Saturday, July 21, 2012

the kitchen

The man and his wife enjoyed their morning cup of coffee, while talking together, in their rather small kitchen. They were content there, with its cozy feel, and just enough space for the two of them.

Their kitchen had become their place, a place to reminisce about days long past. They talked about how they had met fifty years previous, and were married within the month. They talked about their five children, each of whom had moved on, living their own lives, and how proud of them they were. The man and his wife talked about their love for each other. A never-ending endearment that began so long ago.

One morning, the man rolled out of bed, smelling the aroma of their morning brew. He gently guided his feet into his worn slippers then headed to the bathroom to wash his face and brush his teeth.

Five minutes later, he found his wife sitting at the kitchen table, with a pained look on her face, clutching her chest. He could see that she was trying to say something, and instinctively knew he needed to call 911. She was having a heart attack. While the dispatcher listened to the man, he rushed to his wife's side, tugging on the coiled phone cord, willing it to stretch across the table. He pulled up a chair next to her. And sat, facing her, his knees touching the outer side of her right knee. The man didn't know what to do, how he could help, so he simply held her face in his smooth, wrinkled hands, while clinching the phone between his right ear and shoulder. Within minutes, he heard the blare of an ambulance's arrival, causing him to drop the phone, and yell to the medical team, alerting them to their location. They rushed into the kitchen and quickly began attending to his wife, while he stood back watching, as tears flowed from from his eyes.

The man's neighbor, a young man, married to his high school sweetheart, with an adorable yet rambunctious six year old son, a tranquil three year old daughter, and another child on the way, drove the elderly man to the hospital. "I love her so much," the aged man kept repeating over and over. "I don't know what I would do without her."

After having a stent inserted into her artery to prevent further heart attacks, and a little over a week in the hospital, his wife returned home. For about a month or so, her husband cared for her, with the help of their children who had flown in from various locations.

After her recovery, after their children were gone, the man and his wife returned to their morning ritual, sitting in their place. Their kitchen. Their conversations easily continued, about their past, their future, and more so than ever before, about their present.

One morning, after many mornings of enjoying sitting, once again, together in their kitchen, there was a knock on the door. "Come in!" they both hollered in unison, smiling at each other. The door opened, and a small boy and his sister entered, holding a basket full of homemade muffins. Their young father, and pregnant mother followed them in, greeting the man and his wife with a hug.

"Well, good morning!" the wife said, pulling the boy onto her lap, while the little girl climbed onto the old man's lap. "What's this?" she asked, when the boy handed her a drawing.

"It's you two. You are in love," he giggled, looking at his sister. "We drew it together."

It was a colorful picture of the man and his wife, sitting in their kitchen, drinking coffee, and talking. Over their heads was a big red heart.

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