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My hospice client’s wife is away for a few days so I had a longer shift. He was finishing breakfast as I sat down to review his wife’s notes and catch up with his overnight care-giver.

“Well the first thing I’m going to do is change the calendar.” I said as I patted his shoulder and headed for a chair next to him. “It’s February 1st and the weather is supposed to be lovely and warm!”

“It is February already?” He stopped, spoonful of egg half way to his mouth. “I would very much like to go out-of-doors today! Look! The chickens are all out. I would like to see my new cows.”

The only problem with going out is getting him down the stone steps by myself, in his wheelchair.  He wanted a quick nap before we bundled up and started the journey. I took that time to align the ramps and kick the ice off the steps. Though the temps were in the low 40’s, there was a stiff wind racing across the fields and buffeting the front of the farm. With luck, the farm hands were just headed out for the grain store as I swung to door wide and rolled him to the top of the steps. They stopped and helped us down to the driveway with a promise to return in 20 minutes to reverse the process. His chair is old and ventures opinions to me in the form of wheels that don’t always roll in unison. I heaved and pushed through the first puddle to a spot out of the wind where we could rest and look at the cows. Two gave birth around Christmas and aside from a few quick glances from the window, I hadn’t seen them since. roly-poly and fuzzy on their stout little legs, the calves stood in the mud nursing as their mom’s contentedly chewed.

A massive puddle blocked us from venturing further so we turned and walked back down the road to the farm stand. As we wandered, he commented on the condition of the tar driveway and how that would have to be fixed before his son’s wedding in August. He picked out trees to describe – telling me their history and origin. My mind wandered to the warmer days two years ago, when we walked side-by-side in the sun, inspecting his wife’s gardens. I looked down at him bundled in his chair and leaned over to give him a hug. He reached up, took my hand, and softly said,  “I’m happy you are here today.”

If we each said that to someone, once a day, every day, perhaps the world would be a gentler place.

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22 comments on “Here today

    1. I’m going to make this my new goal, Cheryl. Thanks for commenting.

  1. fashionablyferraiolo says:

    This picture reminds me of my childhood. The summers where my mother would take me to local parks to feed ducks and go on a carousel. Thank you for bringing such happy memories into my mind today! Best wishes, Gianna. Also please feel free to contact me whenever! I am a writer, artist, fashion enthusiast, and New Yorker.

    1. Thank you Gianna! I will check out your site. Always happy to hear when I strike a chord with someone!!

      1. fashionablyferraiolo says:

        Any time! I love reaching out to other creative minds. Keep chasing your passions and try new things. Best of luck today, tomorrow, and always.

  2. jaknisell says:

    I love this idea of saying that each day! I am going to also make that my goal! I am happy to have you as my friend each and every day!

    1. I’m glad you are here in my life, Annie! Thank you.

  3. Touring NH says:

    We should all tell some one every day we are happy they are there because there will certainly come a day when they (or we) aren’t. I am happy YOU are here!

    1. And I am always thankful for your friendship, Laura.

  4. Bless you for the work you do, Martha.

    1. Thank you Joyce. It never seems like work and I get so much from it.

  5. I like your post, very beutiful this picture, thank you fo your post

    1. Thank you Jual. Glad to hear from you!

  6. julieallyn says:

    This made me smile.

    1. A smile a day is good for the soul, Julie. Thank you.

  7. Marie Keates says:

    Well, I’m glad I had your blog to read today if that helps. It always makes me smile. I loved the photo of the ducks and the growing ducklings too. Hopefully we will have a few here soon enough and some more cygnets to hunt for.

    1. That does help, Marie! Thank you. I figured I owed you a photo of water fowl 🙂

  8. A warming story and last line
    So glad you managed to get him out and had help so he could see the world a bit. Cows and outdoors this time of year. Anyone would miss that.

    1. Indeed, Phil we are lucky to have days when we can go exploring even if it is for shorter and shorter walks. I can’t imagine going from being a life-long farmer to being cooped up in the house all day…

      1. Would have killed my dad. Back porches and ramps are a real blessing.

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