Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Blueberries for Betty

When I returned home yesterday afternoon, I saw my neighbor and learned that his wife had died over the weekend.

Betty was probably in her 70s and largely confined to a wheelchair since before I moved next door, but she would enjoy sitting out on her front porch and chatting with me when I came home from work or popped outside to do some gardening. She was always curious about what vegetables and herbs I was growing, and she loved it when I shared flowers from my garden (especially the lilacs and the lilies-of-the-valley).

Over the past couple of months, Betty had been in much worse health, and when she wasn't in the hospital, she was in the nursing home... so of course, her death comes as no surprise. And after a long life blessed with a loving family, I imagine it was a relief for her to slip away quietly.

What, however, is left for the living to do? Betty's husband is surrounded by their three children right now, and they're helping him with the transition. I wish I knew how to help... and so I fall back on what I know, both from my own grandmother's death and the family's aftermath, and my own experience in dealing with crises:

I baked.

This morning, before the sun's sliver peeked over the horizon, I was in the kitchen making a small batch of buttery blueberry muffins. After all, in times of grief, one still needs to eat. And since I had fresh blueberries, which I know Betty would have loved... well, breakfast seemed the way to go.

No one was stirring in the little white house next door when I headed off to work, so I left a bag containing the tin of muffins and a card on the front porch with the morning papers.

It seems so little... but it's the only way I know how to say "I'm sorry, and my thoughts are with you now."

Rest in peace, Betty. I hope you find blueberries in heaven.

2 Comments:

At 7/19/2005 6:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoy checking in with your blog because you make great-sounding food served with a sunny disposition. You seem like just the person that would be great to have as a neighbor.

I hope you kept a muffin for your breakfast. Yum.

 
At 7/20/2005 7:56 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

No, I didn't keep any of the muffins from this batch because I still had plenty from the big batch of lavender blueberry streusel muffins I'd made over the weekend. (And I admit, my weakness is for the lavender-laced ones!)

Thanks for stopping by!

 

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