Today my mom asked a bunch of folks to come on over to her house for an early tree trimming since we will be leaving on Monday. Unfortunately almost everyone she invited had to bag out for some reason or another and it ended up just being my Aunt and Uncle and Joe. And it turned out to be for the best, truth be told. I totally love my Aunt. She is like a very similar yet different version of my mom. I think that I am very much like her. I posted a picture of me and my mom and everyone says that we look alike but really, I look just like a bit younger version of my aunt. There is a picture proving this and I need to get a hold of it.
So my Aunt and Uncle are very active in their church and she always has great stories about the people she meets and things that are going on there. She told us one tonight that I just loved. One night, around Thanksgiving, the church holds a dinner for the congregation. They provide the birds and ask all of the congregants to bring a side dish. So my Aunt was in the kitchen that night and this little old woman comes in with this marshmallowy, yammy, pineapple and cherry dish. When she leaves one of the guys in the kitchen tells my Aunt and Uncle that that was the woman he had told them about previously. So then my Aunt tells us the back story. This guy, Dan, is a big guy, like my Uncle, we are talking like over six foot. He was at the church one day and the marshamallowy little old woman came up to him and asked him if he had gotten his jacket at the opportunity shop (a thrift store) in Greenport. Dan, with no shame whatsoever, said that yes, indeed he had purchased it from the op shop. The woman goes on to tell him that the jacket that Dan was wearing had belonged to her late husband. Dan thought a moment and rubbed the sleeve, and told her that the jacket felt nice. Then he asked her if she wanted a hug, a hug from the jacket of her late husband. The woman told him, yes, I would. So Dan hugged this little old woman while wearing the jacket of her late husband. I love this story. I love that he offered and that she said yes. I hope that when Dan hugged her that she closed her eyes and that she, if only for just one teeny moment, was able to feel her late husband hugging her. It makes me feel how lucky I am that I don’t need surrogate hugs but will have the real thing come Monday. We continue our inevitable march towards Monday’s goodbye to New York with heavy hearts growing heavier by the day.