I woke up this morning before daylight and heard the bluebirds defending their new roost in the house on our back fence. Sounded like the chickadees were trying to horn in and being quite the pests. I lay there a while longer and felt the cold nose of a Labrador Retriever on my hand. Seconds later my sweet bride was scratching my back and asking me if I was ok. Funny, I was sure that today had been cancelled here on planet earth. I'll draw upon perhaps the oldest cliche of all and declare that life will go on...it just has a hole in it now.
As she was taking her last breaths yesterday afternoon I told my Mother we would miss her. I told her I'd think about her everyday. I told her she'd still be here every Thanksgiving when I cooked the turkey and dressing she'd taught me to make. I told her she'd still be there every Christmas when I made a plate of her potato candy. Most of all I promised her I'd never again let the Atlanta Braves make the first or last out at home or third...it irritated her terribly when a baserunner let his ego write a check his legs couldn't cash.
When I was a young child - I don't know, maybe 7 or 8 years old - I had a terrible case of pneumonia. Ended up in Crawford Long Hospital for several days. The night before I was admitted to the hospital I remember running a high fever and shivering while Mother held me in her arms. She was singing that "Sunshine" song. "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine...you make me happy when skies are gray. You'll never know dear, how much I love you,,please don't take my sunshine away..." Over the last week, on one of the nights I spent at the hospital with her, she was restless, moaning, agitated and in pain. It was about 3:30 in the morning and I felt like the two of us were alone in the world. So I grabbed her hand and returned the favor and sang her that "Sunshine" song. I thanked God Almighty that the song still has magical powers to calm the sick and nervous. She gave my hand a squeeze and went to sleep, finally. I realized, once again, that life comes full circle. She was now the baby and I was now the adult.
She'd be pleased with my breakfast this morning - a bowl of grits and a cup of strong coffee...two of the finer things in life she taught me to appreciate. She'd be glad that I got out of bed in the first place and allowed our world to keep turning. It's still turning,,,it's just a lot emptier now.