July 5, 2021

“This is my body, broken for you…” I accepted the wafer and closed my eyes. “This is my blood . . . “ I opened them again to drink from the cup held in front of me. I smiled. I fought back tears. How good it is, I thought, this gift of communion that is, once more, truly communal

And then I danced. Freely, unabashedly, and wildly. If you imagine a hippy convention and a graceful swirling young woman, you shall have to reimagine. I am a 40-something woman starting to wrinkle, and nothing to look at. And it was a church fair. In an auditorium filled with round reception tables and metal folding chairs. But as Peter and I walked in, not knowing what to expect, we heard music piping out from an iPad, and saw a group of people walking around a circle of numbered chairs. I grabbed Peter’s arm and gasped “A cake walk! I LOVE cake walks!” [Truthfully, my expressed “love” of cake walks extended to a vague memory of elementary school events, and the childhood thrill of winning; but at the moment, that was beside the point—everything was beautiful, and wonderful, and thrilling in my present state of mind. Life was abundant. 

“Do you think I should do it?” I asked. “I don’t see why not,” Peter shrugged. So I did. Song after song came on. At each pause I would gamely choose my chair and grin conspiratorially at the child sitting next to me. Then, music pumping out again, off we’d go.  For a blessed moment in time, carried away in the kind of flow you forget after a few decades of grownup responsibilities, we let loose.

A few hours later I stood over GramBea’s wheelchair, sweating from both the heat and the rush to accommodate the request for food before the moment had passed. I held the plate in front of her, trying to entice her with old favorites. “Want a bit of hamburger?” She nodded. Smiled. “Where’s the lettuce?” she asked. “No lettuce—but they had pickles. Want a bite?” I feared it would be an untouched plate. But, to my happy surprise, she nodded, and accepted a bite. Then another. “They had moon pies,” I said. “Here-want me to unwrap it for you?” Again she nodded. A bite. Two. Three. “Can I put a straw in a coca-cola for you?,” this time doing it before my luck ran out. “It’s nice and cold!” One. two. three sips. She smiled. I fought back tears.

She was full.

I was fed.

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