The Pickle

We all know to stop and smell the roses.
We all know it’s the little things in life that mean the most.
And we all know, all too well, that life is short.

On April 16th, I drove down to Bloomington to visit with my Aunt Rosemary. I’d been apprised of her failing health, but she seemed receptive to a visit.

The woman who greeted me seemed healthy enough. I mean, she was mobile, attractive, talkative. Wearing colored badges of elderly skin, she was sore from physical therapy, bruised and swollen from other ailments, but with the aid of her walker, she got around.

When I’d made plans with her, I told her I’d come about 11 and pick up lunch on the way. I knew she didn’t have much appetite and was on a restrictive diet, so I asked what she wanted/could have. She said she’d love a burger and fries.

I researched the “healthiest” fast food burger and Burger King was at the top of the list. (I know, right?) I ordered a burger with no sodium laden ketchup and the fries salt-free.

Rosemary ate slowly while we (she! lol) chatted over lunch. When she pulled the pickle out and set it aside, it occurred to me a PLAIN burger was probably the healthiest. Duh.

A bite of burger, a bit of fry, then she picked the pickle up again. She held it delicately with both hands as she brought it to her mouth, closed her eyes, and tasted.

Reveling, she said, God, I miss pickles.
Oh, yeah?
So bad for you.
Oh, no!
But I love them.

I always pull the pickle off. I never eat the pickle! I never even think about the pickle.
But, in that moment, the pickle was the rose she stopped to smell.
It was the little thing that meant the most.
It made her happy.
And that made me happy.

Now, now I think about the pickle.

That was the last time I saw my Aunt Rosemary. She passed away on May 30, 2019.
Life is short.
Smell that rose.
Savor that pickle.
And most importantly, share that moment.

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About Mary Fran Says

I am an artist, crafter, designer and writer. I enjoy working with mixed media-- applying visual and tactile manipulations to telling a story. Not a lot of market for that, though, :), so I'm focusing on short story submissions and novel completions. Yes, plural. Lots of beginnings, too many ideas, not enough focus.
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