The first time I spoke with C, she had just lost her husband a few days before. Grief poured out of her as she talked about how she tried to explain to her six-year-old grandson that she couldn't go get him back from the hospital. We talked about the foods they like. We talked about spirits visiting to say goodbye to little boys. We talked and talked. I brought some food and didn't hear from C for a few weeks.
Yesterday, she called and asked when I was coming next. "Tomorrow." Oh, that's good she told me. She got some corn for her grandson and boiled it up. He ate 3 bowls of it. She said she wanted to try to get him some more. I said I would bring her some corn tomorrow.
"What about thanksgiving?" I asked. Do you like any special foods? We're going to have pumpkins to make pie. She said she didn't read that well to follow recipes, so she never learned to make a pie. If someone told her how she could do it. I was trying to think about how to make time to visit and show her how to make a pie when she said she did have something she needed.
Did I know anyone who might have a cat? she wondered.
A cat? Well yes. People sometimes do offer me pets. Just a few days ago someone offered me some kittens.
Well, she said could really use one because she has a rat on the back porch and her dogs just bark at it but don't do anything about it.
Yes. And he won't get off the porch. She loves her dogs and takes good care of them. They were a gift from her son, but they are no use when it comes to rats.
And then I was left to wonder how I would deliver both corn and cats to C. Would a kitten matter to a rat? And, will I ever, in my grief, ask someone to bring me corn and cats?