I set Greg’s coffee on the table next to his bowl of oatmeal. “Have you ever noticed that lone leaf on the oak tree?”
Greg turned in his chair to look out the dining room window. “What about it?”
“It taunts me.”
“What? That’s silly.” He sipped from his cup and eyed me at the same time. “What does it say?” His smile prodded me on.
“Winter is almost here. Winter is almost here.” I answered in a childish sing-song voice. I stared out the window when Greg ignored me. “Maybe it’s the empty bird’s nest in the crook of the tree that taunts me more.”
“You need a project to keep you busy for the winter months.”
“I hate winter.”
“Spring will come soon enough.” Greg flippantly answered my moody outburst and got up to put his bowl in the sink. He came back to kiss my cheek before he headed out for his day. “See you after work.”
I stared at the stately oak in the back yard while I continued to sip my coffee. It’s all rather poetic really. I look every morning to see if the tenacity of the leaf still fights the change from fall to winter. Maybe the leaf represents my heart, fighting the change of the season in my own life with silent stubbornness.
Summer was filled with the excitement and busyness of planning Chandra’s wedding. We transitioned smoothly into autumn with a trip to Hawaii to celebrate our thirtieth wedding anniversary and came home to cold weather and an empty nest.
For me the hectic hubbub ended like a semi truck slamming into a wall. What now? I asked myself over and over again. Marcus and Chandra were my life. Now both were married and moving on with their lives. I don’t think I was fully aware of how this would feel. Like the robin’s nest, my house is empty and my heart hangs out there similar to the leaf on the end of a flimsy limb.
Every year I've watch the big oak tree transition through the seasons. I guess I never realized that I was shifting into a new stage of life, too.
Lost in my melancholy thoughts, I jumped when my phone vibrated on the table. I opened the text message from Marcus. Do you have plans tonight?
I texted back a simple no. I wanted to say we are lonely old people now but refrained myself. Besides, I don’t text that fast.
Feel like company?
A single tear trickled down my cheek. Sure. Come for dinner?
It’s a date.
Good old Marcus. I’m not sure if he sensed his mama’s loneliness, or was low on groceries and looking for a free meal. Either way, it gave me purpose for the day.
“Mom, you out did yourself,” Marcus patted his belly. He smiled at Angie and winked. “We have something for you.”
Angie bent down and pulled a long slim jewelers box out of her purse.
“A bracelet?” I was befuddled. It wasn’t my birthday or any other gift giving occasion.
“Just open it, Mom.”
When I peeked inside I knew exactly what it was. “A pregnancy test?” l anxiously looked at Angie. “You’re pregnant? We’re going to be grandparents,” I waved the gift towards Greg.
“Careful, Dear, that’s been peed on.”
“When are you due?” I asked Marcus as if he was the one carrying the baby.
“Late May or Early June,” Marcus laughed at me.
“A baby. We’re going to be grandparents.”
“You said that already, Dear.”
“Honey, we’re going to be grandparents.”
“And the slippery slope to senility begins,” Greg teased.
I have no idea what was talked about the rest of the evening. My mind was roaming up and down the aisle of the craft store planning my winter projects for the baby. Then it jumped over to the mall and wandered through several baby departments. I couldn’t wait to go shopping.
The next morning I set Greg’s coffee next to his oatmeal and looked out at the oak tree and smiled.
“What’s the leaf saying to you this morning?” Greg teased.
I leaned close and whispered, “Spring will come soon enough.”
“Yes it will.” He nodded towards my purse and coat. “Go easy on the plastic today.”
Greg took his bowl to the sink and came back to kiss me before he left for work. He leaned in and whispered sweetly. “Honey, we’re going to be grandparents.”
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