I met her for lunch today at her office.
She is little drawn and thinner than the last time I saw her. She can still smile.
"I made the potato tart from Laura Calder and a cabbage salad because we have to have vegetables." Her secretary is standing by, calm and friendly, a source of stability for her. We eat small portions and the secretary has to go back to her desk.
Behind the closed door of the tiny staff room, she tells me about the bankruptcy and how her world is no longer the same. There is more time now. She has weekends. She still cooks. She goes out with friends. She is soldiering on without him. What else can she do?
She's in her early sixties, still attractive. A woman who has worked hard all of her life. That business was going to be their retirement...
"I want to go to the Island and be near my children. It's the only thing that I am sure of." That and the fact that she will continue to work. At this time, these are her only two certainties. Everything else shifted that morning when he said: "R., there's something I have to tell you." Even then, she brushed her teeth, combed her hair, dressed and had breakfast before he would tell her the 'something' that had kept him up all night.
She looks at her watch as we can hear the sound of people congregating in the waiting room. It's time for her to get back.
We kiss on both cheeks and I tell her that I'm going to clear up.
As I wash the three plates, forks and glasses. I count my blessings...