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November 26, 2013

November 26, 2013 – 9:00 a.m.

It is another early morning – up and at the Smithson house by 6:30 a.m. My husband drops me off at their twin home and heads to his own place of employ.

The house is dark, but Mike* is awake and fixing his morning cup of coffee. I whisper “good morning” to him. He smiles and whispers the greeting back to me. I grab a pillow and throw blanket and place them on the couch and lay down as he starts up his truck and leaves for his job. I might have fallen asleep, or I might have just blinked my eyes slowly – but there is little Anna in her pajamas looking at me with her big adorable eyes. I get her some breakfast.

It isn’t long before her brother joins us and we begin the day together. Within an hour or two, mom will be home from her shift as an overnight nurse. Then she might have a glass of wine or she might go right to bed. Her job is exhausting. But her spirit is resilient. She loves her work and she loves her patients. It shows whenever she talks about her work. Both she and I are blessed to have work that we love providing care to someone who needs looking after.

As our routine would often go, she would come home and relax for a bit before heading up to bed until about two or three in the afternoon. But on this day, our routine is broken.

Kelly comes home at the usual time. But her face is red. Her eyes are puffy. Her cheeks are wet with tears. She looks at me and starts sobbing. I open my arms to embrace her, feeling alarmed and confused – but those feelings will have to wait. First, I must comfort my friend.

She tells me many things. But the thing you most need to know is that because of circumstances out of her control, she has to let me go. I will no longer provide childcare for this beautiful family. My heart breaks. In this woman’s home, with this woman’s family, and with this woman herself, I felt safe. I felt happy. I felt purposeful. I felt respected and appreciated. I was sad to say goodbye.

*****

November 26, 2013 – 10:30 a.m.

I’m not ready to write about this yet.

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