Bookends of Laughter

Don and Charlotte Chrysdale have been in our lives for as long as I can remember and way before that. Don and Dad have known each other since they were three. They were Boy Scouts together. Their parents met at church and played Sheepshead together. We grew up alongside their seven children—Peter, Pam, David, John, Mathew, Elizabeth and Patricia.

We were connected again recently when David and I ran into each other on a Friday night at the bar at Hollander, waiting for our tables. We wrote down each other’s numbers and I promised to stop by with Dad to visit Don at the Catholic Home. We never made it so he brought his mom and dad to us for a visit yesterday.

Don and Dad just beamed at each other. “We’re still here!” Dad said. “It’s great to see you Don.”

“It’s great to be seen!”

After sharing some stories, Joanie said to Charlotte, “Do you remember all that good food you brought over when Mom died? Remember that yellow squash casserole?” (Yes, and the sliced turkey breast, stuffing and cake.) “A lot of people had stopped by and we didn’t know what we’d serve and then you walked in with a feast!”

“I don’t remember that but that’s what your mom always did for me. I do remember one time in particular she and your dad came walking up our driveway bringing food to our house. I don’t remember what it was, like you do,” she giggled. “But I remember she had her scarf wrapped around her head because of the chemo. Even then she brought food.”

(I can’t even remember the last time I took food to someone’s house.)

Don brought up Dad’s fellowship to study architecture and our travels camping through Europe. “Remember how you drove along and you’d have the kids pee in a pot?” Don’s whole face lit up. “Then you’d throw it out the window!”

(Really?)

Charlotte had told me recently that though Don’s memory isn’t what it used to be, it all comes back to him when he talks to Dad. The wonders of friendship, I thought as I sat and took in the conversation—the beauty of being understood by someone, of being loved. Isn’t that all any of us really wants?

“Have you heard about the new movie that’s out?’ Dad asked Don.

“What movie?”

“Constipation,” Dad said.

“No…” Don looked quizzical.

“It hasn’t come out yet.”

–June 23, 2016FullSizeRender (78)