by Linda Austin
The familiar song of the cell phone alarm forced my eyes open to a dull gloom washing into the bedroom. Another rainy day, the fourth in a row. I lay in bed thinking of what was ahead: fix a school lunch for my daughter, clean the house, visit Mom in the nursing home. I wondered what home-made dinner treat I could cook for her to tempt her appetite as lately she had no interest in eating.
I rose from bed to wake my daughter, dressed, then headed downstairs to start the day. After my husband left to drop our daughter off at school on his way to work, I headed for the front door to fetch the newspaper and check out the weather.
The weight of my mother’s deteriorating condition was on my mind. Drops of rain spattered my face as I stepped outside and looked at the pale gray ceiling above me. On the sidewalk along the street, the newspaper lay limp in its plastic wrap. I headed back to the house with it, ignoring the scatterings of rain that played like a preview of the coming main event. Stepping up onto the front porch, I paused to look down. There, plastered on the doormat, lay a bit of magic—a damp, red feather. My spirits rose at this little miracle, and floated upwards into the gray clouds.
Linda Austin wrote Cherry Blossoms in Twilight, a memoir of her mother’s childhood in Japan around WWII. She encourages others to write the stories of their lives via her blog, Cherry Blossom Memories. Her website is http://www.moonbridgebooks.com and her blog is http://moonbridgeblog.blogspot.com.