I’m using my woman’s prerogative to change my mind tonight. I know I promised Alaska cruise pictures, but it’s been a busy weekend, and I haven’t had time to go through over 700 photos we took while at sea! So, although you WILL get to see a couple of photos from the cruise, it’s going to take a little longer to get the “cruising” photos put into a blog.
Instead, I want to tell you a cruise story . . . .
The Island Princess presented wonderful entertainment each evening in the theatre, and Ted and I would try to eat early enough to catch the first show. Each evening was different, but they were all filled with wonderful singers and dancers, fabulous costumes, and songs that brought back all kinds of memories from our “younger” years.
On one of the nights a Motown tribute show was presented, and we had a great time listening to music made famous by the Supremes, the Miracles, Martha and the Vandellas, the Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, and many others. We were late getting to the show because we were talking (imagine that) to a couple seated with us at dinner, so we had to go all the way down to the second row from the front to find seats – just before the lights dimmed and the show began.
An announcement was made each evening – “no filming or flash photography” of the live entertainment – but we were so close I took a shot or two of the dancers and the stage set for the first number (no flash), placed my cell phone on my lap, and then settled back to enjoy.
About 15 minutes into the show, the lead singer was alternately serenading two of the female singers, who were both pretending to be vying for his affection. He pretended disgust with both of them, came down off the stage, and walked over to a beautiful lady, dressed in black and seated on the aisle seat of the very front row. He pulled her up out of her seat and finished the song, singing directly to her.
It was then I had the strangest moment. Something about this lady – her beautiful silver hair, her smile, her sweet surprise at being showcased in that way – it reminded me of something, but my mind couldn’t put it together right then. All I knew was I had to capture it, so I grabbed my cell and snapped a pic.
At the end of the show I walked across the aisle and introduced myself and showed her the photo on my cellphone. She was so excited, and I asked if she had an email where I could send it. She said no, so I asked the lady who had been seated next to her (who was listening to all this and who I assumed was her daughter) if I could send it to her. “Oh, I don’t know her,” she said.
That’s when Joan (whose picture I’d taken) introduced me to another lady coming down the aisle who was a friend who had accompanied her on the cruise. Like us, they were late getting to the show, but had to separate to find seats. That lady gave me her email address, and I said I’d send the photo to her when I got back to the room.
Which I did.
I thought about Joan several times that evening and into the next day, looking at the photo each time. And it finally struck me why I’d made the connection . . . .
Quite a few years ago, at my son Jason’s wedding reception, Jason and Blake had pulled their Mema out onto the dance floor. For a few precious moments my mom was the center of attention, as her two grandsons danced with her and then danced around her as she stood in the center of the dance floor – silver hair softly waving, more “dressed up” than she’d ever been in her life, beautiful smile on her beautiful face. Oh my gosh how she loved my two sons. I had the photograph of that moment transferred to coffee mugs for her and for Jason and Blake. Mama drank her coffee from that cup every single morning of her life on this earth until the week she passed away, and it is now in my cabinet here in Florida.
Later that afternoon, we answered a soft knock on our cabin door and found Joan on the other side. I had given her our cabin number, in case the photograph didn’t come through (which it hadn’t), and she stopped by to see if there was any other way she could get a copy.
She sat with us a little while and told us this was her first trip without her husband, who had passed several months before. Her friend had asked her to come with her, and she had said yes. She wanted the photograph to show friends and family back home. I said I would send it to Shutterfly that night to have it printed, and she should have it by the time she returned home.
And then I told her the story of Mama on the dance floor. She smiled at me and said, “You had a moment, didn’t you?” And I smiled back through my tears and said, “Yes, I did – through you, I had a very sweet moment.”
Joan sent me an email this week saying the photos had come, and she was sharing them with everyone. I said I would be writing about “our story” on my blog soon and would send her the link when it was published. Which I will do tonight.
This one’s for you, Joan. Thank you for giving me my “moment”. Hugs, sweet and beautiful lady.