by Byron Cox
THOUGHTS ON WAKING UP
by Byron CoxMy eyelids fluttered open. Slowly, consciousness returned, and I was awake. I did not move, but lay still, as if to convince myself that I was really awake, and not dreaming that I was awake. I listened, concentrating, to take in the sounds of my surroundings. I did not hear our neighbor’s dog Sheba barking, but I could hear the sounds of passing traffic on the I-95. There was the occasional cracking sound of the house. I heard you exhaling through your mouth on each breath, making a popping sound. I looked over at you, and watched. I watched you sleep, as I often do.
There you lay on your back, head leaning off your pillows in what seemed to be an uncomfortable position; your right foot out from under the covers, somewhat off the bed, arms across your stomach, sleeping peacefully.
I watched, thinking. Thinking how happy I am to have you. To have you as the object of my love, someone to care about. What would it be like not having you to love, to be concerned about? I wondered. What if there were someone quite unlike you? I could not imagine it! I watched, you slept on, looking as innocent, beautiful and calm as you always seem to me.
It was far from daybreak, or time for me to be arising. I never bothered to peak at the time. All I wanted to do was to snuggle unto your arm – my favorite spot- and savor our loving memories, built up through the years. To feel the soothing warmth of your body, and continue listening to the familiar sounds of your breathing.
Ah, I found my spot, and before long I suspect our hands were clasped, and I was transported into peaceful slumber, with happy thoughts of the wonders of our love.
Today, I watch you sleep, without the familiar sound of your breathing. But, you are as calm and peaceful as I have always known you.
Reluctantly, I must bid you farewell my love, my best friend. Enjoy your rest, till we meet again.
[Note: This piece was written for Dottie many years before her passing, which she kept among her papers. The last two paragraphs were added for her funeral where the entire piece was read on behalf of her husband.]