After 20 years of downsizing my mother-in-law, I packed the final load of her things she used in this life in my car. I sat quietly on the bumper taking the sadness of the moment in.
An older lady of Hawaiian descent came walking towards the care facility. “Lisa?”, I asked, not really knowing for sure. She didn’t recognize me at all, “Yes, do I know you?”. She remembered me once once I reminded her that we met about 15 hours prior while partnered for tennis. I started walking back inside with her and she asked me if I had family living there. I told her that my mother-in-law was a former resident and had passed two weeks ago. She asked me her name and I told her, “Tyra”.
Lisa was shocked to hear of her passing. It turned out that Tyra and Lisa’s mother sat at the same table for meals. Lisa filled out her mother’s menu and Tyra made sure that Lisa’s mom got what was ordered. Lisa told me stories of how my mother-in-law would greet people at the door and be the social care-taker of the residents.
Lisa’s mother came over and joined us after we walked inside. My wife joined us after she finished checking Tyra out of her room. I explained that I had just met Lisa the evning before and Laura recognized Lisa’s mother. We exchanged stories and pleasantries and then it was time to make our way home.
I have to wonder if that chance meeting was serendipitous or something arranged by Tyra after she left us. It’s the kind of thing she would do, something to bring people together.