I felt leaden when the alarm went off.

It’s not like I did anything worth anything this week. Except run around town between client meetings, sidestepping snowstorms, welcoming two new clients, carting children to and from school and of course, visiting my grandmother in the hospital.

It’s been a week of emotional running, too. I am certain that’s why I’m so tired this morning.

No time to meditate (how can that be?), so much work to do (a good thing, I know), and the inner turmoil of saying goodbye to someone who has been a foundational cornerstone of my life.

I last exercised Monday night. That’s a far cry from now. When I look at my week, I wonder how in the world I can’t squeeze in 15 minutes for an afternoon meditation or a quiet half-hour at the beginning or end of the day to stretch and bend, or take a walk in the brisk air.

This weekend is set to be brutally cold. Aunts and uncles are coming in from other places. We sit in vigil, some joking to lighten the atmosphere, others contemplative in their inner quiet.

Last night, when I got the call to return to the hospital to be among family, I desperately tried to find someone who could stay with the kids so Dan could accompany me. None of the usual suspects were available.

So I called my ex. You know how rocky that road has been. But he didn’t hesitate. “Sure, I’ll come,” he said. “Give me a few minutes.”

And he came.

He came to the house that used to be his to put our children to bed and to leave after we returned. He set up his work on the kitchen table and went at it after the children were asleep. He texted me to ask how things were going.

It was almost as if things were amicable between us.

When I got to the hospital, my parents, cousins and aunt and uncle asked, “Who’s with the children?”

When I told them, there was silence. “Really?” “Glad he stepped up.”

Me too.

In life, few things are certain and thankfully, the tumultuous wave of ex-spouse apathy and anger can in fact subside when the time requires it. I am grateful to my ex for allowing my new husband to go with me to the hospital, for being gracious enough to be a partner in this thing we call life.

Push aside the petty surface details and you often find buried deep down, a core of integrity that is the truth.

It’s in all of us. We just have to dig deep enough to see it.

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