Mary shuffled with a limp while carrying the dirty dishes from the dining table to the kitchen. She tried to hide the fact that something was wrong from Jim, her husband of 42 years, and even though his back was to her as she walked, he knew instantly something was amiss.
“Is your hip hurting again honey,” asked Jim? He had turned to see her final two steps as she reached the kitchen sink; she was clearly favoring her left side. “Hon, how bad is it?”
“It’s okay Jim, just a little stiff from the arthritis. I’ll be fine; go read your paper and rest,” Mary replied with just a little white lie. Her hip and knee were on fire it seemed.
My bride shifted her leg, just a little, but enough so that my foot no longer touched hers. That was enough to bring me from a deep slumber into a semi-conscious state where dreams appear real, and reality flickers like a candle on a dark night. We were spooning, cuddled together under clean sheets and a down comforter, perfectly matched as two spoons in drawer. She was warm, radiating a soft fire that kept the winter chill from invading our bed. She says that I am like a heater, always good to keep the bed warm, but it is she who brings warmth. My knees touch the inside of her thighs, and my left hand rests gently on her hip. I feel her body rise with every breath, and I hear the soft melody of air caressing her lips. But my foot is no longer in contact with hers and that causes a ripple in my happiness, so without my asking or prompting, my left foot moves the two inches needed to find her. And then, having accomplished its goal my foot can be at peace again.