It is 2:30 pm. Out the window there are no clouds and the sun is stark, but it is too cold for the snow to melt. I stare. I type.
Today, up to now:
6:10 am – My granddaughter climbed into my bed fully dressed, having set out her clothes the night before – a pink t-shirt of a street scene in Paris with a sparkly Eiffel Tower and black velvet jeans.
6:25 am – I invented the game “Do you know this long word?” to stall getting out of bed to make oatmeal.
6:35 am – She learned the word “gratitude.” We practiced using the word “gratitude.”
7:30 am – I texted her parents that she needed to go to the doctor. Her cough was settling into her lungs and I was free to take her.
8:00 am – We ate oatmeal with maple syrup in front of a fire in the fireplace. She watched Monster Math on the iPad.
9:45 am – At the doctor’s she was prescribed both an antibiotic and to use a nebulizer for a few days.
11:35 am – I dropped her off to her mother, who is working from home on this snow day.
12:00 pm – I arrived back home. A wonderful woman from Honduras was cleaning my home. She has been very ill and I told her not to come until she was well, but she preferred to come on the bus through the snow because if she stayed home she would only cry.
12:05 pm – She said in minimal English that it has been a bad week for her family.
a) A cousin was killed in Honduras just over a week ago in a political dispute, or fight of some kind. I couldn’t understand what happened or if the death was by gun or machete.
b) Another cousin was killed there two days later. His motorcycle was stolen. A gun.
c) She got horribly ill the same day the second cousin was killed – and she had been picked up only a few days earlier for driving alone on a learner’s permit. She owes $425 in fines and has to appear in court.
d) Her brother in Minnesota, who was unemployed, tried to kill himself the next day. He has had several operations and remains in the hospital. It was a knife.
e) She feels she must now take care of her sitter-in-law and young niece and nephew in Honduras. She said she cannot tell her mother. She cried, but gently.
12:50 pm – We agreed it was “crazy.” I told her she should just go home. She insisted on staying. She continued cleaning my house.
12:55 pm – I ate lunch.
1:15 pm – I started repeating “gratitude” inside my head. It had a stunned ring to it.
1:45 pm – She ate chicken enchiladas she made. She brought extra for my dog.
6:30 pm – My five-year-old granddaughter will arrive with her seven-year-old brother to stay the night. We will probably play Scrabble. We will review the word “gratitude.” In the morning I will make oatmeal.