Friday, March 2, 2007

Waffles for one

I want to tell a story. I have changed the names to protect the innocent, but those of you who know me may be able to guess who the main characters are in this drama. Fifty seven years ago, two young people fell in love. They married, had children, and built a life together. He was a company man, she was a stay at home mom. Back then, that was the only kind of mom there was; few women with children worked outside of the home. Time moved along, the children grew up and found spouses. Soon there were grandchildren and great grandchildren. The young people who fell in love so long ago found that they didn't have much in common. Their relationship strained, and ultimately, despite their love for each other, they found that living apart was easier than living together. Everyone remained friendly, but this became the new reality. For him, living alone was a new and exciting adventure. For her, it was lonely. She missed the hustle and bustle, she missed getting meals ready for the one she had loved and cared for all her life. After trying various houses and communities to try and make this new reality work, she moved into an apartment next to one of her children. This new apartment was quite a bit smaller than what she was used to, and it meant leaving many of the things that she treasured, the things that she thought held her memories, in storage. At first she was sad about this. She was unsettled with all the change in her life. She was especially worried about how she might become a burden to her child, an imposition in his life. After the dust of moving day settled, everyone gathered in her new, smaller and somewhat cluttered apartment. Even though there were less things in this space, there seemed to be more more room for family, more room for love. A meal was prepared, and a home was created. One day, after a few months of living under the same roof, her son asked her if it was an imposition that he and his friend were coming over for dinner almost every night. She replied, "Oh no, I love the company and I love the challenge of getting a meal together. When I was living alone, I was eating waffles every night for supper; I think I might have been lonely." Well no wonder she wasn't looking very healthy! My message; people need people, and people need purpose in their lives. Without people, and love and purpose, human life withers. So, on this somewhat gloomy day of freezing rain, sleet and snow, take a moment to look at how beautiful the trees are dutifully carrying their coat of ice, and think of how you can warm someone's heart by making a place for them at your table.

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