Mrs. Rosemary Carroll, from the Meadowlark Hills Retirement Center, writes a column for a local newspaper. After I shared my writing with her, she allowed me to read one of her columns. I was so impressed, I asked her if I might use it on my blog. She graciously agreed, so enjoy:
The phone rang and I lunged out of my easy chair to answer it. A staff member was calling from first floor, "There's a gentleman here to deliver some groceries to you." "Send him on up," was my instruction although I couldn't figure out who was bringing me some groceries. Soon enough my doorbell rang. There stood the Dillons delivery man holding a bouquet of flowers and greenery in one hand and a basket containing a box of Quakers Oatmeal and some very green sugar cookies in the other.
The card read: Happy St. Patrick's Day Mom—remembering Leo. Love Yvonne. Yes, my daughter in Houston remembers things like that. My Irish husband Leo Patrick Carroll had a birthday on March 16, the day before St. Patrick's. He had worked several decades as a research chemist in Chicago for the Quaker Oats Company. What a coincidence, I had been scanning my journal beginning July 2006 when we began to get acquainted. On March 16 in 2007 we celebrated his 81 st birthday at his home near Lillis, KS. We married September 1, 2007 and had five wonderful months together, despite the cancer that interfered and took him away so quickly.
I decided to share my good fortune with my neighbors on the fourth floor. So I rang doorbells, showed them my bouquet and shared one of the sugar cookies with folks that were home at the time. That delivery brought so many good memories to mind, so I thought of calling Leo's brother Gerald who comes several times a month to Lillis. He and his wife live in Kansas City but I figured they probably were at the farm near Lillis for the St. Patrick's parade Saturday. I finally found their cell phone number and got Gerald on the phone. Their sister, Sister Sheila, had also come down from Atchison for the event. There were only three in attendance from the Leo P. Carroll family and none of them rode in the Lillis parade this year.
On Sunday morning I decided that some of my friends at College Avenue United Methodist Church would like to see the gift that was delivered to my door. I took the Quaker Oat box in its decorative cellophane basket along to church-I'd already shared all the cookies with my Meadowlark friends. Apparently none of them had ever received a similar product as a St. Patrick's Day greeting. I confess the only green garment I could find to wear was a white turtleneck top with little green ducks on it, and I added a gold Celtic pin one of Leo's daughters had given me.
One Sunday School class member wondered outloud which it is easiest to be~a pessimist or an optimist. I thought it was particularly appropriate that the daily devotional (Upper Room) I read most mornings concluded today's lesson with, "Every loving act changes the world for the better." Would you be most apt to choose the preceding statement or, "Every unloving act changes the world for the worst." As for me and my house, give me the optimist. Yvonne, your thoughtful remembrance rippled out to a lot of folks and brought to mind so many pleasant thoughts.