An Unexpected Love

Photo by Kristin Anderson (

However, Margie stayed.

We moved to a house in the foothills on Mina Vista and Margie came with us. She was a continuous presence in our lives, coming two mornings a week to help my mom. The cleaning supply closet in the hallway with all of our bedrooms was jokingly referred to as, “Margie’s room,” as in “look in Margie’s room,” or “I think it’s in Margie’s room.” Really, the whole house became Margie’s house, too, as did our dogs and cats.

Margie was always there.

She kept the house a home for my mom. She took care of all the things that my mom loved but wasn’t able to keep up herself as she aged. Every time Margie came, she’d fill the birdfeeders . . . hung outside nearly every window and in every outdoor space, put vegetable scraps out in the desert for the bunnies, and water the multitude of flower pots, plants, and trees.

She was the keeper of so many memories.

After we’d closed up the house for the last time, one of my sisters, my husband, and I (with our dogs) drove away in two U-Hauls and a van loaded with furniture and keepsakes. It was a comfort to know that Margie would be there in the morning to clean the dog paw prints off the Mexican tile floor and the dog slobber off the sliding glass door to the backyard one last time, before leaving the key she’d had for 40 years under the doormat for the new owner.

…a lifetime of unexpected love.

Patricia is a writer, psychologist, and life coach. You can find more of her writing at

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