Life Goes On

by John C Westervelt

Each morning for as long as I can remember, I have looked out the window beside my kitchen table to view Pete and Evelynís patio. As I sit down to breakfast, Pete is usually arriving at the sink to make a pot of coffee. We wave to each other. On most days throughout the year, Pete opens the wooden door to the patio to let the morning brightness shine through the outer glass door. Sitting in his den chair, Pete has two cups of coffee with his morning paper, while I enjoy bacon, eggs, and toast with Proverbs and Acts 29.

Nelda and I moved into our new home when our children were in the first and third grades. Pete and Evelynís three children were teenagers when their house was finished several months later. Over the ensuing thirty-eight years, our friendship deepened until we became like family.

At breakfast on Valentineís Day, I was saddened by the view out my kitchen window. The patio table and chairs were gone; the door was closed; and blinds covered the windows. The day before, Pete and Evelyn had moved to a retirement home in south Tulsa. Iíll miss the morning hand wave.

While a part of family moved out, another part moved in. Chris and Debbie, Pete and Evelynís son and daughter-in-law, bought the house. Debbie is a friendly waver, but I suspect her wave will wait until she is standing at the kitchen window fixing supper.

On this Valentine morning I wasnít sad for long. Lying on my kitchen table was a valentine from my grandson Joel, who had his first birthday three days earlier. Several snapshots were included with the card.

One picture was of Joelís first walk in his backyard. Dressed in a red and navy stripped shirt, red short-pants, and his first pair of shoes, Joel held on to the wrought iron fence with one hand. His head was cocked looking at his daddy just out of camera view. His expression says, "Look at what I can do." Joel didnít know that his confident stance would raise my spirits at the moment of my need. As an old friend moves away, a new friend comes along.

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