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  • Writer's picture Gabrielle Elise Jimenez

The Window Seat

Every day for the last year of her 95 years, she sat in her cozy chair in the corner of her room and looked out the window. She sipped her tea and watched as the leaves changed colors, and as the birds played, and she listened as neighbors walked by and children laughed. Her heart felt full. She had a wonderful family who loved her fiercely and she was well cared for and supported as she began to decline. They fussed over her, which she hated and loved at the same time and while she fought it initially, she finally caved and allowed them to smother her with love and tend to her day after day.

Despite how weak she became, she continued to make it to her chair, to look out her window and see what the world had in store for her each day. Her special window seat became the place where she pondered life, the world in its crazy uncertain times, and she listened to her family members as they sat on the floor next to her and shared their stories. She had most meals there, she sometimes slept (which she called naps), and she felt peace in her heart knowing her life was well lived and soon it would be time for her to go. She said all of her goodbyes, she expressed deep love to her family and friends, and she wiped away the tears of those who were struggling with the thought of her being gone. And she repeated to them all, over and over again… “I have lived my life well”.

When she could no longer make it to the chair and became bedridden, her family knew she had very little time left. I was blessed to have been called to her bedside more than once. I was honored to hear the stories of a life, she indeed lived well, and I watched as this beautiful family came together to honor her wishes to have love and comfort at the end of her life.

One day as the room filled with family, I found myself easing towards the back of the room, finding a cozy seat that looked out a window. I sat there for hours just staring out the window, pondering life, thinking about our world and all the uncertainty we are facing right now, and I listened as children laughed and played, and I watched as neighbors walked by. There was this feeling of peace as I sat there and I wondered who else might have sat there, and if it might have been her and what she thought and felt and if maybe she too felt this peace I was feeling… and then I wondered if perhaps the peace I was feeling, was hers. I shared with the family how I was feeling while sitting in this chair, which is how I found out it was her favorite spot, her window seat and her room with a wonderful view.

As her breaths became slower, I watched from her chair as the family moved closer to her, tearfully saying their goodbyes, holding hands and hugging one another. And just as she took her very last breath, I watched as the stained-glass circle that was hanging in the window started to spin and I knew… she was gone. I whispered, “you lived your life well”.

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