THE 27TH OF NOVEMBER
I am up early.
Looking out the window I can see a light in a home up on the hillside. I wonder what he may be contemplating at such an early hour. Do our thoughts or lives intersect on some level? Strange thoughts; I have no idea who she or he is.
The aroma of fresh perking coffee wakes my senses. The darkness turns to morning pink; a hopeful color.
The pink morning elevates my senses above the coffee.
I hold hope for her, it is closer to me than my God; I am “Guilty as charged.”
A communique with a blogger or two is completed.
Another with a political foe on Facebook makes me wonder about myself.
I lose track of time. The clock faces me with its eyes drawn, as if to scold me; “Time to wake her.”
Breakfast has consumed over an hour. She is shaky today so I feed her, then myself, then her, then myself. She finishes the last of her twelve morning medications. I set the other seven aside for supper.
The instruments for blood pressure and glucose measurements are placed on the table between us. The readings are close to marginal but never quite seem to be where I would prefer.
I tell her I must leave to get groceries. She is silent. After donning my coat I remind her I am going to the grocery store. She is silent. I lean over and kiss her on the lips. The kiss is not returned.
I ask “Are you mad at me because I am leaving you here?” A stare is all that is returned. I tell her I love her and that I will return as fast as possible. Another stare. I ask her if she still loves me. I get a tiny response from her eyes. I try a kiss and this time it is slightly returned. I am a happy man.
As I walk out to the car I realize that she may not have been upset with me. She was probably scared to be alone – - – or possibly afraid that I would not return. Then I realize those are not her thoughts – - – they are mine. And I become sad that I may never again share her thoughts; and she mine.
She sits beside me, more in a laying position; she slides down without realizing it.
I ask if she wants something to drink.
She nods; silently.
One sip; she shakes her head.
I return the glass to the side table and give her legs a rub.
“Do you know I love you?” I ask.
She nods slightly. I see a small tear appear. It is the biggest birthday present I could ever receive.
She may, or may not, fully realize what has occurred. It makes no difference; I know.
That night we go to bed. I tell her I love her. She utters “I love you too.”
It is unexpected. It has not been said for over a year. I wonder where it came from.
I say goodnight again and turn out the light. Once more I kiss her and again tell her that I love her. There is no response. I tell her I will see her in the morning; no response.
The next morning I awake early. I make coffee and set the table. I put her dementia pills on a white napkin in front of her chair.
And the day repeats itself.
I hope for a small tear and an “I love you too”; realizing it may never again be repeated.