When ever I step outside my house I take a chance that I will bump into something or someone that will upset my delicate balance.
Today I took art work to American University to be part of an exhibition in the Katzen Art Center Rotunda. Using a rolling crate I was able to handle moving the art work without the help that Jim always gave me. For the last ten years in his semi-retirement he worked with me to deliver art work and hang shows. When I walked into the gallery I began to feel his absence. Jim was part of the "regulars" for me. Something was amiss. I hurried through chats and unpacking so that I could get out of there as fast as possible. When the elevator reached my floor in the parking garage I moved quickly to the car - - with tears streaming down my cheeks. Once inside the car, in indoor parking lot low-light, the sobs erupted.
By the time I reached the bank I had stopped crying and pulled myself together. I sat across from the youngish bank manager and asked my questions telling him that I was a recent widow. "He looked at the paper I had handed him. " Doctor Schoettler. Are you talking about Doctor Schoettler?" his face softened. " I knew him. Madam, I knew him. I am very sorry for your loss." I felt the tears pushing against my eyelids so I talked faster with my questions. We finished just as the first tears slipped out.
"I liked him."
" He was easy to like. "
"He liked doing business here."
He smiled and nodded mouthing a soundless thank you.
At that I felt a flood threatening so I fled.
He made friends.
And, they pass his kindness back to me.
But you see, the flip side is that it makes the world a difficult place for me to be sometimes.