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Memory Day

by Janet Leonard
Memory Day arrives like a UPS package delivered at my doorstep--
the doorstep of my heart. This day marked on my calendar
seems like any other day with a sunrise and a sunset;
yet, it is much different than any ordinary day. This day
has special requests for quiet time and beckons me to pause.

It asks me to remember.

Last year this time, there was
sheer excitement when our three
children found out school was cancelled
because of snow. They were given a free day,
a day with little expectations, a fun day.

You and I traveled a different route that day--
to Dr. O'Kelley's office for your 10:00 AM visit.
How beautiful were the flakes falling on the windshield!
I remember how we stopped right before
we walked into the building--how we gave
a look of confidence that we could handle
whatever we needed to manage. I remember how
those moments crystallized, sealed with our
committed kiss.

I recall there weren't many windows in the building.
While walking down long halls to get to the elevators,
I kept thinking about the beauty outside

...delicately falling snowflakes...

wondering if the ground would be covered
when we walked back outside. Of course,
we waited for quite a while conversing
in the quiet waiting room.

Nurse Peggy finally called your name. Within minutes
we were seated in a smaller room with no windows.
I kept wondering about those falling snowflakes.
Again, we flipped through a few magazines
and entertained the time with light conversation.

Remember how the doctor held two copies of your medical report, how he handed one to us to discuss recent findings? Remember how his voice trembled as he told us the earth-shattering news about your prostate cancer? Do you recall our tears falling just like the snowflakes outside? Remember our 'I-won't-let-you-go' hugs? Remember how the doctor left the room to give us a few moments alone? Remember how brokenhearted we were in hearing the dreadful news? Remember how the doctor gave the history of the disease, how we had several options for treatment, and how he recommended surgery within the month?

I remember staring at everything we were that day with flashbacks of twenty years invading my mind, heart, and soul. Everything that once was had changed to a new existence. This day was significant--a day that had delivered a definite difference to our lives.

I learned January 23, 2003 that my heart does have windows--windows that were washed and cleaned thoroughly in Dr. O'Kelley's room. That day has been etched in the beginnings of my understanding of how life works in seasonal cycles. It has offered a chance for learning an appreciation for shared moments within a given time in relationships.

My love and devotion for you shine brighter than they ever have. Maybe we have received a gift like a UPS package at our doorstep, and maybe we will understand even more about the true essence of love far greater than we ever did before this time.

Memory Day does request having moments to reflect, more quiet time than in an ordinary day. As I stare out the window on this beautiful crisp, clear January twenty-third one year later, I have stopped a few moments to reflect. I just may have to have an extra tissue or two.


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Copyright © 2004 by Janet Leonard. All rights reserved.