When I was a girl, there were a lot of people who stayed in our home. After all, we owned an inn!
While most of the people were guests, there was also a steady flow of my parents’ friends who would visit the Horse & Hound Inn during their weekends and vacations.
Larry and Paulette were firmly in the latter group – good friends of my parents from when they lived in the city. I always looked forward to seeing them.
Paulette was my confidante – she held all of my little girl secrets, and then all of my not-so-little-girl secrets as I grew into a teenager.
I didn’t talk with Larry as much, largely because we were both a bit shy. But no matter the words, it was the feelings that counted. I knew he loved me and I couldn’t get enough of him.
He was tall – I don’t know exactly how tall, but to my little-girl eyes he was at least 8 feet tall. He was gentle, sweet and kind. He was the epitome of a “gentle giant”.
I haven’t been in touch with Larry or Paulette for many years. Sadly, I learned a couple of weeks ago that Larry passed away recently. It makes me so sad that I never reached out to tell him how much I loved him.
Yesterday, I came across a tangible memory of Larry that I hadn’t seen in a very long time.
One night Larry, a hockey fan, ordered a beef tournedo for dinner at the Horse & Hound. It was a dish that came covered in a mustard sauce, accompanied with vegetables. I think it must have been his favorite dish, because my prankster dad was prepared for him.
When the plates were served, Larry picked up his fork and steak knife and started cutting into his meat. Except that he had a really hard time cutting it. Not one to make a fuss, I’m guessing he probably tried to not show his dismay at being served an exceptionally tough piece of meat.
Turns out, my dad and the chef had gussied up a regulation hockey puck instead of a piece of meat for Larry that night. It became a bit of a legend amongst their group of friends.
Yesterday, I came across the hockey puck at my mom’s house – knife marks and all. It was almost like Larry had come to say “hi.”
With greatest love to you, Larry. May your spirit always rest as safe and warm as you made me feel.
Today’s miracle: Remembering the safety and warmth of a treasured man from my youth.