This story is about something I know little about. I am essentially typing a story someone wrote me in a letter. It’s a story about a moment in a young lady’s life that I had never experienced myself or anything close to it.
My experience of living on the spectrum is to avoid such experiences, but yet inside there is a curiosity of what it feels like it. It’s like looking at an object from a distance and wanting to go over and hold it, maybe even keep it; but the fear of it is too overwhelming.
This is a romantic love story. It lacks the drama of a romantic novel or film. But to the young lady for whom is the star of this story, it was a moment that five or so decades later she’d write her grandniece a letter telling this story.
Shortly before she married her true love, Edgar (Ed for short), she made an odd request to her mother Mary. She asked her mother if she would have everyone leave the house for a while. Mary was clueless as to why, but perhaps out of sheer curiosity, she granted her daughter’s request.
While everyone was out of the house, she scrubbed that house from top to bottom. Then, she did her very best to cook the best meal she had ever cooked. She used the best plates and silverware in the kitchen. She set up the table as if she was serving royalty. After she was satisifed she had done her very best, she had them all come in.
Everyone was surprised. No one was more surprised than Ed and Mary. They all sat down to this feast they were not expecting. Ed took a few bites and said to Mary, “I thought you told me your daughter couldn’t cook.” Mary said, “I didn’t know she could!” The young lady said, “Mom, I have been watching you all these years. I just did what I saw you do.”
There is more than one way to tell someone you love them. That’s a good thing for us living on the spectrum. The words, “I love you”, don’t fall off my mouth easy-like. Besides, those words fall on deaf ears if actions don’t back them up. Despite my severe drought of the romantic kind of love, I could figure out that the young lady, my Great Aunt Annie, didn’t scrub the house because it really needed scrubbing. She didn’t cook to feed the household, It was an act of love for my Great Uncle Ed.
Annie and Ed are in heaven now. I’d like to think she is taking walks with her true love on the streets of gold. A place where there is no need for scrubbing.
I also believe her older brother, Charlie, is around too. I don’t know how it works in Heaven, but if she did tell Charlie about having a pen pal, he’d be glad his oldest grandchild was the one. I can’t recall ever saying the words “I love you” to my Grandpa Charlie. However, just as Annie honored Ed by scrubbing, I honored my Grandpa by writing letters to his little sister in hopes of making her laugh in her later years.