Gram and I took a walk/wheelchair roll today and had lunch at Chuck-A-Rama (her choice, not mine). It was Chinese buffet day . . . scary! I grabbed some fortune cookies for us. Mine was nothing astounding, though it could easily set me to dreaming: “You will take a trip with a friend.” Gram's response was, “Well, we already done that today.” Gram eagerly cracked open her cookie and it mysteriously asserted: “You will join with an old, forgotten friend.” We were both surprised by this, and I could tell Gram was very pleased at the promise (albeit a mass-produced one) of some excitement. We agreed she should keep her fortune so she stuffed it into her purse. Right away I thought, “That means Gram’s going to die. She’s going to see Poppa, or maybe someone else from long ago who’s waiting for her on the other side.” Gram’s thoughts turned naturally to the prospect of husband #5, “Maybe that old fella who lives next door to Sis . . . ?” I reminded her that she’d never met him before, and that fact disqualified him. She then pondered aloud whether or not she might meet up again with “Felix the Cat”–the boy who in her teens tried to woo her with bad love poetry. She rejected him back then, despite his amorous intentions, terrific car, and wealthy family, but I guess 70-some years and several pairs of prism glasses later he starts looking a little bit better. She considered a whole lineup of different friends, male and female, and muttered the likes of: “What ain’t dead’s in nursings homes” and “Oh well, I guess I outlived ‘em all”.
As she went through these memory maneuvers, the thought occurred to me that perhaps a great-grandchild was the old, forgotten friend that Gram would join with. (Of course I know that cookies aren’t true oracles, but how can I help but play at comprehending our so-called fortunes?) Maybe she’ll be around for the arrival of a long-awaited child--our child--a someday creature who once walked and talked with her in a brighter realm. I didn’t share this thought with her; I kept it to myself until I could say it quietly to Rob. Naturally, any child of mine would be an old friend of Gram’s. I believe that’s how it works.
But the child's not here yet, so we can't quite test the hypothesis.