The moment Granny Hardwick brought out the orange-ginger tea Sarah knew her Gran meant business. Orange-ginger was a serious tea for serious conversation. Sarah steeled herself certain that her Gran was going to tell her of her imminent demise, after all there had been the recent doctor’s visit.
Heat, sultry and embracing, wrapped around them as they sat beneath the arching umbrella, Sarah shivered nonetheless.
“Get that look off your face. No one here dying,” Gran said.
“The tea? Because you and I need to have a serious conversation.”
Sarah added a dash of sugar to her tea. “About?”
“You. This living in the past you’re doing.”
“Me? I’m not—”
“Last week trying to recreate the Independence Day from when you were twelve. At Christmas, all of that cooking and baking foods from your childhood, a lot of them downright disgusting. Even I hate Jello salad and I was brought up with Jello-salad-everything.”
“It’s living in the past,” Gran said. She reached out and patted Sarah’s hand. “I know it’s hard. Your life hasn’t turned out the way you planned, but that doesn’t mean you stop living and go backwards. It means you start making new memories. You’ve got a good man. You could have a good life if you just stopped being unhappy about what can’t happen. You used to be the happiest thing. I’m worried about you.”
Living in the past? Sarah fumed.
“I’ll say one last thing and then we’ll enjoy our tea and visit,” Gran said. “No one handed out guarantees when you were born. You make your own choice whether to be happy or not. Yesterday’s memories are nice but trying to go back and be happy from them will never work. You need to make new memories. Time’s gone before you blink. As you kids say: YOLO. Live now before you end up regretting all of the missed chances, missed life.”
As if to punctuate Gran’s words, a hummingbird hovered next to Sarah, its wings flapping wildly before darting to the nearby feeder. Maybe she had been flapping her wings just a little too hard, standing still, and not really living.
Sascha Darlington 4/25/2018