I sit up straight in my bed. I am sweating a tad more than the usual. I rummage around on my small night table for my glasses. I put them on to see that it is just about sunrise time. I look around for Cindy, my beloved wife. Not seeing her anywhere, I presume she must already be at church. She had an early morning mass routine that despite age and sickness never shifted. I slowly get out of bed and reach over for my walking stick by the wall. I stick my hand into my glass of water and plop my dentures into my mouth before I make my way to the bathroom. The early morning businesses needed my fleeting attention. I was never much of a fan of brushing, flossing and cleaning. But Cindy would through a mad fit of rage if my dentures didn’t look their shiny best and I do not like to make her angry.
I feel more disturbed than the ordinary today. I stare at my reflection in the mirror while I grip the basin with one hand. A few more wrinkles I chuckle to myself. I concentrate hard to recollect last night’s dreams. But considering how disturbed I feel it was probably a nightmare. Unfortunately nothing concrete visualizes. I hope my routine morning walk will spark things up. I hurriedly make the bed, fluff the pillows, turn off the fan before grabbing the keys and wearing my shoes. I pull the door behind me and stagger off down my driveway.
Cindy and I will be married this spring for 60 years and we have lived in the same house all through. Our kids have walked, fallen and run on this very driveway before growing up and going places. We have come a long way since our initial years of crazy love and parenthood. Fond, warm memories of Cindy come rushing back to me as I coincidentally cross paths to the church.
I walk on past it tapping my stick along to a well known rhythm in my head. I finally reach my rejuvenation spot, a bench in the nearby park. I land myself on the bench and I am left gasping for my breath. My old age is really catching on and I better admit it. I look around at the sun rising, the early morning breath of pure nature is breathtakingly energizing.
The park is pretty deserted except a couple of lone joggers, some brisk walkers and a sprinkle of pregnant mothers all getting in some exercise before the sun makes itself comfortable in the sky. They all seemed pretty charged and probably had only just arrived a while before me. The park is one of my favorites because of the lack of noise and the sensible crowd of adults that trickle in. It always ensures my bench experience stays pleasant.
The trees looked to be shedding their way to autumn. I gaze at a nearby tree, its huge astounding charisma regardless of the age and the present nearly dry state. Beneath its mighty branches is a small pile of brownish yellow leaves. However, the tree is still bearing a couple of piles more. As I watch the tree a small breeze blows, few more leaves detach and drift to the ground. It all reminded me of the ever constant change. Change in my life over the decades, change in this tree in the past few minutes, change. It happens to everything and everyone I deduce. But dealing with it has never been easy, for me at least. I watch on as the tree faces the steady change of season as it persists standing tall with its eternal beauty never reducing. The tree embraces change making it seem so effortless and conquerable.
As I pick up my head, still swimming in these thoughts I see Cindy walking towards me in her familiar flowery gown and smile lit face and I realize the strength she brings to me with her overwhelming presence. As she sits down next to me and our smiles do all the talking, I am just left feeling glad that we, Cindy and I, lived on and grew old together. Despite every change and the storms of time.