October 19, 2012 § Leave a comment
“But why, then, Vera? I know the Church said you couldn’t remarry, but–I mean–you had your whole life ahead of you…”
“It was strictly a matter of integrity, Marla–my own integrity, I mean. I promised to be faithful to Leroy til death us do part. If I can’t be true to my word, what good am I? I’d rather live alone than lose my self-respect. Saint Sebastian actually argued with me about this, can you imagine that? I would have expected a holy person to understand the importance of keeping one’s promises.”
I sighed and squirmed uncomfortably. When I thought about Vera’s misguided resolve to preserve her integrity, I felt guilty for plotting with Sebastian to improve Vera’s life by somehow getting around the Catholic “no remarriage” rule. But, why should I feel guilty? After all, his plan, whatever it was, was surely for her own good. I just hoped it would allow Vera to keep her sense of integrity. But, really, why did she have to be so strict about following rules that even a saint believed were too harsh?
“Well,” I told her, “It’s been really nice to talk with you, Vera, but I guess I’d better pay attention to the traffic right now.”
I put the photo where I wouldn’t see it. I heard Vera say, “Why thank you, Cora,” followed by the rustling of the bag of almonds.