Birdie was a fixture on the old front porch of The Home. It seemed she had been there forever. She would rise early, dress, and sit out front in her rocking chair. She said she liked to greet the sun.
You could hear Birdie shuffling up and down the worn wooden hallways. She always wore the same old worn out slippers, along with her trademark black cardigan. Hands in the pockets, she would grin when people told her to put shoes on. She had other shoes, but would say the old slippers were just fine for sittin’ and watchin’.
Birdie would sit and rock all day. She chatted with anyone who cared to sit for a spell. Friendly and intelligent, Birdie knew about a lot of things. History was one of her favourite topics, even though she never talked about her own.
Meals were a favourite time for Birdie. She would shuffle down to the dining room. As she dined with the other residents, she would catch up on their days. She loved to listen to the news and the goings-on of the House.
People would come and go. The other residents had visitors, and Birdie greeted them as her own. Everyone loved Birdie, and she obviously loved them in return.
One cool autumn morning, Birdie began talking about an upcoming trip she planned to take. She would get out her finest dress and her travelin’ shoes. She was so excited that it was infectious. She spoke all day about it, though she wouldn’t give details. Everyone assumed she was going to have company, or perhaps was invited to visit distant family. Birdie could hardly contain herself.
The next morning she rose even earlier than she usually did. She dressed carefully in a beautiful dress and her trademark cardigan. She placed her slippers under her bed, choosing to wear her travelin’ shoes. She clicked down the long hall and out onto the porch, wearing a big grin. Birdie was so excited.
The early staff arrived, remarking to Birdie that she was up too early. She replied with a smile that today was the day! She had on her travelin’ shoes, too! She said she was ready, just had to wait. Chuckling, the staff went about their business, leaving Birdie to her rocking chair and the rising sun.
When it was time for breakfast, Birdie did not come shuffling down the hall. Her friends checked her room. When the staff went looking, they found her in her rocking chair.
There was Birdie, a smile on her face. Birdie’s spirit, however, had flown.
~McGuffy Ann Morris~