I see her walking over across her yard, down the little gully, green with clover, through the gate and into the field that leads to our yard. As the dogs and children run to greet her I make a patting motion for her to sit next to me on the big rocking chair on our front porch. She’s 84 and still adjusting to living alone. It’s been almost a year since he’s been gone, but it seems like just yesterday that he was listening to all her thoughts about the life she’s lived so far and the living she still has left to do.
The children have told me often recently that she repeats the same stories she has told them before whenever they go over to visit. I tell them to be patient because they are stories she needs to tell.
So we sit, and she tells me again for the 3rd or 4th time how devastated she was when her sister died and how her niece was a paraplegic and how lucky I am to have my children and how she came to own her German Shepherd.
She reveals some new things like how she never expected to spend her entire life childless and how regretful she is about that.
I listen patiently. These are stories she needs to tell.
She is just like the rest of us. She wants to be heard, to be understood, to be valued.