When i first moved into where i live now i found it really hard to get to know my neighbours. Most of them are seniors, and frankly, i would hear them talking about how a “young girl” like me “without a husband” could ever afford to live on her own (didn’t hold it against them, sign of their time i guess). But anyways, i didn’t want to be this strange girl that they barely said hi to in the elevator so when i hear that there was a knitting group on Tuesdays i thought it would be a great thing to join – i could knit and maybe that could be where we bonded (or they got to know me as me instead of the unmarried girl on the 15th floor).
They were a little slow to warm up to me, but eventually they started to like me – i mean, i could knit so i must be somewhat normal, right? There was this one older lady, Victoria, who i really got along well with. She loved football (her husband used to play for the Montreal Alouettes way back in the day…being an Argos fan i didn’t hold that against her) and there was this one time we were watch a game and i almost spit out me tea when she said, “ummm there is something about a man’s ass in football pants” not exactly something that i was expecting out of an 80 year old’s mouth (there were also comments about certain men who could “put their shoes” under her bed that caught me off guard). She was great and i really liked talking to her. Although her husband had passed away years before i met her, she still loved him in a way that i found unbelievable in a way – they were true soul mates. We shared secrets – she was one of the first people who knew i was sick, one of the first people i shared my past with and i wasn’t afraid to tell her things – i knew she wouldn’t judge or try to tell me what to do – she knew how to listen and just be there.
Another one of my neighbour called me one day while i was at work – Victoria had a heart attack, but she was going to be ok…i guess ok at 80 is a relative term – as in “not dead”. Her health was anything but after that…her kidney’s weren’t working well, she couldn’t cook for herself anymore and had a home care nurse coming in during the day to help out. I went up to her place every day after work and we would have a cup of tea. I Met her sons and they told me how much she talked about me and our evening chats….I came home one day and the security guard at the front desk stopped me…she was gone. The nurse had found her the next morning, sitting in her chair where i had left her after our tea the night before. It’s funny to lose a friend and it not be an accident – i was 26 – i lost friends to accidents, not to normal causes.
Her son’s knocked on my door about a week later with boxes and boxes of her knitting and crafting supplies. I’ll be honest that it took me a long time to go through those boxes, but as i did i realized i was set for life when it came to knitting, crochet, and sewing needles. I also knew i had buttons and snaps in every size and colour.
Last week that came in handy – i lost a button (seriously, lost, no clue where it is) on a pair of capris but i figured i must have one in Victoria’s stuff…it’s been 6 years since she passed away.
Going through the button container i found this little note – probably tucked in there as a cute saying, but after having a not so great week where i’ve felt very alone, it was a wonderful gift. So yes Victoria, as i drink this tea, i think of you.