The WEGOHEALTH Activist 30 Day Writing Challenge Day 13
“What’s the best thing that happened to you this week? Maybe you got great news or maybe ice cream was on sale- write about it and relive it!”
She was a raven-haired beauty from Brazil. So young, sweet and shy that her eyes sparkled when she smiled, which was pretty much always. A new bride, to a handsome gregarious Brazilian man who was just starting his career as a computer specialist for a corporation in America.
❤️❤️ ❤️❤️ ❤️❤️ ❤️❤️
The day he walked into our little congregation there was a flurry of excitement for we hadn’t had visitors from Brazil before. Turns out, he had just rented an apartment closeby. He was awaiting the arrival of his new bride. She had stayed behind because she needed extra time to say goodbye to her friends and family. She’d never been to the United States before and while his English was perfect, she was just learning, so she finished her elementary English class as well. We all entertained him, fed him until he burst, helped him with some immediate furnishings, and prepared for his wife’s arrival.
It was exciting times for our congregation in the 1980’s. Back then, computers were a new and fascinating addition to the home office and workplace. He had much to say about being a computer programmer. We were amazed at all the technical talk.
Still, he pined for his new bride. So the day she arrived, a large group of us accompanied him out to the airport. We made a big banner that read, “Welcome To Your New Home, Lina!” Izzy was like a little boy. He was grinning from ear to ear, running from one place to another, checking the gates, clutching a big bouquet of red roses and a box of chocolates. Our large group of mostly women, had balloons with colorful streamers and gift bags of goodies.
” There she is! There she is!” He shouted, jumping up and down as he waved the red roses back and forth in the air.
” Lina! Lina! Lina!” He was almost giggling and made no attempt to control his excitement. As soon as he could, he ran to meet her.
We stood there, behind the rope, hooping and hollering as he grabbed her and hugged her. She dropped her bags and embraced him, wrapping her arms around his neck and burying her head in his shoulders. He lifted her up, swung her around a few times and as her feet left the floor, the combs in her long black hair fell to the ground. Finally, he set her down. Pulling her back slightly, dipping her back, he kissed her for what seemed like a very, long, time.
At this point, the airline employees at the gate, other passengers and passersby had all stopped and joined in clapping. Whistles, cheers and shouts of joy where coming from the crowd as Izzy and Lina enjoyed their reunion in front of gate 9.
Lina was overjoyed to say the least, but when she finally realized that the banner and the crowd were for her, she got a little embarrassed. You see, she had no idea we had also been waiting for her.
We all introduced ourselves, filled her arms with gifts and took pictures. I was taking pictures the whole time. Being the romantic that I was, I remember having a lot to do with this celebration at the airport. Years of sitting at home watching old movies in technicolor with scenes just like this one, was the reason that I tried to recreate them in real life any chance I got. On this occasion, it worked out just as I dreamed it would.
We dropped them off at their apartment where, there too, we women had prepared a little love nest the way we would have liked. It brought such joy and happiness to prepare for a new bride. There wasn’t much there, because Izzy insisted that Lina should furnish the apartment, but what was there, was enough. It was just a plain, no-frills apartment, but to Lina, it was beautiful. This was the place that she was going to start her new life with the husband she adored.
Izzy gave us the look that it was time to leave, so we did. Those must have ten agonizing minutes for him!
This was not the end to my planning however, because in the works was a bridal shower. Again, we woman, with big smiling faces, giggles and exuberance got together and planned a menu. We had learned from Izzy that their wedding had been small and the gifts were mostly cash. They had never had a wedding shower. He immediately loved the idea, but insisted on being there. We tried to explain that it was our custom to have only women at wedding showers. He explained that she didn’t understand English very well yet, so he would have to be the interpreter. So, we decided rather than make them feel uncomfortable, we would invite the whole congregation. This was a new idea. It took the men by surprise and the only reason they agreed was because of Izzy. He was an infectious kind of fellow. Everyone liked him immensely. They didn’t want to do anything to make him feel uncomfortable, so they agreed.
It was held at the apartment clubhouse. Another surprise for Lina. We made the most delicious food. I have to say, that we had some of the best cooks and bakers around town. We had the big-bellied husbands to prove it too!
Of course, there was a cake. We had the loving couple cut it in American wedding style fashion. Izzy loved everything, but Lina was understandably confused and overwhelmed at times. She did enjoy opening the presents though. We all got a surprise when the music started. Lina and Izzy entertained us with some fine dancing, Brazilian style.
Of course, we also had shower favors. One of our congregation members, Marsha, made little boxes out of white chocolate. They were in the shape of swans. Inside was more chocolate. She worked for weeks making them. They sat, on a table by the door. Little white boxes wrapped in green tissue paper. I didn’t eat mine. I took it home and put in my refrigerator.
Today, Lina and Izzy are still happily married. He still works for that computer company. After a few years, they moved a little farther north and I haven’t seen them in decades. Lina speaks perfect English now, of course. I wonder if they remember those days or even me, for that matter. But I remember.
I remember because those were happy days. Compared to now, those were simplistic times.
I also remember Marsha. Marsha was as sweet as her chocolate confection. Full of joy and positivity. ” Don’t worry. It will work out,” she’d say. Everyone loved Marsha. We all cried when she got breast cancer. She battled it for years, always with such grace, often consoling us. ” Don’t worry, ” she’d say. ” If it happens, it happens. I have faith in God’s Promise.”
Marsha passed away a long time ago, but I still have the white chocolate swan she made. I used to keep it in the back of the crisper, because it made me sad. But this weekend, as I was giving the inside of the refrigerator a good cleaning, I took it out. I opened up the box and unwrapped the little swan. It still smelled good.
However, there was something different about it this time. This time, I didn’t cry. It wasn’t painful. Like the smell of the chocolate, the memory was sweet.
I sat down with a cup of coffee and thought about those days. Sweet days with Marsha. I reflected on my own “worrisome mammogram” this year. ” Don’t worry, ” I said to myself, ” It will all work out.” I put the precious, delicate swan with the rose made of ribbon at the neck, back into its little white box with the see through window.
I opened the refrigerator door to put it back in the place it’s been all these years. But then I hesitated. Instead, I put in the butter compartment on the door so I could see it everyday. I now want to be reminded of Marsha and those days when I was young and did those kinds of things.
I’m sure this is this last little white chocolate swan left from that day. I’m sure that when she made them, she intended for them to eaten and enjoyed. Marsha was that way.
But, I’m glad that I kept mine.