The Day after the Party
Sunday 1st February 2015
Fred, their son in law, pops in with more stuff left behind after the party. He has been to the gospel service, its around 2 pm and we are having breakfast. A handsome man who is in every way their son, he has been to the Gospel Service, along with Nath and Yvonne and many others. These people walk the talk. He is checking his watch, as tonight there is the Super Bowl, the championships, a game between the Seattle Sea Hawks and the Patriarchs from ??? Lots of preparation to do! - its a huge deal, all over the country, people are 'gettin' in supplies' - beer, and pizza, fried chicken and potato chips. Even I am getting excited!
Deborah and Joe Llyn, Bev's niece arrive later in the evening, with pizza and fried chicken, we have a bottle of wine from last night, and we take our positions in front of a huge TV in the lounge. This is somethin' else! They are right there in the game, they know all the players, their scores, their history, families, they know all the rules, the coaches, the expectations - AND - Deborah has a 'sweep' on some paper, which looks like a complicated numerical crossword, which she explains, but my eyes swivel and my brain turns to fuzz. It's a $100 per box on this square, and the whole family are in it, sharing boxes with each other and friends, and every time there is a score, someone wins and someone loses. They are screaming and clapping, and making last minute arrangements to 'share boxes' - the phone rings all through the game with a running commentary from everybody, Dickie intones from the sidelines what players should be doing, and he knows how the game should be won, Joe Lyn lies down on the floor at one point, face down, they are yelling and clapping and walking away in disgust, only to come back in, shouting instructions. I can hear others in our building doing the same thing, people are banging on walls which reverberate through the building, there have been people celebrating all afternoon - but little, if any, alcohol is drunk. How different to our own alcohol soaked sporting environment, our own alcohol soaked celebrations of all kinds?
A friend on the 'square' has won $10,000 and they are beside themselves. I ask Jo Lyn what she would do with the $1600 she stands to win, if Dickie Deb and she win the $4000 that their box actually could. "My mortgage" she says immediately. She will start a new job soon as personal assistant to the DA and is still in disbelief that she has been chosen, and so so grateful. She has lost 125 lbs in the last year! and says she has a new style of eating, no processed foods and soda. Amaaaazing! I met her two daughters last night, the tall younger one is a bio engineer, and the other voluptuous one is a lawyer. They have worked so hard to accomplish these roles, have competed with those with different colour skin and different educations and been discriminated against so many times, and overcome so much, it makes me want to cry when I think of the wasted opportunities of so many young people I know at home, who really aren’t ‘bothered’ about being successful in life.
The Sea Hawks - OUR team - win! $4000 is the prize, and the room erupts! Joe Lyn is in tears, Deb is screaming, Bev remains as always, dignified watching the proceedings with amusement and affection. Mobiles and the landline are running hot, Bev turns to me and says "We're splitting our winnings with you." Shocked, I refuse. She gets that steely look in her eye, and says "Oh yes, we are." I protest, all I have done is sit here and eat and drink wine, and given a half hearted 'yaaaaay' when it seemed appropriate. I know I cannot win with Beverly, so I am the soon to be recipient of $500. Such is the generosity of this family. I shall send it to Colleen and her Kids in Cambodia, and the rest to our ‘daughter’ Sheela in Nepal.
I watts app Josh, who I know will be watching, to tell him. And he sends a beautiful message to Bev - better late than never, I guess, she would soooo have loved this read to her at her party. Here it is: "Oh wow!!! that's amazing!! What an exciting game .... and that takes the cake! Incredible .... please congratulate them for me ... and please give Beverly one of your very biggest, warmest hugs for me .... I would have loved to have been there to see her face when you unmasked .... please wish her the absolute happiest of birthdays. She is an amazing woman who has taken care of me so many times like I was one of her family ... actually, no, we are family ....she is a very special woman, strong, intelligent, funny, crazy, caring and generous ... I feel so very lucky to have her in our lives. I cannot possibly thank her for all she has done for me ... so make sure that hug conveys the depths of my love for her .... xxx
Love you mum
Another wonderful, delightful, improbable, insightful day.