“Do you remember that time we went to Jackson to visit your sister and we got pulled over by that grouchy policeman?” Edna asked her husband as her eyes focused on the baby blue sweater she was knitting for great-grandchild number three. “Of course, you don’t, but I do. You were such a smooth-talker. Always have been. I loved watching you work your way out of one trap or another. You were so good at...” Her mouth stopped moving as her fingers continued to work with the blue yarn.
“So good at what?” asked a friendly voice just inside the door.
“Oh, my goodness. I did not even see you standing there. Are you trying to give an old lady a heart-attack?” Edna joked putting her right-hand to her chest.
“I’m sorry Grandma E,” Jake said as he kissed Edna on the check, “but I just love listening to your stories.”
“I’ve got a suspicion you’ve heard more stories than I’ve meant to tell,” she replied with a knowing look.
“I’m completely innocent,” he grinned, “You know I have to make my rounds. If I happen to catch a word or two as I walk by, is it really my fault?”
“Oh, sweet Jake. You know I don’t mind. Truth be told, I’m glad someone gets to hear our life,” she paused, admiring her husband, “together. The life that we enjoyed all these years.”
“Speaking of Mr. Hamilton, how is he doing today?”
“Oh, he is strong as an ox and sharp as a tack. That’s my man.”
“Yes, he sure is your man, Grandma E,” Jake said smiling at Mr. Hamilton whose vacant stare gave a hint of so much unsaid. “Has he taken his walk today?”
“No, not yet. I was just going take him, but...oh, dear.”
“What is it?”
“I just remembered I have to leave early today,” Edna sighed and shook her head. “Janice is picking me up at one because the kids are getting out of school earlier."
“Don’t worry, I can take him for you,” Jake said putting his hand on her shoulder.
“Oh, I know and I do appreciate it. It’s just that,” she paused, “I know he loves our walks. After he retired, we used to walk every day. We would talk about everything or sometimes we wouldn’t talk at all. We would just hold hands and enjoy all the beauty that surrounded us."
Edna starred out the window as if she was looking at the same scenery all over again. She shook her head, “Well, look at me getting all misty eyes. I’ve got to get ready for Janice.” She put away her knitting and went for her coat. “Please do take him for a walk and make sure to take him over to the rose bushes. He must see those while they are in full bloom.”
“You got it,” Jake reassured her. “Don’t worry, Grandma E, Mr. Hamilton is in good hands.”
“I know, sweet Jake. I know.”
“See you tomorrow, then?” Jake asked, already knowing the answer.
“Of course,” she replied as she leaned over to kiss Mr. Hamilton. Then she whispered in his ear, “Tomorrow is a field trip day, so I’ll be able to stay longer than usual. Get some rest, my dear.”
As Jake watched Edna walk out of the small room, he prayed that he would one day learn to cherish his relationships as much as Grandma E cherished her own.
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