prompt word is Recreate recreated is used.
Late morning and Maryanne was returning from her trip to the doctor. The attendant greeted her at the car, got her wheelchair, helped her into it and took her into the building and to her room. Maryanne shared the room with Gretta. They were friends, from childhood. Both had ended up in the “Happy Days” nursing home after they had reached their 95th birthdays. It was a state of the art full facility with some independent living spaces, and some assisted living facilities and then the full hospital. Both were in the hospital ward, though neither understood why. Both had clear minds, and few medical needs. They only thing was they were both 95 years old. Gretta ‘Gigi’ to Maryanne was 3 months older. They had thought they were moving into independent living, but the two had been put into the hospital instead, and no one told them why. It had only been 3 months since they moved though, just after their birthdays. It was now Springtime, the ides of March and Maryanne had an idea.
“Gigi! Hey, GIGI!” a small lady yelled at her companion.
“What Mar?!” the almost deaf companion yelled back.
“I’ve got the code, we can leave tonight!” she said, excited like a kid going to the pool in summer.
“You have? How’d that happen?” Gigi asked, amazed.
“I got new glasses last month and when the attendant punched the code in this morning, I saw what it was!”
“Are you sure you will remember it correctly?”
“Yes, yes I am sure of it. The pub is close, lets go and play some music tonight, like we used to!”
“They think my flute is a walking stick, let me keep it. Where’s your fiddle?” asked Gigi
“Which one? Leroy, Shermy, or Theodore?” answered Mar.
“I thought you only had Theodore since we moved into this ‘Hilton’?” Gigi said sarcastically.
“That be true, alas, but I always loved me male harem. I miss Shermy and Leroy.” Mar said sadly.
“Where are they?”
“I don’t know. I packed them when we moved, all three of them, but Leroy and Shermy went missing.”
“But you still have Theodore?” asked Gigi.
“Yes, I do, and I want to play tonight! St. Patrick’s day is nearly here.” Mar said, excited.
“And your wheelchair?” Gigi said, still sarcastically. She knew they didn’t need wheel chairs.
“Yep, under me, you?”
“Sure do. Lets go!” Gigi started to get out of her wheelchair.
“It’s tonight, not now. It’s midday right now. Let’s have a nice nap so we can stay up late!”
“Okay, sounds good to me.” and Gigi went to her bed, laid down, and went to sleep.
Mar was excited, and sleep just seemed elusive. She was hopeful she could remember the code and they’d be able to walk to the pub, a block away, and she’d be able to play music with people again. She did what she had always done when she couldn’t sleep, she simply rested the best she could, remembering the music sessions from her youth, both from her time in Ireland, and out.
“Mar. Mar! Mar wake up!?” Gigi shook her friend who finally woke up.”
“What?” Maryanne said sleepily.
“It’s time. Do you remember the code?”
“Oh, nice, really, um, yes I do!” Mar said sleepily.
“Here’s Theodore, let’s go.” Gigi commanded.
“Let me wake up a bit, where are my glasses, my wallet, my hat.”
“Here they are” said Gigi, impatiently. “Now lets go, you look great!”
The two slipped out of their rooms into the common area where some old folks were playing games with each other, or not as the case might be. The two ladies were pushing their wheelchairs which were loaded with musical instruments. Mar had her small fiddle, a 3/4 size (that’s Theodore), and her drum a tunable bodhran. Gigi had c 100 flutes of varying sizes in a bag on her chair. They pushed the chairs through the room and greeted cheerfully residents and workers alike. There were fish tanks with lots of fish to watch, there were also 3 TV’s on, with blaring sound. The two old ladies had no trouble walking through the area pushing their wheelchairs. This was common for them and not one attendant suspected they two ladies had plans to leave the hospital.
They went to the door, Mar punched in the code, and the door opened. They left. Freedom! Gigi who had a great sense of direction knew exactly which way to go. The two ladies had picked the Happy Days nursing home because it was so close to Keenan’s pub, an authentic Irish pub which listed a weekly music session as part of their atmosphere. The ladies walked easily the block to the pub as both were in great shape. They were quite a sight though, two grey haired ladies pushing wheel chairs loaded down with musical instruments. They walked down the street happily, Gigi slightly faster than Mar. It was dusk, the sun was just setting. No one seemed to see them, or mind.
