Day Eleven, Thursday
It was a full day. Nancy paid her well for the three hours she spent cleaning. She came over when Morgan returned in the afternoon, saying her house looked and smelled wonderful. Saying she was very grateful.
Morgan knew, though, it had not been a good idea to do both the cleaning and visiting on the same day. She was physically and emotionally exhausted. She picked up her journal, to write, but the blank page looked back at her, her thoughts wandered off.
Tom, her husband, coming in through the door after a long day, drained, grumpy.
Eli, the young, energetic son, greeting him with all the enthusiasm of a puppy.
Tom’s impatience, not understanding Eli’s happy ways or Shane’s fussing.
Eli, hurt, pulling back, going back to his room, unhappy.
Morgan, returning to the kitchen to finish dinner while Tom flopped down on the couch, his stocking feet up on a pillow, his arm covering his eyes.
Trying to keep Shane quiet, putting him to bed early.
Eli, all through dinner, quiet, aloof. She, reading him his bedtime story, while he listened, quietly.
Tom, tired, going to bed early. Morgan, alone. Again.
Maybe being alone isn’t such a new thing after all, she thought.
She thought of Gertrude, this afternoon at the convalescent home. Gertrude had talked and talked and talked. About life. About love. But what stood out, different from the others, Gertrude talked about now. About her today. She didn’t live in the past. She lived in today. Aware. Alert. Grateful. Awake to all that was going on around her. She was present. They laughed as she talked about the two teens who helped serve lunch in the dining hall. She talked about them, not like gossip, but as if she was intrigued by their characters, getting to know and understand them. She talked about the plants in the garden, how they had grown and changed and bloomed in just a few days. She talked about the kindness and gentleness of the workers there, who helped her each day. She talked about the lady who came in to clean her room, not gossipy, but expressing concern for the woman’s elderly parents whom she cared for at home. She talked about the singing group and the harmonies they sang. She talked about the birds outside her window. Gertrude’s life was busy, full and rich. And happy. Amazing.
Morgan set aside her journal, the page still blank. I do not have anything to write about, she thought. I have nothing to share. But I see a little window of hope. Today. Thank you, Gertrude, she thought.