted to hear music. They held hands and the widow listened as her friend shared her favorite childhood memories of the widow and her husband. A burst of afternoon sunshine lit up the room the sun beams streaked the room with colors shining through the crystal chimes hanging in front of the window. The sunlight that poured over the widow made her silver hair sparkle as if sprinkled with fairy dust.

When the paramedics arrived a gentle breeze circulated through the open door of the apartment carrying the sweet scent of the cherry scented disinfectant the porters had mopped the hallway floors with. The widow looked beyond her friend towards the window where the sun was coming in the brightest, she smiled, said his name and was gone. A cloud passed over the sun and the room that had been flooded with sunshine just minutes before became darker. It seemed fitting that Mozart's Pachabel Canon a song so often used in weddings as the soundtrack to the official beginning of a couple's life was playing in the background as Mercedes the widow drifted off to re-join Don Cristobal the man who had been the love of her life.

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