Lindsay's Warm Visit
Here in her dark basement, startled Diane Hartley now grumbles at the power going out. Diane is trying to find the laundry room flashlight. Frantically searching, her fingers quickly touch everything on the nearby top shelf. She can tell by the shape and texture of certain objects but no flashlight. Now, she finds something, a book of matches. Once Diane flicks the match, she happily sees a flashlight near the dryer sheets. The only thing on Diane's mind is hopefully it works. She turns the switch, what a magnificent feeling. Diane is relieved, she finally has light in the room. While thinking of this cold February evening, Diane is glad that her husband Nick had built a wood stove in the basement rec room. Calmly breathing, Diane now tosses clean clothes in the basket.
Before going up the stairs, Diane surprisingly notices the lovely painting next to the railing. It's of three costumed children ready for Halloween. This was done by her best friend Lindsay Banes. The two were so close until Lindsay's fatal illness took her life in October. Diane sadly sighs. Recently, Diane's eleven year old son Ryan had taken Lindsay's painting for Show and Tell at school. Diane now places the basket near the stairs. She carries the flashlight and painting to their rec room. Because of the wood stove, this room is cozy. A battery light shines on the family picture, Diane, Nick and their boys, Steven and Ryan. Presently, the threesome are at a hockey game.
Diane proudly stands the painting on the bookshelf, the usual place for it. There, she sees the box of matches and two kerosene lamps that her loving dad brought before Christmas. Diane smiles reaching for the matches. Once the room is well lit, she now gazes at the painting. Fun, wonderful thoughts rush in Diane's mind. She adored Lindsay, a true friend, creative teacher and a lover of art, music and nature. Their days together made an endearing, colourful story. They had shared many joyful and sad times. When Diane's grandmother Margaret had died, Lindsay warmly produced a video in remembrance of Margaret. It was Lindsay's personal devotion to make memories last forever. Now, Diane enjoys a special thought, she and Lindsay were volunteers at children's soccer. Diane chuckles, she will treasure those playful days. Suddenly, the nearby phone rings but only once. Diane wonders as she looks at the floral vase next to the phone. It's a birthday gift from Lindsay. Diane now has the chills, it looked as if the vase was moving. She anxiously picks up the vase, she reads the inscription.
"When you're cold, lonely, think of a friend and cherish pictures. It's warm happiness!" The vase came with a photo album. Diane smiles, she reaches for the sofa comforter and the photo albums close by. Looking at terrific pictures is fun. A favourite one is Diane's family sitting with Lindsay, her husband Peter and two kids, Katherine and Michael. Diane's neighbour, Pat took this happy picture. It reminds Diane of a lovely Father's Day and celebrating Katherine's birthday. Now, as Diane slowly turns the album page, she sees a pink, folded paper. The poem, Rowing with Harmony had been written by Diane. It's about content Lindsay rowing on the lake one bright July afternoon. Diane lovingly wrote this when Lindsay was seriously sick in the hospital. Soon, the sweet memories make Diane sleepy, she lies down.
She has a beautiful, vivid dream, she is with Lindsay having fun making a snowman. They dress him with a cap, plaid scarf and garden gloves. Later, they both enjoy their favourite coconut cream pie and hot chocolate. Before drinking, staring Lindsay softly taps Diane's arm.
"Oh Diane, you'll always be my dearest friend, you know that! I will never forget our warm, pleasing friendship. You and my family are forever in my heart! Thanks for finding Nora, a lovable housekeeper. I also want to say that you need to focus on yourself, get back into writing again. Please do it for me! I love the poem Rowing with Harmony, it's precious, you called me a Soft Shawl, cute! Bring some of your work for, Story and Poem Day at the library centre, the twenty sixth of February. Get in touch with Janice, my cousin. She will be out of town that day so take pictures. My sweet friend, I'm always with you!"
Diane's dream is over and now the power is back on as she hears the TV set upstairs. The feeling in Diane's heart is warm, a joyous beat. She had seen Lindsay, got to hear her soft voice again. As smiling Diane sits up, she now thinks of Janice. Diane heard about the special day at the library. While getting the telephone book, Diane is anxious to call.
"Hi, it's Diane Hartley, is Janice there?" She takes a deep breath.
"Hello Diane, it's Martin. Janice is gone shopping, a big clearance
sale at the mall. Would you like to leave a message?"
"Yes, I'm interested to bring some of my poems to that event at the library. She can call me back." Diane now gazes at the poem.
"Sure Diane. Oh, Janice is excited about another event, she is going to Florida for her friend Emily's wedding on the twenty sixth."
Suddenly, Diane is numb, she can't believe what Martin had said. She now turns to the vase, the painting then the poem. She is in awe.
"Hello Diane, are you still there?" This is an amazing moment.
"Yes, I was just thinking. Ah, tell her to call me, thanks." Diane is so thrilled, she feels like going outside to dance in the snow. She now displays the both family picture. Just then the phone rings, it's Nick.
"HI hon, we're coming soon. Want us to bring home a movie?" Diane can't wait to tell him about the dream. She is beaming.
"Not this evening. A coconut cream pie would be nice!" Diane will never forget one incredible dream. Lindsay's Warm Visit had astoundingly made Diane see the light.