Wednesday, March 14, 2012

One Minute

I know I've already said it, but I have been working a lot lately. Well, a lot more than I used to - maybe not a lot compared to you. It seems like I don't even take a minute to rest or eat or walk around outside or anything.

On the walk to my car I called my husband to promise I was ready for a walk in the beautiful sunlight with him and my dog. So I rushed home and changed clothes and off we went. After our walk he jumped in the car to pick up some dinner and I walked next door to visit my beautiful neighbor.

This neighbor lost her husband - our dear friend Herald - just a few months ago. He passed away in our backyard, picking up these funny little walnuts. He was a wonderful friend and neighbor who helped me plant things and keep up with our house. We were heartbroken when he passed away. Since then we have spent a lot of time with his sweet wife, JoAnn. They had been married 62 years and had never dated anyone else. She always tells us how they had never spent a night apart. I love hearing her stories.

8 weeks ago she started getting very sick and spent 8 weeks in the hospital. She is home now and she's dying. She's okay with this. She is so happy to be home. And I'm okay for her because I can't imagine living as long as she has in these past few months without my husband (of 13 months let alone 62 years).

So I went over and held her hand today for just a minute. And on my way over I was thinking about everything I should say to her and everything I should volunteer to do for her...and what I should do when I get home...make the coffee for tomorrow...iron my pants...put a load of laundry in the washer....vaccuum...clean out the fridge. And then I walked in her front door and straight back to her bed that is set up in front of an open window and she looked so peaceful. She grabbed my hand and just held it and smiled.

She told me that she was so happy we moved in next to her. And she told me that she remembers that she and Herald had watched us look at the house and hoped that we would be the ones to buy it. And that we looked so young and so happy. And I told her how happy I was that we had been the ones.

And then we just got to sit. For just a minute and I held her hand and she smiled. And I promised I would be back tomorrow. And she said she would be there. I'm not sure she will. And when I left her front porch I started crying. I would have kept crying while I did all the things on my to do list. But instead, I turned the handle and was accidentally locked out of the house. So instead of going on with my to do list, I sat, without my phone or any distractions, not able to check my work email on my phone, or text a friend back, or answer a Facebook message. Instead, I sat on the front porch, the front porch that I love in the neighborhood that I love, where Herald helped me plant flowers that haven't yet bloomed for this spring yet, on a beautiful sunny afternoon, and cried for how much I will miss JoAnn but how happy I was for her that she will be with Herald again soon enough, and I enjoyed the sun and peace and quiet for just one minute.

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