Marge was lonely. Her children lived on the other side of the nation and were busy with
their own children and grandchildren. They called several times a year, but never visited.
They knew that she was healthy, and very independent, so it just didn't cross their mind
that she might like a visit, or to be invited to visit. Marge's husband had died nine months
ago. Right after his death, she had lots of phone calls and visitors. But as the months went
by, the calls and visits became few and far between.
Now it was coming onto Christmas and Marge watched with envy as people hustled about the
stores preparing for large family gatherings, buying gifts and wrappings, adding to their
grocery shopping for extra mouths at home, and decorating their yards. Marge was a bit too
shaky to decorate her own yard so she hired a professional decorator to do it for her. But
she had already sent her cards to family and friends, and presents to her children and
grandchildren and great grandchildren. There was no need to lay in supplies for visitors as
there would be no visitors.
She attended the Christmas pageant at church. She paid a taxi to drive her around town to
see the lights on Christmas Tree Lane. But she missed having people to do things with. She
didn't want to invite herself to her children's homes. She had grown up in the years, when
inviting yourself was consider impolite. So she was lonely. So lonely was she, that she felt
depressed and felt like crying. She tried to curb this by baking some cookies and taking
them to the neighborhood nursing home for the residents. But that made her feel even more
depressed. Many of them could not eat cookies due to health problems. Many of them were so
out of it they didn't even know she had come to visit. One day she made sandwiches and took
them to the homeless on the streets. But one man was rude about it. He told her she should
give him money not food. So that didn't help her depression either.
She was beginning to feel that perhaps her time had come to join her late husband. Life just
wasn't fun without him in it. Pain was her constant companion. The house was so quiet that
she kept the radio or TV going just for company. The ladies at the church didn't want her to
help them with anything because she was so slow that she was not that much help. Being old
wasn't much fun for Marge.
One evening, Marge was sitting in front of the television set, watching reruns of the Golden
Girls. It was her favorite show and there really wasn't much else worth watching. She heard
a noise on the front porch. Cautiously she turned on the porch light and peeked out the
window. She couldn't see anyone and worried that there might be vandals or a thief out
there. You never could tell in these modern times. The world just wasn't all that safe. So
she called the police department and told them she had heard a noise on her porch but
couldn't see anyone. She asked that they send an officer to check. A patrol car was sent and
the officer came to her door and rang the bell. She peeked out, saw who it was, and opened
the door. She then invited him in, but he was laughing and said he wasn't sure he would want
her to come in. She assured him she would, and offered him some cookies and hot cocoa. He
entered with something that wiggled, tucked under his police-issue jacket.
He told her he would love some cookies and hot cocoa, but first he wanted to show her the
noise that she had heard. He unzipped his jacket and held out a scraggly and very thin small
dog. It was an adult dog, but very little. Marge asked him to bring it into the kitchen.
There she got out some scraps of left over dinner and placed the food on an old pie tin. She
also filled a bowl with water. Both she placed on the floor. The dog went at it like it
hadn't had anything to drink or eat in forever.
Then Marge made some hot cocoa for the officer and put some cookies on a plate. He sat
enjoying them, and the conversation with the elderly woman. In the middle of the
conversation, it came out that his wife had divorced him recently. They had no children and
she had ended up with the apartment. He was presently staying in a run down motel room with
no relatives near. He was going to be alone for Christmas.
Marge invited him to move into one of her spare rooms. He said he didn't have much money to
pay for rent. She said the rent would be free, if he would take care of the yard work and
repairs that she could no longer do. It was agreed on and he prepared to go. When he started
to pick up the stray dog, she asked what he was going to do with it. He explained that he
would drop it off at the animal shelter where it would be cared for. She insisted he leave
it with her. So that is what he did. Marge gave it the name of that Disney dog, Tramp.
The next day was Officer Jim's day off and he moved into the spare room. It wasn't long
before both realized this was of benefit to them each. Jim got regular meals and an adopted
grandmother. Marge got someone to keep her company and someone to keep the house in repairs.
She also had someone with which to spend Christmas. Tramp had a family who groomed him, and
kept him fed. This was a better Christmas than all three of them had anticipated.
© By Sharon (Sunyskys1943@aol.com)