Here's the back story. On April 14, 1983, my darling sweetheart, my hunky husband LeRoy passed away when we were living in Houston, Texas--our little boys were seven and four. Since then, the stigma attached to that day never actually left my consciousness. It's impact lessened with time which doesn't mean my love for LeRoy or my wish that he had been with Lamont, Leland, and me all of these years diminished. Two things happened yesterday that forever change my feelings about April 14.
First, I need to explain that I took a vacation day on April 14--after Mama's passing away on January 7, I just didn't want to get up and go to work on the anniversary of LeRoy's death. Is that what you call it? Anniversary? Anyway, I decided to take Thursday off and then figured, well if you're off Thursday why not take Friday so that I could have a mini-vacation. I figured it would be raining, but who cares? This is Oregon. I figured I would go to a movie on Thursday and out to lunch with Lamont and Leland on Friday.
The only constant in life is change, right?
Here's what I wrote the night of April 13 about the event that led to the first change on April 14:
“Ladies and Gentlemen, the cabinet has left the building!” I repeat, “The cabinet, nicknamed the White Nemesis by my older son Lamont, has left the building!’ I have wanted this to happen since February 21—it’s now April 13.
Almost 24 hours ago, as I sat in my chair at my computer table, I had a brainstorm, picked up my iPhone and called my apartment management company. Why not leave a message, I thought, explaining just how great it would be if the cabinet could be removed from the apartment on Wednesday. You see, I would explain, I have taken two days of vacation, and it would be so fine to have it gone while I’m on vacation and my son is off work part of that time and he could bring my new piece of kitchen furniture which is still in the two cardboard boxes that it came in on over here and put them together so that I could get my kitchen like I wanted it, needed it. I even thought, I know why it’s still raining and cool and/or cold in Portland—it’s because the White Nemesis is still in my kitchen. It’s presence is messing with Portland’s weather vibes. I didn’t think I needed to mention that, though, no point in having the apartment management manager think I gone round the bend, or down south to Bend—there’s an Oregon pun, just so you know.
I called and left the message, not that wordy, I promise.
At work on Wednesday I did explain my rainy "daze" idea to a co-worker who responded with an appropriate chuckle. I then told her that if the cabinet is gone when I get home, I’ll put my right hand over my heart, look up at the sky and say, “It’s the big one ????” What’s her name, Fred Sanford’s wife? "Elizabeth," my co-worker immediately answereid. She’s younger than I am, so her brain works very well.
So, when I unlocked the door and only needed to put the key into the deadbolt lock to get in the door, I said to myself, shoot, it’s still here. You see, the other times that a maintenance person had been into the apartment, the other lock was locked as the person exited. Which meant I had to put the key into the other keyhole to completely unlock the door. I walked through, shut the door and said, "Shoot." Then I walked to the kitchen and looked. My breath caught and I said, "It’s gone. It’s gone. I can’t believe it. It’s gone." Quickly I headed for my jacket pocket to get my phone, then I texted Lamont so that he would know. Then I decided to call the apartment management manger and leave her an appreciative message of thanks. But first I found the “Hallelujah Chorus” performed by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chorus on YouTube. I needed me some background music for this message, yes ma'am. I hope she could hear the strings and the singing! I imagine she could hear me just fine as I thanked her for the cabinet’s removal.
It’s now 10:13 p.m. I just looked to see what time I left that message last night, 10:09 p.m., and it was just a minute long. Tonight’s was only a minute, too, so I’m not wasting her time or anything like that. Now if I could just figure out how to contact Adam Bjaranson of the Portland Trail Blazers broadcasting them and give him the 4-1-1 on how to pronounce Monta, as in Mon-tay, Ellis. Y'all know, the Lanier Bulldog who plays for the Golden State Warriors?
Updated to add: Adam Bjaranson has become my Facebook friend! I shall get up the courage to send him a message about that pronunciation well before next basketball season.
Updated to add: You see the photo of the Ikea Varde which now sits in the space formerly occupied by the White Nemesis. Lamont had just finished assembling the Ikea Varde kitchen cabinet when I took the photo, thus the fingerprints all over the stainless steel drawer fronts--they're now all gone. Needless to say I watched and took photos of the process which I shall soon share with you! This brought about a lighthearted, joyous change in my heart about where I live and cook.
Now for the other change that started on April 13 and finally happened on April 14. During the Blazers game in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors, I saw and heard the announcement made by Mike and Mike about the Steal of the Night, a chance to become a Blazers Season Ticket Holder. Ever since we moved to Portland, I've flirted, toyed even, with the idea of getting myself a season ticket. It was not difficult to decide to instead watch all of those ball games at home with Mama--we had such a great time doing it! I am thankful for every single second. On Wednesday night, though, before I knew what was happening, I had my iPhone in my hand. I dialed the number and spoke with a precious woman who tried to find me a single seat season ticket on the front row of a section that I could afford. She took my name and number and asked if she could call me back on Thursday because she just knew that she could help me. Of course, I agreed.
Not too many minutes after Lamont started assembling the Ikea Varde kitchen cabinet, the iPhone rang. It was the precious woman. She had found me a suitable season ticket seat that I could afford. Immediately I heard the "Hallelujah Chorus." I said, "Yes!" and completed the transaction. See the picture for my best guess as to where my actual seat will be; I know that's the correct section and row!
UPDATED TO ADD: Leland, Lamont and I enjoyed our lunch together on Friday very much!