Gigi was dressed in colorful flowing attire, with beautiful make-up, painted finger nails, and black flat shoes. She was striking. Mar was in her purple ‘comfy plushys’ with her green Puma sneakers, simple and easy to put on, but nice all the same. She wore no make-up, but was also striking. Gigi towered over Mar. The two friends were very like Mutt and Jeff because they were so different, but neither had minded.
They arrived at the pub in good time for the music session and watched the sunset, the colors were glorious with red, blue, and purple. They entered the pub and saw other musicians drinking and laughing. The musicians greeted them warmly, and one of the younger players recognized Mar. She had been a professional fiddler in her younger days and he had all of her CD’s. He was in fact star struck at first, but Mar put him at ease and the two became friends. His name was Alex, and he knew Mar’s playing very well.
Gigi was also well know, but more as an author than a musician. She had written several novels all of whom were still in print. One of the older musicians had read them all and he and Gigi were talking quite happily. The two ladies were welcomed into the circle, and given drinks. Soon the music began and once again they felt they belonged, it was a community. The night wore one, much music and talk, oh they were so happy.
There were about 10 musicians; a tin whistle player, an accordion player who also played concertina, a banjo/fiddle player (Alex), an Irish flute player, a guitar player, two who sang, and a bodhran player, then Mar and Gigi.
As the evening went on Mar and Gigi felt more and more alive. This was where they belonged, not in the ‘Happy Days’ hospital. So much fun, so many tunes, and songs, and talk. Mar loved to talk, she longed for good, deep, real conversations.
Alex started to play guitar, and then sang “Dublin in the rare old times”. Mar loved this song and knew it well. She played along and Alex was amazed she could. To sing the song Alex had cappoed his guitar to Ab major. This was no problem for Mar, she just moved her hand. Gigi had a more difficult time though, but finally found the correct flute to play in the correct key. He sang, Mar played and took her solo when Alex offered it, Gigi joined in as did the other musicians, and even patrons of the pub sang along. The music rose, and for a moment Mar was back in Ireland at O’Donahues when she had met Johnny and Chris Keenan, as well as Willy and Tom Walsh, and Mick Fitzgerald, and so many more. The days from so very long ago were fresh in her mind. The Recreated feel of the sessions from Ireland, indeed Dublin in the ‘rare old times’ for Mar, released her true musical self and the music soared around those in the pub. Mar’s solos were amazing, Gigi sang in harmony, the crowd sang the chorus together, and a man in a well dressed suit started to make some sense of the headache he had had for the past 3 months.
The evening had to come to an end and now Mar and Gigi had to now figure out how to get back into the building. As they packed up their instruments the well dressed man approached them timidly. He was well groomed and about 40 years old. He asked them a question.
“Are you two from the Happy Days nursing home?”
Mar did not want to answer afraid of the repercussions, but Gigi was too quick, “Yes, we are, and we have some complaints.”
“I gathered as much, he said sitting near them. He was friendly, not hostile, and both listened as they put their instruments away. He continued “Well, there has been a mystery for 3 months. See, we admitted 4 older ladies 3 months ago. Two were to go into independent living and two into the hospital facility. We assumed the older two would be going into the hospital and the younger two into independent living.”
“Oh, my” both Mar and Gigi said together.
Then Gigi said “And……”
The man continued, “Well, we made some mistakes and I hope you two will forgive us.”
“Gigi, I told you.” Mar said, victorious.
“And I agreed, didn’t I! There must have been some mistake. Pity the attendants didn’t listen to us.” Gigi replied.
The man said kindly “We will fix it tonight.”
“So we do get to live in independent living after all?” they both chimed together, excited.
“Yes and you can move in tonight.” he replied. They other two old women had been in independent living, but couldn’t manage it and had been moved to the hospital. Staff hadn’t a clue whose stuff had been delivered to the small houses, well, not until now.
He offered to drive them back to the facility and they two got their mini homes as they should have gotten 3 months ago. And that was the end to a perfect evening! The two continued to play at the sessions once a week well into their 100’s. The pub did very well as people from all over the world came to hear the music, and life was good. When they both died, within hours of each other, their joint funeral (1/2 Lutheran and 1/2 Pagan) was so well attended there were people standing outside the pub. Yes, it was held at the pub, and as per their request, music and celebration were very music a part of the not so somber funerals. Whiskey (14 year Tullamore dew) was had by all who wanted, free of charge. It was a wake like no other.
Copyright ©2017 Moira Levant and Random Thoughts. All Rights Reserved.