DAVE: The Messy Guest

Dave and his granddaughter Aubrey

From the top of the stairs, I peer into my guest room and I can see it’s a mess. Just a few weeks ago it was tidy and clean—like the kinds I always would see in the home magazines Sandy and I subscribed to. House Beautiful, Empty Nest Homes, Kids Moved Out Journal (okay, I made up two of those titles). Now my perfect guest room is cluttered with chaos—piles of clothes, belongings, bedding and 12 year-old girl stuff. My granddaughter Aubrey is visiting.

Aubrey used to live nearby. And for many years she lived here in this house. Now she lives in Colorado. We’re having a good visit, it’s nice to have her here again. She tells me she misses her Mimi. We talk about it. She asks me if I’m okay a lot. Almost to the point of it being annoying—but it’s what she needs to do. If I’m doing okay, I tell her so. If I’m not, I’m not, and I share that also. Life is messy. Not a tidy guest room.

She’ll be flying home soon. I will miss watching the Walking Dead with her. I will miss her asking to sleep in my bed because we watched the Walking Dead. I will miss her spontaneous hugs, her growing maturity and her childlike wisdom. Her easygoing nature and her likeness to her Mimi.

I notice in the middle of all this mess is a board game in mid-play. I smile, it’s the Game of Life. She asked me not to disturb it. She told me she’s playing it by herself. I think… me too. And I’m getting the hang of it. 

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