Yesterday vs. Yesteryear

April 6, 2010

Sr. Wantabee has been fighting a battle. For Easter she piled her family in her car and drove several states away to meet at her eldest son’s home with his family and the second son’s family who had driven an equal distant from a different directions. All united. Other siblings reported in on computer cameras and so the “clan” spanned the world and spanned three generations. Absolutely amazing.

Returning home, Sr. Wantabee raced along the highway but her mind raced back to yesteryear when she would pile five kids, born within six years of each other, into a landrover and head across the desert to grandmother’s house. No gas stations. No rest stops. No play yards. But also no seat belts. Babies nursed while the car jiggled along corrigated roads and paths. Who will see the next giraffe was a game. We sang and sang and sang over the clatter. Half way to destination we would pull out cots and cook over a fire, or bunk down on wall-to-wall mattresses on the floor in a friends house, or sleep three to a bed in a little hotel with a communal shower. On the other end were no lego blocks or toys, just grandma and her big garden, open spaces, and fireplace. In Africa traveling was part of her way of life. She missed it. Yesteryear.

Monday morning she reported to the Homes and her little old people, just as unique as always. As it was about lunch time, she noticed a new face. “I don’t know you,” said she. “I don’t know you,” said the woman with beautiful white curly hair. “I’m Sister Wantabee, chaplain on this floor,” she replied. “I’m Sussie and I don’t want to talk to you!” replied the lady rather bluntly and to the delight of the other residents snickering. The awkwardness was diluted by a woman who needed Sr. Wantabee’s chair to sit and so Sr. Wantabee shifted to the other side of the table and engaged in general gab. Where are you from? You married into Minnesota? How long? General chat. Suddenly the lady who did not want to talk said equally directly, “Being a widow is no fun!” All the little white heads bobbed up and down. Sister Wantabee knew this lady understood the war between yesteryear and yesterday that sometimes brings tears to today.