Meant to be?

Meant to be

She bolted up the stairs, two-at-a-time. She dashed across the foyer and out the front door, all before he even reached the top of the stairs. He watched from the portal as  she ran across the front yard and into the street.

His head was spinning with questions and confusion. The taste of her lips against his was still fresh as she disappeared around the corner, sprinting towards her house, just down the block. He remained in the doorway for some time after she was gone, wanting to follow her but thinking better of it. What would he say anyway? The were Best Friends. They were young, only 17. The kiss had been impulsive, unexpected and would never be spoken of again. For 45 years they would lead very separate lives.

Somehow, if after all the time the were to meet again, would they look each other in the eyes and be curious if things between them had really happened as they were meant to be. No matter how many years remain in his life, he will always wonder what would have happened if he had only run after her.

 

Chief Cook and TOILET-WASHER !

 

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DISGUSTING! I’m not a fan of house-cleaning. Actually, never have been but hey, I’m a guy, I could live in a moldy cave as long as I could watch football! See, that’s the other thing I’m not a fan of; stereotypes. Wasn’t the phrase most commonly used to describe “housewives;” Chief Cook and Bottle-Washer? At least that’s what I learned at an early age.

Well, since I haven’t had a “real” job in the past 9 months, and since my lovely wife is now toiling 8 to 5, I have become the designated cook and house-cleaner. I find this to be so ironic because for my entire life my job has been to make a mess. I’m really good at it and, according to my wife, I’m bloody awesome at the task! Worst job I’ve ever had in my life, this cleaning gig. So many “rules.” Why can’t I dust with my hand only? Is a “dust cloth” with some Pledge really going to get the dust off any better than my hand. Vacuum? You want me to vacuum HOW OFTEN? And, seriously, I need sweep the floor then wash the floor with soapy water, THEN wash it again with clean water? INSANITY!

Then it hit me. My Mom. From the time I was born until the sad, sad day that she dies, she has been cleaning up after me and my siblings. No she didn’t have a “career,” we were her job. She never had a day off because our full-time job was creating dirt and mess and chaos, 24/7. When my father came home, she got to deal with a part-time mess-maker. He was an amateur compared to us kids.  Yes, she was the “Chief-Cook and Bottle-Washer” of our family. My father said so, often.

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Mom at 84 years young.

 

Mom at 20 years young.

Mom at 20 years young.

Fortunately, we are now an enlightened society. We understand the value of providing our families with a clean and safe home. We applaud those who put their own needs aside and engage in a lifetime of service to their family, friends and relatives.

I realized, while my Platex-gloved hands were deep under the rim, scrubbing who-knows-what out of our guest toilet, that I didn’t remember ever saying “Thank You” to my Mom. “Thank You,” for countless dinners cooked, endless clothes cleaned, too many wounds bandaged and blood cleaned. “Thank you” for making my bed (yeah, I was spoiled) and never telling my father what you found under the mattress. “Thank You” for football team dinners and broken windows you fixed. “Thank You” for all the times you didn’t let me know that I had made you cry.

I just picked up the phone and called my Mom. She’s 2,300 miles away and I didn’t want to take the chance that she’d never hear me say “Thank You.” She didn’t let me know on the phone but I think I made her cry … again.

My Mom and me.

My Mom and me.