8.28.2007

The Day Before Yesterday

One of our canna lilies bloomed the other day. I was surprised that it was this color, rather than being yellow, as per the photo on the bulb package. It's not fully bloomed, but I wanted to get it's picture before a storm or something took it down, the way recent storms have decimated our poor banana palms with their glorious promise of bright yellow fruit. One never knows; one just never knows.

Tomorrow is the 2nd anniversary of Katrina's rampage through our region. I'll have more to say about that, perhaps tomorrow. Maybe it's not just our area, but it just seems life in general, of late, just seems so precarious. We hear of death and killings over in New Orleans; some guy who served time in Iraq, came back to New Orleans and now lives in fear, saying it's just so much worse at home than it was in the war zone. There have been several funerals at our church lately. One of them being 'our' friend, Melissa's 23 year old son, David. How the woman stays strong, I don't know. Melissa is amazing. She is the head of the gospel group at our church. I have had a lot of fun singing with them (and am waiting til the 'head zapping' stops so I can go back to singing with them, and playing my accordian with a couple of the other choirs). She always makes me giggle when she tells the group, "Here's Peggy; she's the 'cuh-luh' (color) of the group". (I always think, 'or the lack thereof'.) When I first joined a couple of years ago, one of the first ladies to really greet me, was Ms. Florence. She took time with me, smiling, listening to what I was saying and gave me a big hug. What a sweet and gentle nature she is...sweet, sweet, sweet. Some people are just like that. Every time I see her, she has a big smile and a hug waiting for me. Now...the problem in this town; for me, anyhow, is that everyone seems to be 'kin' to one another. When I first moved here, I constantly embarrassed myself by confusing individuals with their cousin or sister. I did, and alas, still do sometimes, with, both, the white community and the African American community,as well. I spread my ignorance equally. In the gospel choir, when I first met Ms. Florence, I thought it would be easy to not confuse her because she had the most beautiful braids wrapped around her head. The next time I saw her, she was wearing her hair like everyone else, and the only way I recognized her, right off, was because of her glowing smile. There are a couple of ladies in the church, whom I accidentally called Ms. Florence. They were not amused; I did not get my smile or my hug, and I think all I got was an "hurrumph". Ms. Florence worked at one of the town grocery stores, my hubby and I knick-named "Shecky's". She worked in the deli, and what a joy it was to be meandering around the store and come across this shining gem, smiling lovingly from behind the counter. It always brightened my day, and Cappy's too. One of the other ladies, whom I adore is Ms. Willy Mae. There's no way I could confuse her with anybody else. What a ball of energy and fun she is!! She's a school teacher, and I envy the kids in her class. I saw a sign the other day which said something like, "Class is something more than just what you attend" I immediately thought of her.

Now...a little background detail here: a couple of weeks ago, I went shopping at Walmart, and it had gotten almost dark. This car with speakers booming LOUDLY turned the corner and started up the lane where I was crossing. No problem; I was way up away from the store with plenty of time. Suddenly the driver started burning the tires, til they were screaming and raced toward me. I got to the back of my truck, but then they turned their lights on and swerved right AT me. I gasped and jumped outa the way. At the last second, they screeched to a stop, their tires smoking, then pulled in and parked behind me. They got out, pointing and laughing at me, then did a 'high-five', and walked toward the store still having a loud chuckle about it. After I got my heart back in my chest, (I was shaking scared and furious). Well, I wasn't going to report it, because down here in South Louisiana, just now, it's like "Oh welllllll". People are arrested for murder and put right back out on the streets, even after killing as many as five people. No one DARES to report anything much; it seems these guys almost salivate to face their accusers. So, I'm gonna report this??? I don't think so.

The day before yesterday, I was back at Walmart and didn't notice it was getting dark out again. Oh No! I almost wanted to ask someone to walk me to the SUV, but instead I put up a silent prayer. "Please don't let there be mean people out there tonight". For some darned reason, I always park way away from the store...I don't like 'fighting' for a place to park. I was warily walking toward my SUV, clutching the handrail on the shopping cart, peering all around, when I spotted the people parked right behind me, getting ready to get into their car. Lo! and behold it was Ms. Willy Mae AND Ms. Florence! Talk about answered prayer. Talk about the opposite of mean people. Oh gosh, it was so good to see them and hug them. I hadn't seen Ms. Florence in awhile, but knew it was her, immediately by her glorious smile. Just the day before yesterday. I'll cherish that smile and hug til I see her again. Melissa called early this morning and told me Ms. Florence just had a major heart attack and died. One never knows; one just never knows. I don't have all the details yet. I do plan on singing with the Gospel choir for her 'going away' mass, whenever that will be.

One thing's for sure. It won't be hard to tell Ms. Florence from anyone else in Heaven; I'll do just as I've learned to do here in our town; I'll find her by one of the most beautiful smiles I've ever seen, and I'll be expecting my hug. Goodnight, Ms. Florence, we will be seeing you soon, Dear Heart.

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