Sitting at your window, looking out at the world, what solitary thoughts hold your attention? At age 93 do you still delight in simple pleasures, those little discoveries made when I take my early morning walks? Are there mysteries yet to unravel, interests to be explored? Does the cardinal at the feeder, the sun skipping across jonquil and hosta, or a delicate raindrop cascading down the windowpane bring a smile to your face?
During these quiet times, does your mind wander to the life you have lived? Do you wonder how many more holidays yet to be shared with your loved ones, how many more crisp spring mornings, how many more golden leaves tumbling down from the canopy above, how many more first gentle snowfalls?
Are you marking time in months instead of years, fearful of what is to come, afraid of how you will exit this life? Was this journey what you had hoped for or do regrets creep into your thoughts, pangs of pathos overshadowing all else?
You have always seemed the strong, silent type, keeping thoughts buried, not eager to share. These past several weeks I have seen a much frailer man, yes, but also one who is animated, a man I am thankful to have shared a few private words, a few childlike laughs.
Since I came into your family I have chuckled at the way you seemed to have singled me out, asking my thoughts about complex issues like the death penalty and gay marriage. Even when my beliefs have run counter to your own, they have never elicited a negative reaction from you. You openly welcomed me into this family, tolerating the “huggy” kind of gal that I am. I like to think that you secretly enjoy this aspect of me.
I pray that in your solitary thoughts you still find the joy in nature’s wonders. I have discovered your love for my chocolate chip cookies, so I will continue to bake them, just to see that beautiful smile light up your face.
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