With Respect and Dignity

Quietly she leaves her bed.  The dawning of a new day has just begun.  Birds are chirping in the brisk morning air.  The other night sounds in the house are the restful inhaling and exhaling of her loved ones.  The car humming down the road is without a doubt the college kid delivering the paper.  She glances over her shoulder at the clock as she walks toward the bathroom.  Indeed, 05:20–right on time.

Quietly she slips into the kitchen with face washed and teeth cleaned.  She smiles at the indulgence of a coffee maker with a timer.  How delicious it is to wake up smelling the fresh-brewed nectar of the morning.  With cup in hand and with cotton robe tied lazily around her, she allows herself to fall into her oversized chair.  The den has not yet been invaded with the business of today.  The opened drapes reveal rolling hills and moving mists as the sun peaks over the outline of trees.  The Book of Prayer, the journal and the mini album rest on the end table just where she left them yesterday morn.  This is her private space and her private time.  With dignity she claims it unabashedly.  With respect others do not invade.

The noises and mock tremors above let her know that it is now 05:50.  The gurgling pipes reveal that Sarah is already in the shower.  The blaring music reveals that Beth is ignoring her alarm, again.  Soon the two will be yelling at each other, in a sisterly way, over whose turn it is in the bathroom.   She returns to the kitchen, preparing a new pot of coffee for Jack and setting out the juice, milk, muesli and Pop-Tarts for the girls.  Backpacks and jackets are by the door; lunch sacks will be ready by the time the girls venture down.  A bowl of fruit sitting on the counter leaves the option and responsibility to them.  The girls arrive quietly and respectfully begin their breakfasts.  Sarah’s eyes are aglow; today is a field trip with her class.  Beth’s face is pinched with concern; today is a test with her class.  Jack walks in with bed head hair and scruffy face.  He kisses his girls on the cheek, making them squeal and withdraw in mock horror.  He joins his family at the table with his hot coffee in one hand and the other hand finding the nape of his wife’s neck for a quick caress when he passes behind her chair.  He sits down in his chair and slides the cup aside.  All hands appear on the table.  Respectfully the eight hands are clasped together and the four heads are bowed in dignity.  Sentence prayers are spoken by all.

Quietly she slips from her seat to gather the bowls and cups and glasses, taking them to the kitchen sink.  Jacks walks the girls to the door and sees them off as the carpool van hurries them off to school.  Suddenly he realizes the quietness of the moment.  He returns to the kitchen to find the nape that he just caressed moments ago exposed as she is bending over the sink, tending the breakfast dishes.  With respect, he slips his arms around her in a reassuring embrace as he claims unabashedly the spot invitingly open to him.

Quietly she turns within the circle of his arms and wraps his waist within her own.  Her head finds her spot on his chest.  This is her private space and their private time.  With respect others do not invade it.

Love takes many forms and is expressed in many ways but love is always expressed with respect and dignity.


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