It’s early. 6 am. I’m cold, sitting on my couch, covered in blankets. The living room curtains are open, as they are every morning, for the cat. Even though it’s pitch black out, he sits and waits for the sun every morning. 

Out of the darkness comes the trash truck. Three men are running behind it, no doubt freezing, in the dark, grabbing the trash and tossing it in the back. No one is around to notice this. 

I instantly think of my late Grandmom. She would’ve noticed. She would’ve had a cold Coke waiting for them in the summer, chocolate chip cookies in the winter. She would stand at her storm door and wave with the most beautiful smile splashed across her face. 

My Grandmom noticed everyone and everything. Even though her townhouse community had a large, central mailbox, the mailman brought her mail to her door. When she was dying, with barely any energy to speak, she knew the mailman was there and motioned for someone to get him a cold soda from the fridge. 

Losing her was hard. I miss her voice- the excitement in it when she said one of my children’s names. I miss her stopping by, in her blue coat, for never more than 10 minutes. She never sat down and sometimes never made it further than the entryway. It was like she needed to lay eyes on you. I miss that. 

In honor of her and the new year upon us, take a minute and step back wherever you are and channel my Grandmom for a bit. Make sure your bird feeders are full to the brim. Make sure you say hello to everyone- the person cleaning the bathroom at work or cutting the grass. Ask them if they need anything- a bottle of water, cup of coffee. And if you’re in school, for goodness’ sake, please get a hundred. 

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