Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Sweetest Things

Monday was a simply stunning day and I felt compelled to take on a little project that fell my way through the craft fair. Two of the sweetest little ladies on planet earth, 85 year old twins, asked me to come and cover over a marble plaque built into their porch, inscribed with the name of the builder and who he built the house for in the year 1990....much too recent to be of any interest. Ms. Marcella told me that that slab had indeed bothered she and her sister Drucilla every day for the five years they've lived there, "Because WE OWN THIS HOUSE!" And when I called them to ask if it was a good day to work on it, Marcella declared "Oooooooh I just love you for fixing that thing for us!"

Armed with tools to simply cover it over in grout, I arrived to be greeted with a warm hug by both ladies, who were dressed elegantly and identically. They watched, enthralled as I covered the marble. And then they inquired what color tile I'd be using and wouldn't "Welcome" be nice? So.......after three trips, this is what we came up with together. They applauded when I finished it.

When Ms Marcella discovered Charleigh's name, she seemed to throw out beams of light from somewhere warm inside of her: Charlie was her late husband's name. Marcella and Drucilla have never gone a day of their lives without seeing one another and lived side by side for 30 years on the land their father gave them. Their great uncle was a decorated Confederate soldier who they remember as "simply the most glorious man." Their great grandfather was captured in the war and died in a Yankee prison. Their father expected to be drafted into the Great War, and when he and his brother were not, they opened a small store on the White River, where they also owned a ferry. Marcella's Charlie went off to war after they had dated for two years, and was a pilot who flew bomber planes. He went down over Germany and was a POW in a prison camp. He was rescued and came home to her, but they had no children. She said Charlie was never the same after the war. Drucilla likes nothing better than to receive a letter addressed to "Drusie" because it means it is from a friend. She married her sweetheart, also a pilot, and they had a son. When they lost their husbands, they moved into this house, cram-jamming all their pretty things from both households. They proudly showed me their photos, including their mother's picture. She lived to be 90. They are a long-lived crowd. And when I asked if they ever disagreed, Ms. Marcie shook her head slowly and emphatically. "Never. Mama said we lay in our crib and just made each other laugh from the time we were babies." When I drove away the other day, they waved goodbye to me from the porch, while they stood holding hands.

Occasionally, an author will invent a character so beloved and so remarkable, they cannot possibly be real. These two are so real, they cannot possibly be made up. Three horrendous wars, 30 years of working and 85 years of living have left them nothing but sweet and good and loving and kind. Need an example? When they learned that my husband is a pastor, they declared, "We want to visit your church!" A little bit horrified, I hedged...."Oh, it's pretty far...all the way down in Fayetteville..."
But Marcie pressed me and I finally said, "Now, might not like it. We have a band, not an organ." To which, they turned to each other and squealed, "OH! We LOVE drummers!" And so, I gave in and gave them directions. And if they show up, I have no doubt in my mind that they will LOVE LOVE LOVE every bit of it.


Anonymous said...

AH! Finally... a face to go with the stories. Glorious!

Susie said...

Beautiful story, and what a lovely thing you've done for them...

Heidi said...

What a sweet story!!! I can't get enough of stories like that.

I saw a sweet old lady walk into church last week. She seemed so out of place, but had a spring in her step and a smile on her face. I hope I'm that cool when I'm old. I had my 34th last week so I'm on the porch knocking on Old's door. = P

stephanie garcia said...

What a beautiful life story! Thank you for sharing them with us (your readers) ... :)

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