Posted by Danny
I stink at remembering names. I probably know you. I just don’t know what your name is.
One of the things that I miss the most about Lisa is that she knew everyone – who they were related to, how many kids they had AND their ages, birthdays and especially their names. We’d walk into a Christmas party or into a Y basketball game and she would follow me mumbling the names of the people we were about to encounter. It was a gift, one that I wasn’t given.
I assume that every couple has jokes between them. Jokes that no one else understands. Lisa and I had many. These jokes seem to have much less purpose now. When you speak a language that only two understand and one is gone, the language is useless.
We had an acquaintance who had a somewhat unusual name. One of the first times I met her, Lisa walked up after the conversation had begun. When the woman walked away, Lisa asked her name. I said, “I can’t remember. It was something like Stavrulla.”
“Are you serious? Stavrulla?”
“Don’t quote me on it, but it’s something like that.”
A few weeks later, Lisa came storming into the house. “Guess who I saw today?”
“I have no idea.”
“I saw Stavrulla. But guess what?”
“Her name is Katrina.”
“Oh, that’s a nice name.”
“How in the world did you get Stavrulla from Katrina?”
“I don’t know. She just looks like a Stavrulla to me.”
“That’s what a Stavrulla looks like? What if I would have called her that?”
“You’d have been embarrassed.”
“And you would have been dead”, she quipped.
My wife had a way of looking at me. It was a mix of disgust, wonder and delight all rolled up in one.
“I am married to a moron.”
From that point forward, the woman’s name has been Stavrulla to me. We’d see her at the mall – “There goes Stavrulla”, I’d jest. Lisa would just shake her head.
I recently saw Stavrulla. I still don’t know her name. I picked Katrina for this post because it was the first thing that came to my mind. And now, no one on this earth knows about Stavrulla’s identity but me.
When I saw her, I smiled and glance up. I have a vision of Lisa, up in heaven, looking down on me. I think she spends a great deal of time shaking her head thinking, “I did what I could in the short time I had.”