Kathy P leaned into the car, "I'll give your Mother a ride home. I have to stop by the house (next door) anyway."
"That'll be great." I said.
I drive back from taking Mother to church and through the quiet streets of E-town. Everyone is in church and it's so still with light traffic.
Wow, Kathy P, my next door neighbor. She lost her dear Mother in January. I always looked up to her Mother, or Mrs P, as we called her. I'm not being coy about their last name. It's a long last name beginning with the letter P so we always shortened it. Mrs P reminded me of Lauren Bacall. When I was young, she'd wear those capri pants with the tiny slit on the side and starched blouses with the upturned color. And little flat shoes with beads on them. She had a husky voice and a deep throaty laugh that drew everybody in. She was from a very wealthy family and wore some beautiful family jewelry. But there wasn't one ounce of pretense about her. I was just happy to be in her presence. She taught me to play the piano and Mother taught her to sew.
Standing out in the yard I look toward their house and imagine us as kids playing in the yard, riding sleds and bicycles. Playing on the golf course or trying to play golf. And the one episode the whole neighborhood still remembers: when Kathy P and I made grilled cheese sandwiches in a tree stump. We used a skillet over an open fire.
We THOUGHT we put the fire out. Sirens from fire trucks indicated we were wrong.
Now Kathy P's a lovely woman with two grown sons. We have more than growing up together in common. We are also joined in that dastardly club of people who have recently lost a precious family member.
Sometimes I wish I could turn back the clock or live out my dreams when I was flying high above those oak trees. Hey, I think I see the one where we made the grilled cheese sandwiches.