Friday, October 30, 2009

I never could have imagined that, almost 43 years later, I would be waiting at the airport to pick her up. "What does she look like?" John asked. "She's short with white hair" I responded.

It had been thirteen years since we had met, for the first time, at our son's wedding. I hadn't seen her since, although we had talked on the phone.

"There she is!" I exclaimed and started toward her, wrapping her in a hug. She really was much shorter than I had remembered, not much more than 4'-10". She gave us a crooked toothed grin. "Well John, we finally meet!" She disappeared in his arms, the top of her head barely reaching the middle of his chest. In three weeks time, she would be 82 years old, born just two years after my mother.

On Remembrance Day in 1966, my first son was born. I didn't take him home from the hospital. Instead he was delivered into the arms of this tiny woman who had been unable to bear children of her own. I carried on with my life until he found me 29 years later. The gap in my heart was finally filled.

He played to an empty parking lot
on the side wall of the Sixth Street Diner.
She saw the music, inhaled the smoke.
Others drove by, blind to the sound.