Sometimes serendipity smacks you in the face and there is no explanation for it. That is what happened to me tonight. I had dinner with two perfect strangers… Serendipitous strangers.
I checked into a hotel in Connecticut. In fact, the best hotel I’ve ever stayed in. It was a beautiful room with the feel of a retreat. I was in this hotel because it was near to the place I needed to be at the time. Near my stepmother as she was dying.
Stepmother is such a loaded term. A term filled with cultural uncertainty. A word that can span the spectrum of meaning: an evil stepmother? A Cinderella-esque situation? Or all the way to the opposite side: the almost unimaginable kind person who cared for a child/children not her own. I mean, who does that? And in real life? Maybe this is why it is so easy to embrace the evil stepmother image, because kind stepmother is too hard to imagine.
But I was lucky. Actually we were lucky to have her. She was an amazing stepmother and she cared for us part-time from about age 8 on. I fully admit this is the unimaginable scenario that is almost boring.
She passed away this morning, but I have no regrets. I told her I loved her and what she meant to me. I spent time with her while she was ill and saw her in these last days. She had suffered a lot.
Back at the inn I had stepped out for a breath of fresh air. The innkeeper saw me outside and asked how things had gone. After I explained, she invited me to join her and her friend for dinner- even if I just needed a good cry. Oh my was I surprised and I decided to join them.
It was a beautiful evening I will never forget with two intelligent, empathetic, accomplished women who were full of life, laughter and sound advice. My faith in this world was renewed and it was the perfect medicine.
So… Because this is a decorating blog and not the writer’s forum, grief counseling or parenting blog it has morphed into, I’m attaching some grainy iPhone photos of the inn. You should stay here. You should go to Connecticut and see the scenery and say hello to Pam the innkeeper who made Connecticut feel more like North Carolina because…
It. Is. Spectacular. Full stop.
© copyright 2015 Mariam d’Eustachio 2015.