Monday I visited 96-year-old Mrs. Z at the extended nursing facility. Mrs. Z is now using a walker to get around, her eyesight is steadily deteriorating, and although her mind is still pretty savvy, she's definitely in Ecclesiastes 12.
Mrs. Z had phoned me in the morning to make sure I would first go to her house to clip some roses, check her mail and pick up two jars of frozen fruit from her freezer downstairs.
“I have an upright freezer downstairs in the laundry room.” she explained.
“Yes,” I said remembering the years of arranging her garden tomatoes in plastic bags in her upright freezer in the laundry room while she spent her summer at the cottage up north.
“Count the jars and take half of them for yourself. The fruit is about a year old.”
“You will come here to visit me and give the two jars, and you must go back later for the jars for yourself because they shouldn’t thaw out while you are visiting me.”
I brought her a jar of raspberries and a jar of apricots, along with four gorgeous roses from her bush. As I arranged her roses, she wondered, “How many jars are there in the freezer?”
“About twenty,” I guessed.
She put the raspberry jar on her dresser. “Take 10 jars for yourself.”
As she showed me where to put the apricot jar in the fridge, she reconsidered, “Maybe take eight jars for yourself.”
When we came in from sitting out on the little deck, she pulled off her well-worn purple mohair sweater—the one I had given her for a clothing drive for the people in Latvia about seven years ago—she reconsidered once more, “Maybe take seven jars and we can talk about the rest later.”
“Okay.” I said.
As I prepared to leave, she thanked me for coming and asked me to pray a blessing.
I hugged her, and prayed for her health, for peace and for her son. Then I kissed her and smiled as I left.
About an hour later, my phone rang. It was Mrs. Z. “Hello Marian, I forgot to offer you one of my roses while you were here.”
I pictured the four coral roses in full bloom. “That’s okay. There were only four and they look so beautiful together in your window.”
She continued, “When you go to my house to get the jars, then when you come to visit me, can you bring me two jars?”
“Okay,” I agreed. I love Mrs. Z.