A new day has dawned. I had 30 minutes all to myself before the caregiver arrived. I washed my face and then stared at the reflection looking back at me. Who was that woman?
I didn’t get any twinkle in the eyes. The mouth was in a neutral position. She stared at me as I gawked at her. I knew her once. I thought I knew her well.
Being a caregiver can make you another person that without realizing it, you suddenly do not recognize. My hair is the same color, but messy. My shoulders are slumped instead of proud.
I looked away as she did too. Putting that face far from my mind, I went into the kitchen and made some fresh coffee. I fed the cat and cleaned the cat box. I can do this without thought, just a motion that has become a habit.
As the coffee perked, I went in and looked on Al. The familiar breathing that we do without thinking, has changed and I now stare and watch for rhythm. There were no even tones.
What once was smooth has now become sporadic. What was once taken for granted is now always in question. I walked out of his room, positive he is still alive and grab myself a cup of hot coffee.
It taste so good. Hot and fresh, a new cup, like a new day. A new beginning of this thing called life. I sit here and look outside the window as I try to guess what today may bring. Then I see the familiar car pulling into the drive-way. The sound of Rhino, our cat comes to me wanting his first petting of the morning. Life, a mysterious, taken for granted, takes place once again. I take a deep breath as I walk to the door and open it with a relaxed smile on my face. The moment of thought is gone and the day has begun once again.