Do you remember that birthday balloon I wrote about in December? It had arrived in October, atop a beautiful basket of fruit, sculpted like flowers. It was a gift of the Hofheimer boys, sons of my best friend, Lois. It had flown off toward the ceiling of the dining room and, since that is a room I never use unless my family is here, I just didn't think about the balloon again-- until December.
In December, somehow, that balloon had travelled to my sitting room, and I have looked at it each day to remind me that it had come as a gift of love. I tend to see "Sermons in stones and good in everything."( Which turns out to be William Shakespeare; I have always given William Wordsworth the credit. Whatever. )There was that love hanging above my dictionary stand, steady as she goes, until this morning.
When I came to the Blue Room and began the same old routine: NYTimes, e mail, Facebook, I glanced up and the balloon was GONE. It had floated itself across the hall and was sitting atop the bookcase in my daughter's old bedroom.
The Hofheimer boys, boys ages 55 to 65, have been D.G.'s friends forever, but they wouldn't have gone to her room. It is their mother, Lois, who is there in the balloon. She never was shy about saying what she thought, and D.G. and I both believe she's in there to say she still thinks D.G's. hair is too messy and then ask her out for a lovely dinner.
I hope the balloon stays on and on in my house, although I know that the helium can't last forever.
But love and friendship can. And I know it will outlast Lois and me and the boys and D.G. There will always be a balloon of love afloat in the world. Look for it in your house; it is there somewhere.