Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Farewell Louise, My Friend

I have decided to participate in the National Blog Post Month for November.  That means I am going to be posting each day of November.

November 12, 2013

I’ve written a few posts in the past about the ladies in my bowling league.  I have mentioned one woman in particular.  Her name is Louise.   I have known Wheezie for about nine years.  
She is now 83 years old.   Her health has declined dramatically in those nine years.  A friend of the family drives her to and from Thunderbird lands and she needs a walker to navigate her way through the allies. 
She doesn’t remember any of us but she still loves to bowl.  
Today our team bowled her team.  While we waited for the games to start, she sat at one of the tables sipping her cup of coffee.  I sat down next to her and smiled at her.  She smiled back at me and said hello.  
When it was her turn to bowl, she gingerly picked up her ball, and slowly made her approach, stopping just short of the foul line. She stood for a second apparently studying the pins.   Her right arm with the ball attached to her hand, hung down by her side.  Then the ball just kind of dropped onto the lane.  I am fascinated as I watch the ball, barely rotating, make its way down the ally.  Louise stayed still at the foul line watching and I imagine hoping that the ball and pins will somehow make a connection. 
Most of the time her ball, doesn’t make it as far as the pins but winds up in the gutter instead. 
Her score at the end of the first game was 21.  I think her best of three games was 48. 
Her team mates are quite supportive, giving her pointers, encouraging her to try to keep the ball down the center of the lane and clapping and cheering when her ball actually hits one or two of the pins. 
During the games, I happened to overhear snippets of a conversation between one of Louise’s team mates and the family friend who brings her to bowling each week.   I’m not sure who or what prompted the conversation, but apparently an agreement was made that Louise would no longer be bowling with us on Tuesday mornings.   
It made me sad to hear the friend say that Louise would not realize she wouldn’t be going bowling anymore.  He said that he calls her on Tuesday’s and tells her he is going to pick her up to take her bowling.  Otherwise she wouldn’t know that it was Tuesday and that she was supposed to go bowling.
I used to be on the same team with Louise.  Back then she was alert and one of the best bowlers in the league.    
Today, as I stood waiting for my turn to bowl, I felt someone tugging on the tail of my shirt, straightening it, and pulling it down.  Like a mother would do.  I didn’t have to turn around.  I knew it was Louise.   I had forgotten that she had that little quirky pet peeve.  It touched me sweetly. 
So, when the games finished, Louise gathered her gear, put on her coat, and with the help of her friend, made her way out of the building.  I guess I won’t ever see Louise again.  I wonder if she would have liked to say good-bye. 

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