In 2005 Ann and Chuck moved into a modular home on River Bend. Tom and his wife, Jan, live with their four hounds on the first floor. Chuck and Ann reside above with a view of the River Raisin and the great blue herons and sandhill cranes that visit it. A neighbor bought the piano before the move, but the red and blue Persian rug is still on the floor, and other antiques I remember from my childhood still bring the comfort of familiarity.
Shelves filled with books cover the walls, but Ann, who suffers from muscular dystrophy and Alzheimer’s disease, reads less frequently now, finding it difficult to remember from one page to the next. Chuck respectfully accommodates the wife he still refers to as his child bride, even though she was two years older than he was when they married on Valentine’s Day nearly half a century ago. And though Ann has trouble with more recent events, we still joke about my handwriting and my shaky second-grade clay stegosaurus.
[Originally published in October, 2008.]