when they were living i always tried to do something a little special to brighten an otherwise sad day for my loves.
in the summer of 1988, after spending most of that independence day in the pool with friends, i showered, dressed, and made a batch of chocolate chip cookies to take to the mosses on the court.
when i arrived, mrs. moss greeted me at the door with a hug, and i gave her a kiss on the cheek. i walked in and sat the plate of cookies down on the counter in her kitchen and made my way into their den where mr. moss was sitting drinking his before-dinner-bourbon and coke. "well, bless your heart, dani," he said as he arose to greet and give me a hug. "sit down here and visit with us."
mrs. moss had detoured through the kitchen behind me to stir the soup she was making for their evening meal. "would you like something to drink, dani?" she offered in her gravelly sophisticated voice.
"no, thank you," i replied.
"george," she said as she entered the den to join us, "dani, brought us some home-made chocolate chip cookies." she turned toward me, smiled crinkling her sweet little nose, and thanked me again.
mr. moss looked at me over his high-ball glass and straw, and after swallowing the sip he'd taken, he added, "well, that was mighty nice of you, dani. that was mighty nice."
not much had changed in the moss' home after mike had died. his bedroom was the same as he had left it, many photos of 'young mike' adorned the walls throughout their home. there was a rather large portrait of mike moss that hung on their den wall.
mike had been a very handsome young man. joe martin, a local photographer had captured mike in the prime of his youth... dark hair, complexion, and eyes (his eyes seemed to twinkle), and a perfect smile. mike was wearing a crisp white oxford shirt and a pale blue cardigan that day.
i suppose that was the way the mosses remembered mike,
frozen in time.
after a bit of smalltalk, mrs. moss commented that mike had been gone for 20 years. on one hand, she said it seemed like a life-time; but, on the other hand, it seemed like it had been just yesterday that she had watched him play in the dirt pile in the back yard of their house on the court as the house had been being built. at that, mr. moss somberly shook his head and added that mike had been the best son for which the couple could have ever asked...
"a true joy!"
my heart ached for them.
george michael moss was not the only victim of that tragedy. his friend, mike hennesy, was also in the car that ill-fated night...
neither of the two survived the crash.
as the mosses were recalling memories of mike and sharing their stories, i saw a toddler run past the mosses large front window, which over-looked the river. then i saw another running after the first. about that time, mrs. moss looked over to see a third little girl and a man following along behind the girls.
mrs. moss looked puzzled, "who do you suppose that is, george?"
"well, golly muggins," mr. moss replied. "i have no idea?" the three of us arose from our seats and walked toward the front door and out on their front porch.
the young father offered his hand for mr. moss to shake. as he did so, he explained that he was mike hennesy's brother, hugh, and that the three little girls were his daughters.
after introductions, i stood among the three as they shared their memories.
i just listened.
standing outside a house where life had stood seemingly still, i felt an odd kindredship with hugh hennesy that day. we were proof that life had, indeed, continued to "go on".
(to be continued...)
love and God's blessings,
ps you will find earlier entries in ascending order on my side bar entitled, "our love story":)