I was becoming very fond of Mr. Lucien. I was glad that he had someone who would listen to his stories…and he had stories to tell. “Oh my. He had stories to tell.” I giggled every time I thought about those words.
I wondered what he might have been like in his younger days. You know how you can look at some older women and tell that when they were young, they were great beauties? It was like that with Mr. Lucien. There was something about him that led me to believe he cut quite the figure in his youth.
Maybe it was his eyes or the dimple-like creases in his cheeks when he grinned. Even without teeth, I was sure that he had at one time been rather fetching.
I couldn’t tell how tall he was. He was confined to that wheelchair and due to his age or maybe a previous injury or illness, was hunched over quite a bit. He had the famous horseshoe bald pattern and wore coke-bottle lens glasses, which he removed when he was telling his stories. I thought he was a dear old man and oh my, how I loved hearing his stories.
He had never mentioned having a family and I didn’t want to pry and like I said, I figured he would tell me what he wanted me to know. Maybe he considered his family to be all of those people who worked at the carnival. Maybe that was why there was a detectable sadness in his voice so often.
Two days after my last visit with my grandmother, she passed away. She died peacefully in her sleep and the nurses said she that she had died with a smile on her face. My grandmother had been blessed with a wonderful life and she had lived it to the fullest.
I was sad of course, but I knew that she was ready to go and I think she knew it was almost her time. She would often talk about “seeing” my grandfather in her dreams and smiled when she said “he says he’s waiting for me, so I tell him that I’ll be there shortly.”
I had never told her about my visits with Lucien and I’m not really sure why I didn’t. Maybe I thought that somehow his stories were secret and meant only for me. I’m prone to have romantic notions about things like that from time to time.
Lucien had never asked me why I was at the Shady Spot Nursing Home nor had he ever even asked my name. He hadn’t asked if I had stories to tell. He had never asked me anything, other than “have I told you about ‘so-and-so’?”
My grandmother’s death wasn’t going to stop me from continuing to visit Lucien. although it would be a several weeks before I could return.
During that time, I thought about him often. Late at night, after I had said goodnight to my grandmother and grandfather, his words came floating by like a gentle breeze:
“I have stories to tell. Oh my. I have stories to tell.”
To Be Continued__________