I had a vision.
Not a premonition, a vision.
I was making our bed earlier this afternoon. It was a gorgeous fall afternoon with bright sun filtering through the yellow and red leaves of the maple tree in our front yard. I glanced out the freshly washed windows (I kid you not, that was not just for dramatic affect, I had just washed the windows) and saw a most beautiful scene on my neighbors front yard. One of those moments that you wish you had a camera but you know that all you can do is take a snapshot of this vision in your mind and try to hold it there, just the way you are seeing it that moment.
I know it is corny but a Billy Joel song often roles in my head during these moments .....this is the time to remember because it will not last forever, these are the days to hold onto because we won't although we'll want to.......
There was Henry, in a work apron, literally awash in reflected light from the droplets of water that were spraying out of the hose he held and, oh so carefully, aimed at the silver bike that was suspended in the air from our neighbor, Matt's, red bike stand. Matt stood behind Henry giving him guidance. Both of them seemed to have an air of reverence about them regarding the work they were doing on the bike.
The bike belonged to Bob when he was about Henry's age. The aunts (not to be read ants, as in red or black ones, but read awe, as in the aunts are awesome)grew tired of lugging the thing from one side to another in their garage (bikes were much heavier in the 70s!) and I saw it leaning against their garbage can the other day.
Henry and I were not ready for the bike to meet its demise.
So we saved the bike.
Henry pumped up the big fat tires and then Matt helped him tighten gears and handlebars and the rock hard seat and shine up the rusty chrome. Matt pointed out where the tire rim was dented.
"Your dad must of liked a little rough and tumble riding," he told Henry.
It was all so perfect.
A beautiful day, a shiny bike, a good neighbor, a proud son, fresh sheets.
It doesn't get any better than that.
I just had to share the vision, it was too good to keep to myself.
And who would appreciate this vision before me more than the aunts?
People tell me the greatest gift Bob left me was the boys.
And the boys are great.
But the greater gift Bob left me with might be his family. To have people to share the boys with who love them as much as I do, people who have known them since before they were born and love them unconditionally, that is a gift.
And what about neighbors who take your child and nurture an interest in them selflessly and with passion and care? That is a gift.
As I stood staring out the window and telling Aunt Kathy about this beautiful vision I was reminded of the renewed faith in community that I had during Bob's illness and following his death. I am pleasantly surprised to find out that six plus years later I still feel that way.
After Bob died I could not envision a ten year old Henry fixing up his dad's old bike on the neighbors front yard. I certainly could not envision watching a scene like that with a light heart, full of joy and appreciation for the moment.
My community has expanded in ways I could never have imagined six years ago. I have new neighbors, new friends, a new husband.
My community, old and new, my life, is so much more than I could have envisioned six years ago.
Thanks for checking in-