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Last night, just before I kicked the covers off, I lay in the still and reflected on an extraordinary day.

Perhaps not extraordinary by most standards, but I received Christmas cookies from a friend, held hands with a few others, giving grace over a sandwich. I traded calls and messages with my brother, sisters, and mother.

I got my hair cut, allowing me time with a dear old friend. We laughed, fretted aloud, and eventually came back around to the acceptance of just how blessed we are – separately, but even more so, together.

I left from my hair appointment in the rain, and though it was past visiting hours, I phoned the center where my dad resides these days and found he was still awake, so I dropped in. Not only was he still awake, he was still eating – savoring bits of a hamburger and fries, sitting in bed in a camouflage beanie and his red and black checked flannels.

He smiled when I entered, causing me to beam!

‘Hey, good looking.’

I told him about my day, and helped him manage the last of his iced tea. I commented on the growing stack of cards, the dwindling supply of bird feed, and the presence of two new baskets of Christmas goodies.

Time slowed. (this is surely heaven)

Not long ago, I asked if he would like a recliner so that he was afforded more options – more than just the bed and a wheelchair. I raised the subject again, and he smiled, ‘I’m fine’.

‘Then what would you like for Christmas, daddy?’ His little boy eyes sparkled as his brows raised. I chuckled, ‘O, not sure I can do much about that, daddy’, figuring he was contemplating either a ride home or a stay-over with mama.

He beamed. ‘Just your smile. Lots of your smiles.’

And that I gave him, even as he told me how I was the prettiest thing he’d ever seen.

I’m quite sure there have been better (other times and other smiles), but for a late night at a nursing facility, there’s not much sweeter than a hamburger, flannel pajamas, and a smile that leaves no room for worry……..

God is good! O yeah!

save me
your side
near the end of the way
and miles
we would walk
hand in hand
through the still
of where we began
even now –
for this
all I wish
is to love

. . .