The phone rang and Ron brought me the phone, I was watering the garden. It was Suzette. I have known her since she was a child. She was blessed with stunning good looks and a simple, loving mind. She was a wonderful worker and as an adult she crewed on the Mariner II. She was a talented Hair Stylist and made a good living. But she loved the fun and glamour of the Mariner. She also, loved to party, drugs and booze were her constant companions. I was looking out the porthole in the galley, while prepping for a cruise. Doing work that Suzette was supposed to do. She was constantly late. But, she would work twice as fast and her sunny disposition would make all her tardiness seem unimportant. I watched as she veered from one side of the dock to the other. I gasped as she recovered her balance in time to prevent her reeling body from going into the water. I met her as she was about to board the aft deck. She looked up at me with a big smile and said: ” Well, I made it, Mary.” I said, ” Yes, you did it again, Suzette. But, you are in no condition to work. So turn your pretty little self around and go home.” She looked up at me with her big brown innocent eyes and giggled; “Okay, Dokay, you call me when you need me, Mary.” She saluted me, and turned heel and staggered back up the dock. Shouting over her shoulder; “I love you, Mary.” as she chuckled at her efforts to master her walk down the plank. “I love you too, Suzette,” And I did and do. How could anyone stay upset at this childish woman so full of sweetness and fun? She is now suffering from MS and is in a nursing home after having been widowed. Her speech is very impaired and it is difficult to understand her. But, I manage to get the jest of her dialog. A nurse has put my phone number on speed dial. So, I often get random phone calls from her when I flash through her mind. She has called this time to apologize for the death of a cattle dog I gave her twenty five years ago. She was living on her Grandparents 300 acre ranch in Martinez. I rescued the dog from a city yard and took him out to Romars’ Ranch, a produce farm that Ron and I owned. Unfortunately it was located near a busy highway and I feared that “Shep” would be run over. So I called Suzette and asked if she would like to have him. She was delighted. He was a wonderful dog. He became her constant companion. Unfortunately, her Grandfather backed over him with his truck and he died. Suzette was filled with guilt. So, she was calling me to tell me how badly she felt about his death. I assured her it was not her fault. And we talked for about an hour as she assured me she would be getting out of the Rest home and when she did she wanted a Schnauzer puppy. I said when she got out we would deal with the puppy. She giggled with glee and said; ” I loved working for you, Mary. Because of you, I know what Pate is. I was watching the food channel and they were making Pate. I was the only one here that knew what it was. You taught me so much.” I had finished watering my garden so I ended the call and told her to call me any time she wanted to talk. I am her link to her past that was a joyful time and the least I can do is make myself available when she wants to relive those adventures. smile emoticon heart emoticon
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