Wednesday, December 23, 2015

I can handle anything for six Tuesdays

The other night Cara's mother Joyce and I were talking on the phone about our plans for Christmas. I'm going to be having dinner with my family and exchanging presents on Christmas Eve and then I'll be going to see Cara's parents in the afternoon on Christmas Day. Joyce was expressing some doubt over whether her home was currently in a condition suitable for having visitors. She said that maybe we could go have lunch together at a restaurant. I told her that would be fine; options would be limited on Christmas Day but there would be some Chinese restaurants open and I started looking for other possibilities as well.

Joyce told me she could tell I would prefer to visit my in-laws at their home. "Oh, all right, it will be okay," she said. "I can handle anything-"

Instead of completing the sentence, she paused and then asked if I knew what she was referencing.

I did know. "I can handle anything for six Tuesdays," I said.

When Cara was a child and being signed up for a six-week session of swimming lessons, she was asked whether she could handle it. "I can handle anything for six Tuesdays," was little Cara's confident reply, and this was so adorable that it became a catchphrase in her family and was repeated many times over the years (which no doubt got on Cara's nerves at times). It was one of the first stories about her childhood and her family that she ever told me when we were getting to know each other. Now it's something Joyce remembers as a symbol of how Cara lived her life and how Joyce wants to emulate that spirit. She told me it's not easy, but she's really trying to live life with Cara as an example. I can definitely relate to that.

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