Titanic is out again in 3D. Some movies, once I’ve seen them, are downloaded into my memories to be called upon when the need arises. It’s much like my lovely Pinterest boards. If I see something I am enchanted with, I click on it and claim if for my own. And I took ownership of Titanic many moons ago. Just like in Love Actually, I often quote Liam Neeson who says We need Kate and Leo when his son becomes hopelessly confused and twitterpated…a word which here means..IN LOVE. By the way, Love Actually is another movie I deem full of perfection and just what the Dr. ordered if you find yourself twitterpated and/or disillusioned with the state of the world.
So, my inspiration for today’s gift has been fueled by pop culture and mass media. But before you roll your eyes, and label me a common, unimaginative girl…hear me out. I have a tale to tell that will leave the cockles of your heart warm and fuzzy. Unless you’re not into honeysweet love stories, which if this is the case, my blog may not be for you.
When we moved to this neighborhood, the first people to welcome us with open arms and a tray of yummy cookies, were an old couple from across the street. They were delighted by our family, and didn’t waste one minute in telling us their story. Frank and Ava met many years back in California. Frank had married very young, even by 1940’s standards. She had 2 small children, and a marriage that wasn’t working out. After she had been on her own for a while, she met Frank…a strapping young man straight out of the Navy with a really cool tattoo that he still likes to show off. It was a case of instant, perfect, complete love. They went on to have 8 children together rounding their brood to a perfect 10. When Ava tells this part, as she does every time I see her, the quiet tenderness in her voice and the way her face breaks into a smile is enough to make me tear up, as it often does.
You see, Ava has Alzheimer’s, and every chance encounter is our first meeting. I’ve been honored with this beautiful story, in nearly the same wording at least 20 times. And I can’t help but think of the line in Titanic from an elderly Rose (Kate) when she is telling her story: “Now you know that there was a man named Jack Dawson and he saved me, in every way a person can be saved“. Frank and Ava remind me of the Titanic lovebirds, but with a happier ending. So much so, that I’ve accidentally called Ava “Rose”. How embarrassing.
The thing that hits me again and again is the way Frank looks at Ava as she gives her account of the life they have shared. I can decipher so many emotions in his expression: adoration, respect, delight, pure love. I’ve often peered over at their little house after the sun goes down. I can see a light on in their small kitchen. And I know Ava is cooking for her Frank…sitting down at their round table to steaming food and coffee. Sharing memories of raising those kids in overalls that have left marks on the chairs they still sit upon to this day; on a scenic prairie farm straight out of a Laura Ingalls Wilder book. I don’t suppose they know how much the very energy they radiate from that window blesses me, and fills my cup to overflowing.
Which brings me to today and my gift. I’m taking them a creative Easter basket that I will ask my kids to help me with. I’ve pinned 30,000 ideas for this holiday on my Pinterest board. So, we should be able to come up with something. Unless it involves a hot glue gun. I really shouldn’t be allowed near one of those. I look forward to another telling of one of the best true life love stories ever written. But it leaves me wondering, Am I the giver, or the receiver today? Maybe both.