Probably Tom's first night or 'graveyard' shift was 27 years ago. Always, I think Grace has stepped into the front door while Tom stepped out of it, for I've never feared nights alone without Tom, never, not even as a young woman in my 20's. Thank heaven, for most likely Tom's worked a few thousand graveyard shifts--12 long, night-time hours over and over--and woe be it unto me if I'd spent thousands of nights alone, spooked.
For many years I had Naomi and cats and Jesus (and Grace) to keep me company on those nights, but now I just have the cats and Jesus (and Grace). And oh, those short hours before I go to bed, well, they feel peaceful.
After I've walked outside with Tom, I return to the house where I switch on a Netflixed tv show (which I've probably watched 30 times), then I'll straighten things, maybe wash a couple things, maybe play Paper Bag with the cats before changing into my pajamas and robe and then sitting, relaxing, watching tv with Sammy upon my lap. Soon I'm nodding, nearly asleep, so I shoo away the cat, rise up and get ready for bed, including taking my vitamins and feeding the cats once more so that Daniel won't come and tickle my nose before 2 a.m., asking for more food.
I'll check the doors and lights and heater then head upstairs to bed where I'll flick on The Dick Van Dyke show, sink into bed and fall asleep usually within 5 minutes (going by the bit of the show which I can last recall).
And somehow--I have no idea how--it all feels blessed and darn near enchanted. I think of these nights and recall them with smiles.
But what about tonight while Hurricane Sandy blows through our town and I'm here alone (with the cats and Jesus and Grace)? Won't that be different? Won't that feel quite un-enchanted, scary even?
No, for Jesus changes not, even though the weather certainly does. He's the same yesterday, today and forever and oh.... I am grateful.