As children we were often told the moral of the story. Remember those? By adults who wanted to frame circumstances in a different light for us.
Over the weekend I read this delightful book. The main character had lost a son years before. She had never really lived her life since his death. Just endured it.
She liked to spend time at the Victorian cemetery, making up stories about the dead people. She had no grave site for her son, whose body never washed up on the beach, so she made do with strangers.
Then she has a chance encounter with two amazing women. One is Sally Red Shoes. And the other is Kitty Muriel.
The Assumptions We Often Make:
Masha assumes that Sally Red Shoes, odd as a three dollar bill, is a bag lady. Sally also visits the cemetery daily. But she comes to feed the crows. And she always wears her bright red shoes.
Without provocation or preamble Sally Red Shoes would open her arms up wide, turn her head up to face the heavens and begin to sing. Fulsomely and quite loudly.
Then there was Kitty Muriel. She was a convent girl-turned magician’s-wife-turned-seventy-something-roller-disco-fanatic. She too had lost a child.
Strange as the day is long, Kitty Muriel fascinated everyone she met because of her costume-like clothing, gaudy makeup and confident demeanor.
When Sally died, Masha went to her funeral and found that Sally was not a bag lady at all and her real name was not even Sally. In fact she had been a renowned opera singer.
The love of Sally’s life had died some years ago. And when he died, something in Sally died too for a time. She became what my granny would have called “addled in the head.”
Don’t Judge A Book By It’s Cover:
But then one day Sally got herself up and dressed and made herself useful.
She visited old folks homes and volunteered. Brought cheer to all kinds of organizations. Then went to the cemetery to feed the crows.
Sally was much more than met the eye. She lost her great love, grieved him fully, then went back to living.
Kitty Muriel lost first her daughter and then her husband to suicide, but she believed that the road down grief’s lane led to living a full and happy life in honor of her child.
And Masha was drowning in her sorrow, not really living her life at all. She was putting one foot in front of the other and getting through it.
How We All Deal With Death Differently:
Kitty Muriel wore crazy outfits and did what she darned well pleased and no one judged her. Because she was so confident in her eccentricity.
Sally Red Shoes embraced life so fully even the crows she fed were spellbound by her.
Masha learned so much from these two odd women, for they took different paths after their loss. And both taught her how to live again.
And so the moral of the story, in Sally Red Shoe’s very own words, is:
When the music stops for someone you love, you don’t stop dancing. You dance for them as well.”
Tomorrow our Frugal Friday Tips topic will be favorite frugal meals. Please also give me suggestions of what you’d like to cover in the future.