Roses and Chrysanthemums

Parenting With Slovie Jungreis Wolff

A bright April morning, full of summer’s promise. A few late daffodils, lavender beginning to waft its scent. Delight and hope reflected in the faces of shoppers, and in the glass fronts of chocolate shops and patisseries.
Mrs. Rawlings stepped out of her car and onto the high street. It was easier on a day like this to think that it would all turn out all right. There would be a wedding to plan—the happy fulfillment of her maternal dreams.
Having lost her little job at the photographer, it would be a real boost.
At the flower shop, she paused, sighed, hesitated a moment, then moved on. Too early to start looking and planning. Then, as she crossed the road to the butcher’s—oh, no. A familiar figure was approaching.
Not today, of all days! Miss Lucy Something-or-other. There in that old brown coat. What was it about the woman that was so irritating? Mrs. Rawlings was about to turn away, but too late. She’d been spotted, and here was the woman now, barring her way, quite insensible to the fact that some people had households to run and were in a hurry! She bit her lip, then smiled, a wide lipstick smile, hoping to keep the encounter brief. “How are you, Miss Lucy? So nice to see you. What beautiful weather.”
Miss Lucy nodded her head in agreement. “I saw you looking in the flower shop, so I thought I must come over to say hello.”
Mrs. Rawlings flashed her teeth. “And how have you been keeping?”
“Well, I don’t get out much, you know, since Mummy has been so bad.” Miss Lucy gave her head a slow, vague shake. “I’ve just slipped out to do some shopping while she has her morning nap.”
Mrs. Rawlings pulled a face guiltily. She had forgotten all about the sick mother. How awful for this woman, stuck inside with only an ailing parent for company. But she couldn’t hang about here conversing all morning! She tutted sympathetically.
“So sorry to hear it. We must get together some time. Perhaps you’d like to come over for tea one afternoon.”

To read more, subscribe to Ami