The things I do not do: (Cross them out with an X!)
I do not leave things on the floor.
I try not to remind her that she has moved past the years when she can pick up things from the floor herself. How demoralizing that must feel.
I do not let her in on the secret that she’s read the same headline to me four times already. Or told me the same story more times then I can count. It’s easy to act interested every time and mostly, I am.
I do not dwell. I try not to let her dwell.
I do dwell, in her happy memories of her past.
I wish I did not let her read the paper.
I do not leave her alone.
I do not smother her and make her feel like a burden.
I do not let her call herself a “dumbbell” but on that she’s pretty stubborn.
I do not remember the fork, or the spoon, every meal. She always has to ask and generously forgets that I always make this mistake.
I do not rush her. She has such little time left, she can spend it how she wants.
I do not take her for granted.
I do not serve her tepid coffee.
I do not speak to her unless I am facing her.
I don’t keep my house clean.
I don’t really keep her house clean, only the parts she sees.
I don’t miss an opportunity to bring a harvest in from the garden and show it to her.
I don’t stop looking for warning signs. Even still, I never know how that day will go.
And someday, I don’t know what I’m going to do…