Phyllis sat in her chair and picked up the unfinished blanket. Her hands went immediately to work, the needles and yarn moving together.

“Mom! Where is my favorite shirt?”

She smiled, placed the material on the coffee table and started toward the hall. She walked slowly, taking time to notice the frames that lined the hallway. Photographs of birthdays and school days smiled at her with toothless grins and laughing eyes. Just as she neared Sam’s room, she heard a clanking noise in the kitchen behind her.

“Shh! You’re going to get us in trouble.”

“Just grab a cookie and hurry up!”

She glanced into Sam’s empty room and turned toward the kitchen. Back through the rows of framed memories she passed until reaching the kitchen. As she expected, the room was vacant. The cookie jar, in the shape of Snoopy, stared off into space as if not willing to share any of the secrets it had observed.

Bam!

She flinched a bit, but then smiled again. She moved back toward the living room where this adventure had begun. The years had taught her that even a slammed door does not always stay closed, but as she entered the room she could see that it was.

She listened for any more sounds, but heard only silence. She sat back in her chair and resumed working on the blanket.

She didn’t enjoy the quiet. The past several days had been so very quiet. It was understandable, with Sam starting a new job and Jerry and his wife busy with two children. Ever since Frank had passed away, the days had grown more and more silent. This year had been especially so. But today would be different; she was sure of it.

Ring! The phone shattered the silence and her thoughts along with it.

She smiled again.

Ring!