It is late…well, not late of years gone by, but late now at seventy-three. i have just finished my column, almost a day (but not quite) ahead of deadline, a most unusual occurrence for this procrastinator.

But Jared Felkins, the managing editor of The Lebanon Democrat  and a blessing for this newspaper, which has been a part of my life since the beginning, mine, not the newspaper’s, has a busy and difficult week ahead. He and his wife are closing on their new house and his uncle, a close relative passed away with services this week. Jared needs all the time he can squeeze out of an editor’s rather ridiculous schedule and demands.

So i made the effort.

This was on top of a long day of home tasks and working and working on a writing project. Maureen has already gone to bed. i’m heading there. It’s late. 9:30. Sleep habits are another story another time.

But as i sit here, i can feel my eyes burning. It feels like grit, you know, grains of sand are inside the lids, not totally unpleasant, but demanding i pay service to the rack monster (the term i used in the Navy when sleep, not beckoned, but demanded).

And i remember special moments. So special moments. For as long as i was with Blythe, i would put her to bed. i did the same with Sarah until she was well into high school and even then, i might sneak in late to kiss her good night.

i would put them under the covers, tuck them in if you will. Early on, i would read stories to them. i tried making up some but it seemed awkward, stilted, especially compared to Dr. Seuss or Phil Silverstein. Eventually, i chucked the stories altogether.  i would lay down on the bedding and put my arms around them over the covers. i would nestle my head close to theirs. Then i would hum or sing softly with as low a timbre as i could muster.

There are only two songs i remember singing/humming. They are emblazoned in my brain. “Mr. Sandman, Bring Me a Dream,” and “Summertime.”

i am already humming them in my mind as i write, thinking about those two special people in my life.

i think i will sleep well.

Good night.

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