We are sitting down to a late lunch. I've just come in from the parking lot, where I've been doing figure-eights with Tommy in the stroller in a vain attempt to get him to sleep. My mom has found us a table, and she is halfway through her first glass of wine. My brother walks in and takes Tommy from me, who is now out of his stroller and is showing his distaste at being confined.
I go to the restroom, and when I return, this is what I see:
My mom is on her second glass of wine. She is talking to the waitress. Tears are forming in my mom's eyes.
"Amelia lost her father last year," she says to me. Amelia, the waitress, appears a bit stunned to be caught in such a personal conversation with a stranger, and she stands there awkwardly for a moment, then asks if she can take our order.
"How did you manage to find that out in the space of a few minutes?" I ask my mom. Her knack to extract information from strangers is unparalleled.
We talk, the food comes, my mom orders another glass.
Amelia is back to clear our plates, fill our water. She seems a little wary. My mom asks her about her mourning process. My mom is getting teary again. Amelia sort of stumbles around, looking for words. Her discomfort is palpable. Then, my mom reaches out and grabs Amelia's hands. "It's ok Amelia, we understand. Our hearts go out to you." Amelia looks as if she might cry, too, then looks away. My brother and I look at each other. I want to save Amelia but I'm not sure how.
"Mom," I start. But she lets go and Amelia backs away. We three sit in silence for a moment, then go on as if nothing has happened.
[Note - I'm not sure how to end this piece. It was moment, but I'm not sure yet how I want to angle it. There are so many ways. I may have to revisit it later. - AGC]