babysitter

IT WAS DIFFICULT

TODAY I BANISHED AN OLD FAMILY MEMBER

It took plenty of deep thought and more than a few tears.

It was decision I dreaded.

Did she disrupt our family? No. She kept silent during arguments, voiced no opinion on disputed subjects. She didn’t speak up when actually abused by those who failed to notice her supportive qualities.

She graciously became a babysitter. She held little children, rambunctious teens, and even the elderly. Within her arms, newborn babies were propped with pillows. When they occasionally burped milk on her, she didn’t gasp and recoil in horror. I know she never complained about popcorn spilled on her or a child’s dirty shoes kicking her. I once saw a sugary drink dumped on her dark green skirt. She failed to recoil in anger. Although, I can say she never helped with homework, I did see that she served as a backup support to teenagers lounging with a math book, wrinkled papers, or the dreaded English report.

Family members could join her in the living room—in front of the fireplace—for a late night movie or a round of cartoons in the afternoon. She never demanded the right to watch a special program. She let our cats curl up alongside her back or rub against her legs without pushing them away or voicing an observation about cat hairs. There was no murmur of disdain when she held the sick and those in pain. She let them recline against her. A spiking fever failed to frighten her. Her firm arms cradled the brokenhearted who sobbed into her softness or sought her comfort.

You’re probably wondering how anyone could turn his or her back on a family member. You ask how we could allow her to go stay with another family? Well … it wasn’t easy, but my family all agreed she had to go. It didn’t matter that she was only twenty-seven, still accommodating with gentle suppleness, and waiting in vibrant color. Yes, she was still beautiful.

But … the new couch comes tomorrow.

I wished her well. I hope the family she settles with will know we took care of her. I am sure she still has some life left in her.

Two men arrived from a charitable organization. I pointed at her and wiped away a silent tear. One of the men raised his eyebrows and said, “This one? You’re giving away this one?” Smiles lit his face.

“Someone is going to appreciate and like this one.”

What do you have that you can give away today? Your smile? Your touch of compassion? Your unique suggestions? Think about it. Please, scroll down and leave a comment.

 

Represented by Linda S. Glaz at http://www.hartlineliterary.com.