It's been a long time since I have posted here. All I could write about was grief, and I decided to stop a while.
This wasn't meant to be a blog post. It was to be a short note that I would stuff in with the clothes I am sending Lynn. But it got longer, and more intense. When I was done, I wanted to share it with you.
24 June 2022
I have hung onto these clothes for many years, since the original owner, my sweet and elderly friend Grace, died and left her husband Bill and I bereft and sorry.
I want you to have them. I hope you or Lee or someone you love can make use of them. If not, they are yours to pass on or hang onto as I have.
Grace died about thirty-five years ago, and these were old then, archived in drawers and closets.
Grace and Bill rented the main floor of a large Victorian house set back against the alley. There were three plum trees, an apple, a vast rhododenron, and many smaller plants in our big front yard at 1663 Frances Street, just off Commercial Drive.
Grace couldn't leave her floor. There was a long, steep staircase at the front preventing her, and a good verandah where she would sometimes stand and take in the air. Her cussing, grade three educated husband, Bill, had a complicated relationship with the world, but Grace assured me he was a good man, so I persisted until I could finally be his friend.
Many years before, when Grace was a waitress at a workers' café on Hastings Street (The Milo), she and another waitress , and a fellow her friend knew, went to Ambleside Beach on their day off. The friend and the fellow went into the bushes, leaving Grace alone for awhile.
Grace raised the resulting boy.
At some point Bill, one of her customers, became angry at how her boss treated her, and told the man she was quitting and coming to live with him.
Grace was one of the gentlest women I have ever known. Her dream, never realised, was to one day travel by car all the way across Canada, to see it all.
You would have loved her.
For many, most, of the years of my life I suffered great emotional pain and despair. I would cry my heart out and curse, hoping they couldn't hear me through those old timber floors. I asked her once if my crying bothered her. She lied, said she couldn't even hear me. It was a safe harbour to live through my grief.
I'm telling you all this so you can know, in a small way, the woman who bought these clothes so many years ago. I loved her, and I love you. May you be safe and loved as Grace was with Bill. Imperfect, loyal, and kind. It's all we need, and all we need to be.