Bonnie was 83, and fit as a fiddle. Her social life was more active than that of a 30-year-old. She was sharp too. She didn’t need assisted living or retirement homes and lived in a huge sprawling mansion in Louisiana. It had been her home for over fifty years. Bonnie’s late husband Arthur built their home. They never considered themselves rich, and really they weren’t. They lived well, but not extravagantly. Bonnie and Arthur often had guests to dinner, but never called them dinner parties. The only help Bonnie had with her home, was a maid who cleaned her house, not because Bonnie couldn’t do it, but because she just didn’t like to clean. Rose had been with Bonnie for 25 years. She was part of the family.
Arthur died on Thanksgiving day in 2005 after having a sudden and unexpected heart attack. It was a sad day for Bonnie and Rose, but life went on.
Every Thanksgiving morning, rain or shine, they both visited Arthur’s grave. They took fresh flowers and sat at the grave side sipping sweet coffee and eating beignets, talking to him as though he were still alive. It was a happy occasion, not a sad one.
At eleven am on the morning of Thanksgiving Day 2011, Bonnie was sitting in front of the mirror, putting on lipstick in preparation for her visit to Arthur’s grave. She wanted to look nice for him. She was almost finished when her bedroom door opened revealing a shadowy reflection. She turned around to see her husband, large as life and twice as handsome, standing in the doorway. “Arthur” she said “We were just coming to see you, couldn’t you wait?”.
They embraced. “Let’s sit a while” he said as he led her to his favorite chair by the window. He held her hand as she sat down, and then sat opposite her. They had sat there often in years gone by, looking across their beautiful garden.
“Bonnie, I am taking you home.” He said “It’s time.”
Bonnie smiled at her husband, the only man she had ever loved. “Why did you leave it so long?”
Rose came bustling into the bedroom “We gonna be late Miss Bonnie. Arthur likes you to be punctual. Eleven thirty on the dot. He’ll be turning in his grave if you aren’t there.”
She stopped dead in her tracks. Bonnie was sitting in the window with a smile on her face looking out at the garden, something wasn’t quite right. Rose walked to the window and looked out. The iron gate at the end of the garden opened and swung shut again. She heard laugher.
“I guess we don’t need to be visiting Mr. Arthur today” she said as she turned around and looked at Bonnie. Rose wiped a tear from her eye, sad at losing her friend, but happy that Bonnie would no longer be lonely.