She cringed, as the familiar footsteps approached her front door. Pulled the duvet closer, at the door bell’s insistent ring. Not moving, and hardly breathing, she listened to the repeated summons, stifling the guilty voice which rebuked her lack of hospitality. A deep sigh escaped her, as the footsteps grew fainter, and the gate finally clicked shut. She just couldn’t face any more sympathy, although she would have welcomed the tea.
Lying on her back, she stared at the ceiling. An old spiritual song slipped into her mind.
“It’s me, it’s me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer,
Not my brother, or my sister, but it’s me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer”.
She projected this plea, silently, up through the plaster, to the One who hears the desperate hearts cry, but doesn’t bombard with empty words.
Lying quietly, enfolded in a sense of assent and understanding, she felt her strength returning. Sitting up, she glanced towards the wardrobe, with its contents of now unneeded apparel. These would have to be sorted out, at some stage.
“But not today” she thought, and began to prepare for the day ahead.
Slipping out of the house, she chose a quiet path to a favourite view, overlooking the sea. Thankful for the absence of people, and the need to converse, she took solace in the sea, the sky, and the breeze which stirred the grass around her seat.
Suddenly, she became aware of warm fur brushing against her legs, and looked down at the beaming face of a large tabby cat. She could feel its purr reverberating through her skin. As it leaped up onto the seat beside her, the thought came; “It looks just like the cat that belonged to ….”, but she couldn’t even think the name, without tears of loss falling.
She caressed the soft fur, and the purring increased. A companion without words, sharing a place she had loved, with one now lost. The tears still fell silently, but with a sense of the beginning of healing.
Maybe tomorrow, she could answer the door.
By Judith Ramsay June 2014