The lady across the road died this week. She wasn’t any ordinary lady across the road. Her name was Judith, she was 93 years old and she was “our” lady across the road for more than 25 years.
Our family loved her.
If I close my eyes today, I can clearly see the agapanthus in full bloom underneath the liquid amber trees. All my memories of Judith make me smile and feel good.
She was always immaculately dressed and always a dress full of color and flowers. Think about it…how many times during the week when you are not going out, do you just get dressed in “any old thing”. Not Judith – she was always looked lovely.
We thought nothing of running up the back stairs to find her. We NEVER went to the front.
Judith’s front garden was like the Secret Garden, flowers always in bloom, roses standing taller than all of us, fairies hiding in the corner – this was an entrance.
Her entire home was guarded year round by a white picket fence and blooming agapanthus and heaven help the kid, with tennis racket in hand, who decided the flower heads were great things to wallop off. I think that is the only time I ever saw Judith cross. I still remember the day I asked her why and she then patiently shared with me the life of an agapanthus and how precious the flower heads were. Even today when I see one, I think of Judith.
Judith was kind, she had a wicked sense of humor (she loved the Engineer!) and she had a great laugh – one that would take in her whole body and shake it. Judith was quite deaf, yet so elegant with her deafness. She never drew attention to herself by requesting that the room revolved around her. Looking back now, I wonder if she just enjoyed watching the world in front of her, the laughter, the conversation, and all of us just being in the room with her.
While she had a family of her own (who we came to know and love), she treated us like family too. She came to our kitchen teas, she came to our weddings and she held our babies.
The world has lost a wonderful woman but she has left her mark on me and this morning while I am not going out, I am going to put on a nice dress.
Thank you Judith for being our lady across the road.