Niece Emma came by on this cool sunny afternoon to hang out with her old Aunt Mare.
She is a child who entertains herself.
After throwing Walt's toy Kong for him a multitude of times across the yard, she came into my office where I was working and informed me that, as a result of Walt's natural Labbie slobber, "you should wash your hands after picking up the Kong because it's very yucky."
Amen, sister. Pass the Dial soap.
Once she was again clean of hands, Emma placed the art supplies from her backpack on the kitchen table and politely asked for a cup of water. "I need that so I can paint with watercolors," she said.
You got it, kid.
So I left the artist to her work, and went down the hall to get back to programming. Soon I heard footsteps, and she was by my side with a damp masterpiece.
"This is us, Aunt Mare, having tea."
Cheez, the kid's got "The Eye."
"You have to let it dry now," she said. "If you leave it alone, it can be what it is supposed to be."
The painting was gladly accepted and placed on a flat surface so it could flatten to its final colors. Emma was off again, bounding down the stairs to the outside. I continued to work. Soon I heard her talking to someone. I walked down the hall to the top of the stairs and found her deep in conversation with Margaret on the front stoop.
"You're gonna feel so much better now, Marg," Emma told her.
Marg's had a tough time of it the last few weeks. She endured a six-hour surgery to have a fatty tumor removed from her shoulder, the procedure lengthened by the discovery of another mysterious mass inside the benign. When I took Marg back this a.m. to have the sutures removed, the vet surgeon informed me that the mystery is an aggressive cancer, and that Marg has between two to six months at most.
She spoke about oncology vet help available locally, and that chemo and radiation might help Marg live an additional 2-3 months. I listened, then simply said, "No. I'm gonna take her home."
Marg, so very happy to jump in the Bug once more, smiled with her pink tongue all the seven miles home. Walt was waiting for her. And this afternoon Emma sat with Marg on the cement stoop by the front door, and told her about school and how she is reading a book about a girl with a purple plastic purse, and how she still can't go completely across all the monkey bars on the playground, but that she would keep trying.