LAST EDITED ON 02-03-04 AT 01:02 AM (EST)
Eloise rarely asked for much during the course of our marriage, so when she made the request, I agreed. “Promise me they’ll visit,” she said. I didn’t have to ask who she meant. We typically saw our children, two lawyers and a doctor, every other year at Christmas (in what we considered their “off” years, they went to their spouses’ families houses).
“I promise,” I said. She was dead the next day.
The promise was a rash one. Our sons lead incredibly busy lives, as Eloise and I were occasionally reminded by quick “Wish you were here, Love you” postcards from places like Bali, France, New Guinea, and Johannesburg. How could I insure that they would visit a woman for whom they only made time every twenty-four months?
Going through her personal things in the attic in preparation for the memorial, I hit on an idea. Nestled in a steamer trunk were several pages of hand-written poetry. I took them to a printer and had four sets made in fine type. The binding took a little longer and was expensive but well worth the cost.
At her service, I handed each of our sons one of the books and kept one for myself. “Your mother wanted you to have this,” I said. Her name was printed prominently on the cover. Each of them looked puzzled, but dutifully took the gifts.
I would have liked to have printed more than four copies so that our grandchildren could have had their own, but Eloise’s bones made only enough glue for four bindings.
(edited because InkPot rejected it so I can share it again now )