The Suitcase Lady


February 12, 2013, 9:50 pm

Liz was a smashing redhead.

“I’ve got great hair,” she would say. She did. It was thick, stylish and a flaming match to her original color.

Liz was eighty years old, widowed after a happy marriage. She was also a friend and neighbor of my mother-in-law. These two women couldn’t have been more opposite. My mother-in-law was not into glamour, nights out or romance. Liz, on the other hand, lived to get all dolled up, go out dancing and meet gentlemen. She meet quite a few and took many home to her doublewide.

One day my mother-in-law informed us that Liz was getting married; she had found the perfect golden-ager to move into her trailer on a permanent basis. The wedding was to be on the east coast where Liz’s daughter lived. Elaborate nuptial plans were made. Liz and her fiance left Arizona in a flurry of well wishes.

The next time we visited Arizona, we saw Liz, her new husband and all their beautiful wedding photographs. The “cutting the cake” picture was particularly lovely.

Years passed. The 80 plus year old bride died and my mother-in-law’s health started to fail.Then my husband’s mother said she needed to tell us something extremely serious. We panicked.

“Do you remember Liz?” she asked us.

“Of course, she was terrific,” we replied.

“Well, she revealed,” Liz never really got married. She thought everything would be better if she faked a wedding.”

What brilliant creativity. This exuberant eighty year old got to have her cake and eat it, too.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all.

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