“I’m glad you find our conversation humorous, Stella. I wish to speak to my daughter alone. I’m sure you have something to keep yourself occupied while we discuss a few things of importance.” Stella shrugged her shoulders and turned to leave.
“Okay, Miss Clair, but I’ll be back in a while to give you your morning meds. Get her to eat something Kathleen.”
“Please, Stella…call me Kat. I’m sure my mother does as she pleases. At least she did thirty years ago.”
“Before you say anything, Mother. I have a few basics I need you to clarify. The envelope you sent me included a copy of the deed to this property. The accompanying document stated there were no conditions attached to the transfer of ownership, other than allowing you to stay here for a week during the Thanksgiving holiday. I hope you’re not thinking we’ll have some sort of bonding experience and I’ll feel compelled to invite you to extend your stay.”
“I’m a woman of my word, Kathleen. The house is yours to burn down if that’s what you’d like to do. Just make sure Trixie is taken care of. If you read the document closely you must have noticed watching after Trixie was the only thing I asked of you.”
“I’ve never had a dog, Mother, but I’m sure we’ll manage.”
“Now,” she said. “Since this will be my last Thanksgiving spent here, I would like to invite a few people to join us. It’s very last minute, so we must plan quickly.
You should know a few things about this interesting little group. We’ll have Stella extend the invitations. I feel sure all five will RSVP. Would you please hand me the folder sitting on my bedside table?”
I did as she requested. She had been facing the window all the while we talked, but now she turned in her wheelchair to face me. I could tell my mother was very sick.
“I’m assuming these friends of yours live close by,” I said. “It will be nice to meet some of my neighbors. I was wondering who watched over Trixie while you were away.”
“Yes, I had someone come in. Trixie hates to leave her home. As for our guests…this is a portfolio of the people who will be here the evening of Thanksgiving. Please review it closely. And to answer your question…all of them live on the Cape at different times of the year. Now excuse me dear, I’m going to eat something after which I’ll need to rest. Stella can be a real taskmaster. I find it easier these days to do as she asks.”
I felt like I needed some fresh air…salt air… yes, I needed salt air. I took the portfolio and headed for the beach where I found a bench to sit on.
I stayed there for two hours.