How unexpected of you, mother-in-law, to step outside onto the unwoven tapestry of fallen pine needles and ask me if I wanted you to make me a meatloaf sandwich.
Even as you recovered from walking pneumonia, even as you had yet to regain the energy to once again flour the counter and prepare the dough for your substantial bread, even as you had yet to carry out the annual reading of your Christmas book collection, or sound again the bright chime of your laugh.
I almost dropped my armload of cherry wood right then and there, as I carried it up stone steps from the top of the driveway to the little shed near the door where the axe is kept.
I was being given a second chance at having a mother, or at least the old long-lost feeling of it. For the moment I was a boy again, walking over a field in cutoff jeans, chewing on a stalk of wheat.
You never know where, or when, your life might be touched by the phenomenon of another human heart. You only know that you must fall onto your knees, raise your arms to the sky, and give thanks.