“So have you set a date yet?” I asked my mother a few weeks ago when she informed me that she was remarrying.
I had mixed feelings about her announcement. My father has been gone for nearly three years now. He was ripped away from us so suddenly and unexpectedly that from time to time, I still experience the shock and disbelief that I felt on that horrible day when I heard my mother’s barely audible voice on the phone and knew that I had to get home as quickly as possible.
“I am totally impressed that you became a doctor,” she told her former biology classmate, Georgia, “especially after having me as a lab partner! Quite an accomplishment!” she laughed.
“Actually, you inspired me,” Georgia replied.
“I did?” she asked incredulously. “How in the world did I manage that? When it came to anything science-related, I was a pitiful student.”
“And you got married just like that?” Amy said incredulously.
“Just like that!” she laughed. “It was an amazing day. We only had about twenty-five guests and got married, barefooted, on the beach at sundown.”
“When did you tell your families that you were pregnant?” Amy pressed.
The florist delivered the flowers late Saturday afternoon. A beautiful bouquet of her favorites — delicate pink roses. The card said simply, “You will be picked up at noon on Sunday. Be ready. Love, D.”
“You know that I want to see you tonight,” she reassured Dennis, “but I just don’t feel up to going out. I think I’m coming down with that flu bug that has been making the rounds. I’m really tired, kind of achy all over, and my stomach has been doing somersaults for a couple of days. I’m just going to stay here in my nice, warm bed and try to sleep it off.”
“I could bring you chicken soup,” Dennis offered.
“Are you planning on making it yourself?” she teased.
“Thanks for coming to my party!” her friend blurted out before she could even say hello. “Not! You’d better have a good excuse! My friend, Dennis, was very disappointed that he didn’t get to meet you. So spill! Where were you? What did you do? With whom?”
“I’m sorry,” she began almost inaudibly, clearing her throat. “Excuse me . . . I’m sorry. I came down with the flu and decided to stay in. I just didn’t feel well enough to go out. I should have called you, but I took some over-the-counter medicine and fell sound asleep.”