Yesterday my first cousin got married in my home town. We really wanted to go but, well, it’s 900 miles away. Sometimes I don’t mind that distance; sometimes I do.
You hear stories about small towns and how, “everyone knows everyone” but you rarely see real examples of that. Sometimes, after you’ve been away for a while you even forget.
I was frustrated with not getting to go to the wedding and at the last minute decided to send flowers so I called up the local flower shop and the conversation went something like this:
"Hi, this is jinksto; my first cousin is getting married tonight and I’d like to send flowers.”
“Sure! Do you want to send them to the house or to the wedding?”
“Well, I’m not sure. I know that she’s getting dressed at my aunt’s house so…”
“Yeah, but she’s sort of missing right now.”
Now, realize that this is almost an exact transcript. I hadn’t told her WHO was getting married. Just that it was my first cousin and I forget that it’s a small town so I said, “Jill? You know her?”
“Of course I know her! Jinksto, this is Nisha… Jill is my *BEST* friend. I’m going to the wedding anyway!”
Right… ok. I’ve met Nisha a few times. She’s one of those people that you know because of a connection to the family but you really only get to see at funerals and weddings. Or, at least, “I” only get to see her then… others, see her more often I hope.
“So where do you want them to go?”
“I have no idea. Maybe the wedding?”
“I’ll just call Ms Jessica [My aunt; Jill’s mom] and find out where she wants them to go. How’s that?”
“Ok, what do you want to send?”
“I don’t know. I‘d like for them to match her other flowers so if you could do that. It would be great?”
“I’ll think of something. What do you want to spend”
So I give her a budget and a credit card number and we hang up. I know that Nisha will do things up right so I go back to work.
A couple of hours later my office phone rings and I answer it without looking at the caller id.
“<red, white and blue company> this is Jinksto”
“Hi Jinksto! This is Nisha from the flower shop!”
“Hi Nisha. What’s up?”
“I’m working on those flowers for Jill and I thought it would be really neat to add some of your mama’s favorite flowers. Do you remember what they were?”
Mom died several years ago now but she and my girl first cousins always had a special relationship. Mom REALLY wanted a daughter but ended up with three sons. She loved us completely of course but she sort of adopted my girl cousins and loved them just as much as she loved us. Mom was like that. She had enough love for everyone and didn’t mind letting people know. My uncle Butch, Jill’s dad, lived close enough to us that they got to see each other regularly. Mom, to some degree helped raise the girls. I’m pretty sure that she even invented Ms Jill’s nickname when she was just a baby.
My mother was a very special person. She could fix pretty much anything for anybody. She just had a way about her that was decisive and somehow… sweet. She could convince the Pope that it was in his best interest to convert to a Reformed Southern Baptist and make him happy about the fact if she thought it would solve a problem for someone that she loved. Ms Glenda could fix any problem. Even after all of these years I can still get out of a speeding ticket in Vernon Parish if the cop remembers that Ms Glenda was my mom because, well, the cop knows there’s just no point. Maybe I’ll write another post about her some day but it hasn’t been quite long enough yet.
“I really don’t Nisha. I guess that makes me a bad son…”
“Nope. Not at all. Look, don’t worry about it; I know someone who will know! I’ll take care of it.”
Here’s the chatter from Facebook this morning:
I love North Carolina but sometimes I dearly miss my home.
Best wishes Jilly Bean Leonard and Jamie Johnson. We love you.