The lilac connection is a curious thing.
Little by little I am hearing stories I’ve know nothing about. Like this one from Jeff’s brother, Eric:
“Lilacs played a huge part in Jeff’s life. There were lilacs in Papa and Nannee Vincze’s backyard.
We would play whiffle ball, catch fire flies, have parties and learn about life from our Grandparents in a backyard encircled by huge lilac bushes.
When my grandpa had his heart attack and was in the hospital, the lilacs were in bloom.
Each morning, my grandma would awake before dawn to spray water on them to keep the frost from killing them.
When he came home, he was sad to see all the freezer-burnt lilacs on the way.
But, when they pulled into the driveway, he saw all of their lilacs in full bloom…
an act of love.”
That story reminded me of another one that requires a bit of explanation.
Certain moments have stuck with, even as I’ve been oblivious for years. Sometimes, I am in the memory of the moment. Sometimes, I am an observer of events, watching us both make our way through the life we shared.
I don’t know why this one is an observer moment. I’m sure someday it will become clear.
When Sally passed, she was interred in Brookside Cemetery. Waiting at her gravesite, Jeff said he was glad she could be so near her father (Papa) and someday, her mother (Nannee.) It was a source of comfort for him.
I wish I could remember the exact words. I’m not even sure if Jeff was relaying it was Sally’s wish or if it had been his own comfort.
Anyway, there we were, slowly walking away from the ceremony, hand-in-hand, as usual.
Jeff stopped at a spot halfway between Sally and Popa. With a firm down-stroke of his chin and a leftward tilt of his head, Jeff made a nodding point toward a smallish bush.
Maybe he said, “At least…
Maybe he said, “I’m glad…”
But the last part of the sentence was, “… she can see the lilac tree from here.”
(You know, after the memory movie in my head ended, after I’d written it all down and re-read the story, it seems I don’t have to wait for that ‘someday’ answer. Something did become clear. It’s a good thing I learned to type without looking at the keys. I’m not sure I could have seen them through the tears, tonight. Because, remotely watching us standing made the mystery unravel. That spot Jeff stopped on turned out to be his. He can see the lilacs from there, too.)
Quote for the Week:
Bonus Photo: through the power of Google Maps from my brother who knows how to use it: 2017 view of the Lilac and the Oak from last week’s ‘Lilacs’ blog.