Morro Bay, California


As we walked through the nursing home, it seemed like Grace knew everyone. Old ranchers with carved faces and missing digits sat alone in wheelchairs parked along the hallway. She would crouch down to their level, rub their shoulders and talk with them, and a smile would cross their face. She had time for everyone and flowed through the home with ease.

Grace invited us to lunch. We went to her favorite diner with about five tables covered in plastic tablecloths. As we talked, I realized Grace’s ninety-six years hadn’t dulled her sharp mind or her sarcasm. She told stories about meeting her husband Claud, their early days on the ranch, and about the new nail salon in town. Towards the end of lunch, Grace set her napkin on the table, leaned back in her chair, and raised her eyebrows.

“You know,” she said, “I never did waste one minute of time worrying about the way things might have been.”