Caroline … not her real name, but one I shall call her. The name fits her well for both the true Southern Belle that she is and also the locale that she originates from. Caroline is in her 80’s, although she would be appalled if she realized that I knew that. She has beautiful white hair, always perfectly coifed from the beauty parlor. She wouldn’t be caught outdoors without her make-up on and is always stylishly dressed, even though she claims that her clothes are older than I am. She would never speak with her mouth full, nor point when she is talking. Caroline and I are exact opposites in almost every way. But, at times, looking at her is like looking into a mirror of time … to the person I am destined to be. That both excites me and scares me!
Caroline and I are not related. We met after she became a widow. My husband introduced us. She describes herself as anti-social. However, she keeps the roads hot … visiting her doctor, insurance agent, banker & salon weekly. Caroline dines out every weekday to a lunch alone, something that I could never do. She befriends the wait staff of her various haunts and becomes their weekly customer like clockwork. She tips generously but not to the extreme. This is how she met my husband.
We meet for lunch on Saturday afternoons. We talk freely, never running out of things to say. But, she will often call me later, fearful that she spoke out of turn or might have been misunderstood. I can tell that she has gone home and worried herself sick over things she has said or not said while we’ve chatted. I reassure her that all is well between us. She often refers to things she needs done at her home. We offer to help her with those things. But, she refuses. She doesn’t want to cut into our family time. We have invited her to family events. She never comes. No amount of persuasion works. Caroline is used to getting her own way. She likes keeping us to only lunch and an extended chat every other weekend.
Caroline and her husband used to travel the world. She rarely does anymore. She loves flowers but will not plant any. She worries about having dementia but is sharper than a tack. I cannot imagine what it must be like to be a widow, but I do believe that she is still searching for her way without her husband. Understandably so!
I would have liked to have met her husband … the man she speaks so fondly of and misses so terribly. I would have liked to have known her as part of a couple. I would have liked to have known the Caroline before she lost her husband. To know the ways his loss has changed her, made her more vulnerable, made her stronger, made her the Caroline that I know today.
** Today’s post is in response to the prompt given in the Writing 101class offered by Blogging U
Today’s Prompt: Who’s the most interesting person (or people) you’ve met this year?