The doorbell rang far too early, as if a ring at all would be welcome...
... and then again.
I looked out an upstairs window, and ~ just beyond the eave ~ was a tall, curly dark mop.
... and then a third time.
It was the neighbor kid, where "kid" now must mean 18+ years old. He lives with his grandparents, the homeowners. His father sometimes lived there, too, until he recently died quite unexpectedly in his mid-40s. His grandfather is hard to track as the ambulance visits every few days at different hours to take him to the hospital. When his grandmother is seen, the young fellow is often pushing her in her wheelchair up or down their steep driveway and accompanying her in a taxi or car service to visit the grandfather or run other errands.
While I recognized the young fellow's hair, I had completely missed the grandmother a few feet beneath him in her chair until I opened the door. She was a bit shaken ~ something was amiss. I braced myself for the the obvious news... which did not come. Instead, she had trouble coming up with the words, so asked her grandson to ask on her behalf:
"Would it be alright if we listed you as our emergency contact?" he asked.
She added, "In case something happens to us and he needs a place to stay for a few days..."
They were relieved and shook my hand. She wiped away some welled-up tears. I asked about her husband (not well) and her (stoic, but not untroubled), then wished them well and saw them off with some solace.
Closer to lunch, my wife was a bit out of sorts ~ not quite herself. She recognized it but couldn't explain it. After lunch, I suggested that she might enjoy a nap ~ I'd tend to our son.
She climbed the stairs and went to sleep...
... and maybe 350 miles away, her grandmother did not wake up.
Lost in relaying the news, my son brought me back with a reminder that I'd left his tea steeping far to long.
I sat beside my dog's grave for a bit wondering how often we may have passed Death in our walks through the neighborhood, and I thought of the Pieta sculpture ~ and of all of the mother-figures with unconditional love for their troubled sons ~ how they appear in my life, and what it all may mean for everyone.
Shadows dance and identities are fluid ~ the messages and visions within us project outward ~ the dead and the living alike are all speaking in tongues. Someday, maybe the reflections will be understood. Someday, maybe the light itself will be recognized.