consolation . . .

by mulberryshoots

Consolation 3Sometimes when we’re feeling down in the dumps, something happens out of the blue that jolts us back to counting our blessings.

The other day, we were watching the local news when we saw that there was a raging fire on the main street of a neighboring town. Alarmed, I remembered that we knew a sweet, vibrant woman who had moved to that vicinity when they downsized their home, who also happened to be the daughter of my former piano tuner.

T., the father, had tuned my Steinway grand piano when I lived in Lexington while the kids were in high school. He always wore a suit and tie when he came to service the piano. When we met his daughter, K. at a book party given by some friends, we were delighted to learn that she worked for a publishing company in Boston and that we shared an interest in studying the I-Ching.

Some time elapsed but we emailed each other just six months ago about getting together for lunch. So, we were alarmed when we saw the shooting flames along one of the main streets where I thought she had moved. Suddenly, G. looked up from his laptop and said, “She died.” A week before Thanksgiving, the obituary said, she was taken to Lahey Clinic where “after a brief illness,” she died. Her wake was held the Saturday after Thanksgiving, a few days before the Monday of the fire.

We were stunned. She was only 59. Never been sick as far as we knew. Now she was gone. Suddenly, all the annoying concerns that G. and I had been talking about faded into the background. I was sorry I had not known she was ill and we regretted missing the service.

So much for Thanksgiving for that family, I thought. Perhaps a harsh jolt of reality like this comes along to remind us that there are worse things that could happen to us at any time. Poor K.

Small consolation.