Thursday, January 26, 2006
She Came to See Me
By Richard E. Noble
I once owned a little ice cream parlor on the outskirts of a small town. Many of my customers were older people who lived in a retirement village up the road. It was hard to build a business in this atmosphere - as fast as I gained new customers, I lost an old one to … time.
The old folks always came in couples, until one day, one of the two would stumble in, awkwardly ... alone. It was difficult to know the right thing to say. You didn’t want to say; Hey, where’s Rita . . . or Bob? - because if you did, out would come the handkerchief and down the wrinkled cheeks would flow the tears. So if the remaining party didn’t say anything, you didn’t say anything.
Often times nothing would be said. Sometimes there would be a brief announcement that there was no more Herb, or Ethel. Then with others there would be a long involved explanation of the last weeks or months or year.
When I was a young person, I didn’t want to hear such stories. As an older person I no longer had that problem. These were all beautiful stories, filled with love. These were all stories about people who cared about one another. They were sad, but …
On one occasion this very sad, and very alone, old man came into the shop. He had been in a few times now, without his chum. He had gotten his hot fudge, caramel brownie sundae or whatever and had left without saying anything. On this particular occasion, though, he was smiling and seemed relieved. He told me a story that I have converted into a small poem and I entitled it:
She Came to See Me
I saw you in my dream last night.
You seemed to be so happy where you were.
You were laughing once again.
You were frightened when you left.
and clasped my hand.
You didn’t know where you were going.
I saw the fear in your eyes.
I saw the tears.
But last night in my dream
you were laughing again.
You were, once again, yourself.
Last night you were telling your jokes.
You were happy and relieved.
Thank-you for coming to see me.
You looked so pretty, my dear.
You were so rosy, my lovely friend.
I feel so much better knowing that you’re safe.
Now I won’t worry anymore.
Thank-you my dear.
Thank-you my darling,
I feel so much better.
My troubled heart is now at peace.
Come again, if you would like.
I enjoyed your visit so.
I’ll be waiting …
by the swing …
with a rose …
I’ll be waiting.
And I’ll remember what you said:
“Don’t forget me.
Don’t think without me.
Don’t be alone.
Don’t be without me.
Don’t forget me.
Don’t think that I have forgotten you.
Don’t think I don’t remember.
I love you, too.
Don’t forget me.”
Never, my darling.
I’ll see you in my dreams, my love.
I’ll see you in my dreams, my friend.
I’ll see you in my dreams …
my dreams …