Mama speaks her mind in Wendy's
Copyright 2009, Jim Penny
Word count: 905
So I'm working at home today to clear a few deliverables off my desk. Toward mid-morning, I text the bro to see if he's having lunch with Granny and Buck. He is, and he invites me to come along. That was my plan all along.
They were eating at 1, and I left at 11:30. It takes some 30 to 45 minutes to get back home, and I wanted to step into the Food Lion for some wine and flowers before going to the Wendy's. At 12:45, I was paying for the yellow roses with red tips, along with five liters of wine.
Bro and I walk across the parking lot from the Food Lion to the Wendy's. We stop by our cars. I don't know what he needed, but I needed to put the wine in the truck lest Granny see it, as the follow-on discussion would be unpleasant.
Walking on, we see that Granny's car is empty. They've already gone in. We step in, find them, and I hand the flowers to Granny who is coming to grips with our entrance. It's not like she inhales and exclaims her surprise anymore.
Bro takes his seat to eat what he didn't order. He wants a fish sandwich, but usually finds a burger of some sort. I am unexpected, which means I must step up to the counter. It's past lunch, and I don't have to wait long. Bear in mind that the Wendy's at Highway 210 and I-40 might be about the poorest Wendy's there is, at least in terms of timely service. However, today is a blessed exception, and I am grateful.
I get a tater, burger, and a drink, and head back to the table. Apparently, people are eating in silence. I loathe eating with family in silence. I loathe eating with anyone in silence. We do not gather JUST to share a meal. We gathered to eat together, and to also share some portions of our lives. Finally, we're talking a little about the weather. Well, that's a start. Yeah, I just split an infinitive. Get over it.
Bro announces a need to visit the facilities. He stays there a while. Granny begins to ask if I've seen him lately. I send Bro a text message to ask if he needs help. He responds that he's sick, but otherwise OK, and he'll be back in a minute. That minute was actually about ten minutes. Welcome to GST, Gay Standard Time, not that Granny would ever get that reference. Besides, I could come out to her daily, and it'd be new each time, but that would be cruel.
Somewhere along the way, the son of the man beside whom I sat when I sang in the church choir some three million years ago. Think late 60s and early 70s. The fellow is not a small man, and Granny exclaims that he's as big as all three of us put together. She's not far from wrong, but it's not really the kind of thing we say out loud, or at least within earshot of the person.
We wave as the gentleman enters the restaurant, steps into the line, and begins to order his food.
In a very few minutes with Bro still in the crapper, a man with his son appears. The son is a Down's child. They need lunch also. They have their food, and they're getting straws, napkins, and such when Granny announces that the boy is not all there. That, or he's not acting like it. She says this very out loud.
I'm thinking that some militant minority will be next, and I'm going to be fighting our way out of there. Meanwhile, Granny continues to hold the roses, yellow with red tips, very close. AT one time, they were close to her faves.
Finally, Bro returns. Granny tries to get him to finish her burger. The thing is that Buck ate her leftover burger. She's speaking of the burger Bro left when he dashed to the bathroom with an upset tum. He ate less than half. He also left some fries.
After the third mention of the burger from Granny, I say that I'll take care of the burger, and I wrap it up as though I plan to take it with me. It hits the trash as I'm on the way out later.
On the way out, Granny begins to wonder what to do with the flowers. Should Bro take them to Samo? Should I take them to the daughters? Yes, she used daughter in the plural. I suggest that she put them on her kitchen table. That seemed to work, and she took my arm as we walked back to the car. I am to call her and Buck if I have any trouble and need them.
I shake Buck's hand, thank him (for bringing Granny out), and I manage to get Granny into the Jeep with her flowers. She does not fasten her seat belt, and as they drive away without waving, I notice the belt is still unused.
Bro and I walk back to his truck where he has a couple of smokes. I stopped at the first of the year. If I have one, I'll have 60 before the day ends. We bemoan our loss of a mother, but this is how life goes.
We lose the ones we love, no matter what.