Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Voices on a Beautiful Morning

What a grand, grand morning. Shortly after I climbed out of bed, while sitting at my desk sipping tea and glancing through bleary eyes at the news and before Duncan ambled down the hall for his morning stroll through the tall, damp grass, the phone rang. It was my father calling to update me on Grandma's condition. We'd spoken last night and I'd been left with a rather hopeless heart, feeling far away and as though my hands were tied. I'd made a simple request: the next time he was with her and she was awake I needed to talk with her. It didn't matter if she understood or if she spoke nonsense, I only wanted to hear her voice and know that she'd heard mine.

My father has a radio announcer's voice, which is good because that's what he does for a living. It's firm but charming, professional and commanding. It can confidently relate the worst news of the day and then turn around minutes later and remind us to attend the Grand Opening of the new Olsen Furniture Outlet in North Fargo, where clowns will twist balloons into animal shapes, prizes will be awarded, and the girls choir from some local high school will perform. His is the voice of radio, the kind of voice that can give its listeners exactly what they need, and this morning it gave me what I needed. And more. It's a quick way to wake up, talking to someone who speaks on the radio. Still not quite awake, still only sipping my steaming cup of caffeine-free Egyptian Licorice Mint tea, I answered the phone and wondered briefly if perhaps my name had been drawn to win the million dollar prize if only I could answer three questions. I startled awake even faster when I realized he was calling to let me speak to Grandma, who, apparently, had improved immensely overnight.

Grandma's voice was sunshine and gold and everything precious in the world to me. It sounded like a bright morning, like presents under the tree, like children running through a sprinkler under a hot summer day, like deep warm pillows and the scent of peppermint Certs unfolding from the dark recesses of a purse all rolled into one. It was the sweetest sound I've heard in a long time. She sounded like she was smiling and feeling well and my eyes welled up as we spoke. She'll be discharged from the hospital this afternoon. The best news! Grand, grand news on this beautiful, beautiful day.

After we finished and I'd hung up, Duncan came down the hall, stretched and bowed at me as he does every morning. I knelt down next to him and let him lick my face. He reached out his paw and let me cup it and hold him while we sat for several minutes, thankful for everything there is to be thankful for. The sunshine felt even warmer for both of us this morning as we strolled the damp grass and breathed in all the morning scents which seemed to have been placed solely for our pleasure.

"Oh heavenly day, all the clouds blew away
Got no trouble today with anyone."
(
Heavenly Day, Patty Griffin)


8 comments:

traci said...

I'm so happy to hear your Grandma is doing better. :)

NodakJack said...

Remember, my voice is just genetic. Dad's voice is how I got it. Mom's mind is what I use. I'd feel naked without both. Heck, I'd probably BE naked...
Dad's voice and Mom's quick wit...
Yer Dad.
Love ya' boy...

NodakJack said...

And, another thing....even Grandma wouldn't drink caffeine-free Egyptian Licorice Mint tea.
Shudder.......
Love ya' boy.
Dad

Charlie said...

Curt, I'm so glad to hear your grandmother is doing better!
- Charlie's mom

Curt Rogers said...

Thank you for all the kind words and support over the past several days. It's been difficult being down here in Denver while Grandma has been sick in North Dakota, but knowing you're all here, reading about my walks with Duncan and the solace they've offered has been a tremendous encouragement. I thank you, I'm sure my father thanks you, as do my sister and cousins, and most certainly Grandma, too.

It means more to me than sunshine.

Murphy's Mom said...

Your writing this morning was a wonderful gift to me. A reminder to be grateful and mindful. I am so glad you had that time with your grandmother.

Amber said...

Glad your grandma is doing well...I know it can be rough at times to be so far away:(

Cheryl said...

What a woman. 'Glad" i LOVE YOU.