I awoke suddenly with two words, “shotgun houses” turning over and over in my mind. Meghan had poured herself across my pillow just above my head, and although she was purring in a rhythm I normally found lulling, she was also licking herself excessively as if some serious mishap had occurred during the night requiring an emergency washing.
My mind immediately flew to thoughts of my Grandmother who lived her entire life in a shotgun house. In fact, she quietly slipped away one Christmas morning while the world around her home of three rooms was filled with the joy of children’s excitement and laughter as they ripped paper from boxes, and ribbons floated unnoticed to the floor.
As I made my way to the kitchen to pour a cup of steaming hot coffee which automatically brews every morning at precisely 5:00 AM; I thought of Grandma’s tea kettle whistling at a high pitched scream signaling her to prepare the instant coffee in her favorite white mug.
Her possessions had been few, but her abundant happiness was nearly tangible. As I sat in my favorite chair sipping coffee and reflecting on her smile, I recalled her habit of rising early to “get up and rest a while” as she had put it, and how as a teenager I had silently snickered at the thought of getting up to rest.
Now, years later here I was following her same habit, understanding it fully. There is nothing like the simple moments of a steaming cup of coffee in a comfortable chair. Oh, the wealth we hold in a memory of a person whose joy came not from things money could obtain, but from a full and happy heart.