My daddy rarely visits me at work–he’s just too busy seeing patients to drop what he’s doing and get lunch with me during the weekdays. But mama and my nephew John Walker come by all the time. It makes my heart sing to hear him playing with the wooden toys under the hatchet case, making “vroom” sounds as he pushes Uncle Big’s truck across the rugs, while mama and I share Chick-Fil-A French fries and talk about who came in that morning. But today was special. Emily saw him walking past the windows and said, “Oooooh John Walker, you won’t believe who’s here!” because for just a minute, daddy stopped in to see us all. Walker ran to him calling, “Pappaw! Pappaw!” And just a minute later we heard the scream and roar of the freight train heading for downtown. John Walker ran to the window, and daddy scooped him up to carry him out to the sidewalk to watch it up close, safe and sound.
We’re very late getting to bed tonight because we spent it with family again–this time helping Mallorie and Jim move. Which was bittersweet, to remember our lives to this point spent in that house having dinner and watching rainy night movies, the days Lucy was brand new from the hospital, her first birthday with pink balloons in the dining room. But mostly, tonight, I continued to hold a grudge against Jim because all I ever wanted was the Fievel doll he had on a shelf in his childhood bedroom on 1st Avenue. He’s still got it.