April 26, 2018
He sits in his living room day after day, watching tv or watching the traffic from his sixth-floor apartment, his only company his health care aide and his parakeet. One week bleeds into another, month after month, the only respite coming when they take him to physical therapy. I visit when I can, but the conversation is one-sided since his stroke left him partially paralyzed and unable to talk. The last few times I’ve been to see him, he has been out for therapy, and I had to give his coffee to one of the other apartment dwellers who are always congregated around the front door.
He is younger than I by about five years, but life hasn’t been kind to him. We’ve been friends for about fifteen years, during which he taught me a lot about life. The most recent lesson is about gratitude. Sometimes life for me gets busier than I would like. Today began at 5:40 when I rolled out of bed, late for our Thursday morning prayer group. I made it by our 6:00 starting time, but the short night took its toll.
I read my Bible, prayed, and got to work. Sunday’s coming, and I need to be ready. Linda and I started getting her vegetable garden ready, turning over the soil, adding some sand to loosen it up, before I headed to Dunkirk to unload a food delivery at the church. Back home, I worked some more, practiced my bass for the ensemble presentation tomorrow, and grabbed a quick bite to eat before going to the church to help with the Bible School dinner and program.
It’s now 9:30. The day has been full, just like the one before it, and the ones that will follow. But I don’t complain. I remember my friend, and am grateful to be able to move and work. I know my friend would give most anything to be able to put in just one day like mine. None of us know how many days we will have, nor what they may bring, so each one filled with work, friends, loved ones, and the grace of God, is a gift to be savored. I am doing so even as I write.