But after 90 minutes of stretching, focusing, and breathing with them, DiDi felt like part of a community again. She no longer felt like a “widow, party-of-one.”
“Wow, that was amazing,” said DiDi, slowly getting up off the floor.
“Yoga-brain,” said Mitzi.
“It’s that nice infusion of endorphins and serotonin you get from yoga,” said Chris. “Especially right after your first time. It can feel like quite a rush, so be careful getting up. In fact, you might want to sit on one of the benches by the window for a couple minutes before we leave.”
“Good idea,” said DiDi as she folded up her yoga mat, grabbed her towel and walked over to a bench to put on her shoes. Looking out the window over downtown Monticello, she marveled at the changes in the skyline that had happened over the past decade.
One of them was that that the Isis Building was -- even at 30 stories -- no longer the tallest building in town and dominating the Monticello skyline. Curiously, DiDi no longer felt it to be as imposing in her psyche, either. Must be those endorphins kicking in, she thought.
“DiDi, you decided to check out my class!” said Gavin, taking a seat next to her.
“Oh, Gavin, it was fabulous. It was just what I needed…which, until now, I don’t think I even had a clue that I needed it,” said DiDi, giving him a hug.
“Hope this means you’ll be back.”
“Great,” said Gavin. “Then your first three months of classes are on the house.”
“Oh, no, I can’t let you do that!” said DiDi.
“Please, I want to. I’m sorry I had to be out of town for Calvin’s funeral, and…”
“Yes, I got your lovely letter…and the flowers,” said DiDi, “that’s more than enough.”
“DiDi, please, said Gavin, “I hope you’re able to receive this from me… because it will do my heart good to be able to give it to you as a small token of what Calvin meant to this town in his service as Chief of Police.”
“Then I accept,” said DiDi, “Thank you.”
“DiDi, are you ready to go?” said Chris.
“Yep…and I’m starving, too, so I’m ready for this gustatory feast you’ve promised,” said DiDi, teasingly. (Chris had never been known for her culinary arts.)
“Be prepared to be pleasantly surprised,” said Gavin, his eyes twinkling.
DiDi noticed that Chris’s eyes were twinkling, too…and that her cheeks were starting to blush. Hmmm…now that was a surprise, she thought… a nice one.
“All righty, then, let’s go, ’cause I’m starving, too!” said Mitzi, heading for the elevator.
Waiting outside the door of Chris’s seventh floor loft while Chris looked for her keys, DiDi thought about what a wonderful day it had been so far…filled with lovely little surprises. Little did she know that the biggest surprise of all was waiting just on the other side of that door…and it wasn’t Chris’s tasty chicken salad.
Click here to see what is awaiting on the other side of the door, courtesy of Chris Egan's alter ego, actress-artist Jennifer Taylor!
Mariann Aalda played DiDi Bannister-Stoner on Edge of Night from 1981 to its final episode on December 28, 1984. She also played Grace Battles on Guiding Light and Lena Hart on Sunset Beach on daytime and starred in the primetime series The Royal Family and First & 10 and recurred or guest-starred on such shows as Designing Women, Grace Under Fire and The Parkers, among others. With a penchant for comedy, she's also done stand-up in clubs across the country and is the co-creator of M.O.I.S.T.! -- the "sex-istential" comedy-with-music celebrating the seasoned woman -- which she co-wrote/produced/performs with Iona Morris (ex Fiona Griffin, As The World Turns).