Aunt Vera and I sat on her front porch and watched the rain fall. We were wrapped in blankets and sitting on the lawn sofa, sipping tea. This was the thing we did. We were experiencing a cool, steady, spring rain. The sound of the rain hitting the grass and paved surfaces was soothing. The air was clean, and most of the world hid inside, too afraid to get wet. The slick, sloshing sound of tires the of passing vehicles made against the roadway punctuated the liquid symphony.
“Me and your Uncle used to do this,” Aunt Vera said.
“I remember. I miss Uncle Vern.”
She nodded. We fell silent again. Uncle Vernon passed away a little over a year ago. It was sudden. He was the picture of heath. He went to the gym regularly, avoided junk food and took all kinds of herbal remedies to promote good health. He returned from running errands for Aunt Vera one day, went to the living room, sat in his recliner and went to sleep. He never woke up. Aunt Vera took it hard. She blamed herself for not checking on him, not noticing that something may have been wrong. She fell into a deep depression. She could not walk into the living room where he died for several months. We thought we were going to lose her. I started visiting her more often, to make sure she was ok. I notice that she would always sit out on the porch whenever it rained. I used to try to make her come inside, but she told me that she felt like Uncle Vern was close when it rained. So, I started sitting with her. Now, what used to be their thing, is our thing. We’ve sat in the shelter of the porch on rainy days and talked about good times with Uncle Vern, places to find good men, our plans for the future, or we just listened to the rain.
“I’m going to do it Dayna. I’m going to open the restaurant like Vernon and me planned.”
“Really? Are you sure? That’s a big undertaking.”
“I need to do something, child. I can’t sit on this porch and mourn forever. Vernon wouldn’t want that. Besides, I can’t see myself going out to the bar or prowling through the pews to try and meet my next love. I might as well let all those eligible sixty and older men find me doing what I love most!” She laughed. I laughed with her. Aunt Vera was shy, but ask her what she put in a dish and she would talk for days!
“What are you going to call your restaurant?”
“Vera’s Place – The Comfort Food Restaurant.”
“Comfort food? I like it! When do you plan opening?”
“Well, I’d like to have it open this time next year. I’m already working on my business plan, and researching where to get equipment and supplies.”
“Wow! Aunt Vera, this is great news! I can’t believe you didn’t tell me before today.”
“Well, it’s been a while since it’s rained,”she said with a smirk. Just then, the rain stopped, and the sun broke through the clouds. Aunt Vera looked up and smiled. “It looks like Vernon approves.” I stood and began to gather our blankets. I looked at my Aunt Vera and smile,
“Did you ever have a doubt that he would?”