Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW (05/02/19)
- TITLE: Lonely Lily
By Joanney Uthe
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As Kait told her mom about the activities of Anne’s grandkids, Lily’s thoughts turned to her own kids and their families. Bobby had a degree in engineering and worked for a large company. Lily didn’t know much about the company, only that Bobby seemed happy and was providing well for his family. Becca was a school teacher in another state and sometimes made it home to see her over the summer. But she had her own family and all their activities. Brenda lived only a few miles away, but Lily never saw her and didn’t know what she was doing these days.
“Lily?” Kait’s voice interrupted her thoughts. “Dean and I are about to take Mom down to the dining hall? Would you like us to wheel you down as well?”
“Kaitlyn Rose! How many time have I told you to show respect to Mrs. Williams and not call her by her first name?” Anne’s weak voice had all the force of a scolding mother. “That lady works twice as hard as anyone we know to give those kids half as much as the rest of your friends have. You will call her Mrs. Williams.”
A tear escaped down Lily’s face as her friend’s dementia-induced tirade touched her heart as well as brought back bittersweet memories. Kait had been Becca’s best friend. Dean had been Bobby’s. When Lily worked two, sometimes three jobs as a single mother, Anne had helped to raise her kids. Perhaps if they had started their family younger, George would have lived to see them grow up. Instead, Anne and her husband, also older parents, stepped in and helped.
“She has always had the greatest respect for you, you know.” Dean leaned down to whisper in Lily’s ear before wheeling her out the door towards dinner. “I’m trying to talk Bob into coming with me to see you this weekend. He’s always rushed when I talk to him. But he always says he should visit you.”
“Thank you for trying, Dean. That means a lot to me. I know my kids are busy with their own lives. I didn’t have much time to see my mom in her later years, either.” Lily’s words, meant to comfort and reassure Dean, brought a realization to her own life as well. While she had been intentional about making family time with her kids, she’d neglected to teach them that family beyond their household was just as important. Now she was no longer in their households, and she felt neglected.
“Oh, Mrs. Williams?” Kait stopped pushing her mom’s chair and looked over her shoulder. “Speaking of your kids, I talked to Becca this afternoon. She’s planning to come visit for a week on her Spring Break. She said she wants the kids to get to know their grandma. And I think she might have an interview with a local district.”
“But, what about Peter’s job?” Dean asked. “And isn’t his dad in the same city as they are now?”
“Peter’s company is opening an office here, so he is putting in for a transfer. His dad died about a year ago and Becca said that since then, they have really been wanting to move back to be closer to her family.” Kait sounded as excited about the prospect as Lily felt.
“Lily, I think you should take a few days off work and have one of your famous family game nights.” Anne added. “We always enjoy it when you include us in your family.”
“Yes, I think I will,” Lily responded. Let her friend live in the past while she looked forward to a future with her daughter. But Anne’s words reminded her of another truth as well. Her family wasn’t just Bobby, Becca, and Brenda. It was also Anne, Kait and Dean. It had been since George’s tragic death all those years ago. She just hadn’t realized it until now.
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