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Is there anybody out there? #21
This blog continues on the series ‘Is there anybody out there?” Feel free to read the previous chapters here
You have been neighbours for twenty years. You noticed something was up, and you had plucked up the courage to go and visit your neighbour Molly. A little while back, Molly shared how love may be an option and had brought it up again. Now ‘Patrick’ was sitting with you, and this has come without warning.
Patrick had ordered coffee, and came and sat. There was dead silence for a while. It got a little awkward.
It was up to you to break the silence. All it would need is a carefully chosen sentence, and the conversation would flow.
You ventured “Thank you for joining us Patrick. You said you live around here, do you come to this cafe much?”
“Yes” replied Patrick, “It was a favourite spot of ours, oh I mean mine. The coffee is pretty good.”
“It is a stunning day. Perfect for just sitting and taking it all in. I am feeling quite relaxed.” you reply.
Molly is just sitting there. You can see that the wheels are turning inside of her head, and searching for something to say.
Then she just came out with it “Yes it was our favourite spot. We used to come here every week.”
For the first time Molly and Patrick’s eyes met just briefly. There seemed to be a growing understanding happening.
Molly continued “His name was John. This place holds such special memories. I do miss him still. In fact it took me a while to come back here, and I am glad I did.”
Patrick was about to say something, and then he gave his dog, Rusty a pat.
“Her name was Sally” he started.
You had a sense that it was all about to come out. The references to ‘ours’ had happened a couple of times now.
Molly just smiled, and then nodded.
“We had been together for thirty years, and eventually she came clean. I can still remember the suitcase packed on our bed.”
This seemed to be going in a completely different direction than what you first thought.
Patrick continued “She said she had been seeing another guy for two years, and they had decided they wanted to do life together. She even had divorce papers prepared.”
‘Brutal’ you were thinking to yourself, but you kept the face calm.
“I did not see this coming, but she had not been willing, if you know what I mean. The divorce was finalised twelve months ago, and I have not seen or heard from her since.”
“Well” you venture “It is really kind of you to join us. This has also kind of become a special place for Molly and me. So no judgement here. We can all kind of muddle through together.”
You could see Patrick was relaxing a little.
“We have been around the area for twenty years on so.” Molly continued “How long have you been in the area?”
Patrick replied “About five years. We were going to retire down this way. Down by the beach. So much for that now.”
There was a tear starting to form in Patrick’s eyes.
Molly responds “It’s ok Patrick, your are safe with us.”
Patrick replied “Yes I feel that. I have not really sat down with anyone in a very long time. Kind of been on my own, trying to get over the shock. This is nice.”
“Well” Molly continued “We come down here each week at the same time. Would you like to catch up next week?”
“Yes why not” replied Patrick. “I must get going now, but I will see you next week.”
Patrick leaves and you and Molly just look at each other.
“What a story” Molly starts. You noted she was still looking at Patrick as he walked away. There was a smile.
“Yes indeed” you reply. “I hope we see him next week.”
There was more being unsaid then said at this point, and you got the feeling this was a significant moment.
“And back to your question” said Molly “Yes certainly bring your husband down here. It is a place to be shared.”
This commentary in this blog is intended to be general in nature. It is just some observations from one fellow traveller in life to another. If anything in this blog raises issues for you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or consult with a trusted medical professional.