Highway 124 is great. It’s a sweeping ribbon of newly paved asphalt with delineated areas for
cyclists. I prefer to come down from Magnetawan to Dunchurch or from Dunchurch to McKellar, as I perceive that it is a downhill run. (not unlike canoeing from Devon to Whitemud Creek, on the Saskatchewan River, with the strong current at your backside making paddling, or in this paticular day’s case, peddling, an option).
On this morning, I smiled. Yes indeed, the motorists were having to slow down at road repair sections &/ or receive a doubled fine for speeding with workmen present. Vehicles, OPP are fine, but I’m finer when I have the wind on my back and I am going downhill. (sounds like An Irish Prayer –with velocity).
My first pit stop was Fairholme Cemetery and as I was finishing up a sesame honey bar, tossing the crunched cellophane wrapper into a receptacle, a young woman swung off the highway(no helmet) & with an auburn ponytail swinging right then left, she jumped off her bike. She headed to the closed wrought iron gates.
“Are you visiting?”
“No–my parents are not placed here, but I’ve come just the same.”
“Yes, actually my father passed on January of this year, he was just 70 and my mother, 6 months later, she was 65.”
My clinical questions are not asked and I purposefully mentally mute my mouth; quiet ensues.
‘”So do you ride this route much?” she asks.
“I monitor my cycling. I don’t exert myself and I set goals, like Frogger’s ( Food Take-Out)is about 2 km, from here, down 124. They have the best hamburgers, actually, to die.. for “..I stop abruptly and cough.
She laughed and then teared. This emotional disclosure clouded and “fogged-over” her fine facial features. However she managed to smile through all that wetness & I witnessed the most beautiful teeth. She spoke with a bit of a lisp.
“My parents were married for 50 years.” I quietly did the math.
“My late husband is buried somewhere else too.” I offer.
” I don’t even know why I stopped off here, except that I was wondering if I would continue down to the McKellar Library or not, as the wind is picking up, a storm is coming for sure.”
She was feeling more comfortable in my presence and she asked me if I had encountered any SIGNS, since my husband’s passing.
I was silent. I carefully thought this out.. “No.” I said.
Time lapsed and I was finding my helmet again and arranging to get on my bike. “However, I have had a friend who saw a psychic and found this beneficial”.
Then..”Have you ever had signs?” I asked”
“Yes, I have.” As she spoke I observed her designer sunglasses propped on her head and the trendy high-end cycling top she was wearing(still, no helmet).
“My husband and I had been busy relocating my mom into our apartment building after my father died. I was using my father’s car to move packages from their home, to Goodwill, the dump..etc. I was at their home packaging up some things for storage, and in the process came across a small crystal candy dish with doves carved on the handle. The doves were kissing, It was intricately made, a beautiful piece that I’d never seen before(and I am an only child).
So, I kept it, and returned it to my mom, in her new apartment. She just smiled at the doves, knowingly. At this point, she was not feeling well(and I shall not go into her health issues).
When she passed on, both my husband and I purchased my parent’s monument, with two kissing doves etched into the dove-grey granite.
I was still finishing up the packing, still in the process of selling their home, when I drove my father’s car into their driveway, early one July morning this year
It was a quiet time, about 7 am, Two Mourning Doves were sitting on the driveway curb, under a crabapple tree…kissing. I just sat in my dad’s car on their property and looked at these doves who kept on kissing. Memories were surfacing..and I felt that they were sending me a strong message of their presence. I don’t know but I do believe that love is eternal.
So, Yes I do believe that that was a sign.”
We spoke a bit more…..
We shook hands.
I thanked her for her story/gift of sorts/ nugget…
“Oh, and by the way, my name is Margaret. she said.
“Mine is Susan”…as I rode away.