Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Bite-sized Memoriam

Today, Megan and I had an impromptu lunch with our downstairs neighbor, a 91-year-old widow whom we call Mrs. DeLott. (As for her first name, we don't know it. We've heard her called Coletta, Helen, and, just now, Lovey.)

Today, Megan and I had an impromptu lunch with Lovey DeLott and her friend Ruth. We'd brought Lovey/Coletta (noir-ish, either way) some cookies to say 'Happy Thanksgiving,' and she insisted us in, offering sweet-old-lady sandwiches made on bite-sized rolls (you know the ones).

We talked about potato salad, Connecticut, her husband--"that sweet man"--and a new brand of food-container we all love (Snapperware). The conversation was delightful. It was friendly and predicated on roast beef--my second favorite kind of conversation, really, only bested by ones riddled with wordplay and electrified by Trivial Pursuit.

And there was something nice, today, about speaking louder than I normally would. Oftentimes that can be hard with the elderly, but this afternoon I liked being resonant!

Lovey (that's Mrs. Lovey, to me) had laid out too much food for her and Ruth, and so when Megan and I came in, she immediately wanted us to help them with it. I obliged, as I always do when presented with such a lucky task. My own grandmother thought I was the family Hoover and consistently tested the limits of my stomach's capacity with kielbasa and homemade pickles. I loved when she gave me the excuse to make gluttony a virtue.

"Eat all of that for me, David," Mrs. Lovey said, pointing to four coldcuts (rolled in the sweet-old-lady way) and a slice of sharp cheddar. My grandma used to say the same sort of thing to me. Making me eat was her way of knowing she'd cared for me. She could see that care, kindly prepared, disappear off the plate and into my maw.

I knew it meant something to her to see me clean my plate, twice. And I felt the same way today with another 91-year old widow who wanted to care for me--"Eat, eat"--and wasn't quite sure how else to do it.


rwanczyk said...

Hoover? I thought it was a "Mealee"

Dave said...