The following is the next in a series of excerpts from my journal, written during the last year of Dave's life:
These are the mornings I wait all year for--when I can open the window and hear the owls call just before sunrise, then transition to the twittering of morning birds. Mild, bright, and gentle at the same time. Clean. New.
These are not like some days that have slid mildly by in larger seasons. Needs press--some to do with normal activity--washing and cleaning--some to do with Dave's illness--making breakfast for him and his friend because he can't go out and taking him to physical therapy--and some extra ones of my own making--painting, assembling furniture, or working on the details of the kitchen design.
But right at this moment, I hear the birds and feel the cool promise of a gentle day.
One of my oldest friends called last night. Amid their life of going here and there in their new Corvette and of cruises and trips, she wants us to come down to see them. She asks every time, even after seeing Dave's weakness in December. When I say he improves a little, she doesn't know the low weakness he improves from and I don't dare tell her. I want to spare her worry--and to spare me the pain of her reaction, her unintended sympathy for a grim reality not yet known.
If I could only slide through this day with the grateful calm of these moments. But Dave will wake, and people will come. They will obscure the fragile early morning peace, and I will live another day. Oh, God, thank you for the beauty.