John held his wife’s hand as they walked through Central Park. It was dusk and the maple trees lining the park made it feel secluded. People were throughout the park and he was glad to call this busy place home. His thumb brushed over Stacy’s and smiled. So many memories were made with her. Central park is where they had met. It was perfect to be coming back to reminisce on the eve of their 40th anniversary. He had wanted to call his mom earlier today. To hear her sweet voice. But it was impossible. “God if she can hear me. Let her know that I love her.”
They were headed to “their” bench. Before they arrived John saw an older woman claiming the spot with her knitting needles. John sighed. His mom was known for knitting. Making things for them when they were kids. Most of the pictures he had of his childhood were in the red sweater she had knitted when he was six.
They approached the bench and the older woman looked up. She smiled. He nodded. When he looked down at her lap. The red sweater looked identical to the one he remembered. He stared. She looked back. His eyes watered, a lump caught in his throat. The woman looked the same age as his mother if she were still alive. A tear ran down his cheek and she smiled as if she knew. She waved her hand and mouthed “Hi”. He wiped the tear with his hand. “Hi.” They kept walking past and Stacy just held his hand squeezing it as if she too, knew what was going on.
Stacy heard her husband sigh and knew that it as an emotional one. He had mentioned earlier he was missing his mom. She knew the pain. She had lost her mom recently. The comfort of knowing that their parents were in heaven was all that got her through most days. She loved the feel of her hand in his. Safe. Secure. He was her security. She was his calm. They walked in silence throughout the park comfortable in the quiet and people watching.
She saw the older women on their bench before he did. She was knitting with a red heap of yarn in her lap. Stacy had heard much of Johns red sweater escapades when he was a boy. She loved the stories. His mother had made each of her kids a different color when they were little. They were their favorite things to wear.
As they approached the older woman she could feel Johns hand tighter around her own. She knew what he was seeing and didn’t know what he was thinking.
“Hi” she heard from his lips. She wanted to wrap her arms around him as she witnessed the scene. They kept walking and when she looked at him tears were pouring from his eyes.
She was getting older and afraid this might be the last time she could comfortably walk to Central Park alone. She always brought her knitting to keep herself from getting cold. She enjoyed watching the people in the park. So many varieties. She had a heard a small whisper that she needed to go to the park tonight and sit on one of the benches. She sat on the one that was closest to the park but still surrounded by some of the maples. She was working on a red sweater for her great grand son. He would be six next week. She imagined him grown up. Knowing she wouldn’t be around to see him turn into a man. Her heart ached and rejoiced that soon she would be with her creator.
A couple was walking towards her. She imagined her little grand-boy walking with his wife. Kids grown. Grand kids of his own. Her heart looked up before her eyes did. She felt a stare and when her eyes met his she smiled. It had to be a vision. Her little grandson all grown. His wife was beautiful. Is it possible that God does miracles like that? Gives visions of what is to come to satisfy the curious? She smiled and waved. She had to say Hello. She mouthed the greeting. He looked back. A tear run down his cheek. She sighed in contentment.
This was why it was important to come tonight. If this was the last time she would be here in the park. That was alright. This is what she was here for.