My Housekeeper says goodbye (temporarily)

My housekeeper, Roxanne, comes every other week.  She’s been doing it for over 18 years, and we are friends. We are good friends. I treasure that, because she helps me so much.  A clean house … what does it mean?  More than anything, it can mean someone cares.  Roxanne really does. I always tell her when she leaves how good the apartment looks, and I always see her look of pleasure and pride.

We worry about each other.  She started her job with me when she was pregnant, and had a second pregnancy a year or two later. Photos of her children are on my frig. We talk — I’ve been there when her daughter scalded her leg, when her son got a DUI.

We laugh a lot. She got very worried on the subway once because she’d put a microwave dish cover in the wrong place and maybe I’d need it and wouldn’t find it!  I told her if I’d realized it, I would have docked half her pay.  But then I mumbled that I had two of them … and we laughed and laughed.

She’s going on a vacation and will miss one of our weeks.  So today, she came in for 1 hr after she finished another job in the building.  She volunteered it; I didn’t ask.  When she’d finished, we went downstairs together so I could finish giving Xmas gifts to the building staff.  As we left my apartment she turned and said, softly and a little sadly,  “Goodbye, house.”  That’s Roxanne.

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