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It’s our wonderful sitter’s last morning with us, and I am feeling sad. She is feeling sad, too, because she has to make an out-of-state move for family reasons, and it’s hard for her to go.

I think about how things were when she came to us: I was very ill and in pain, determined to endure but exhausted and haunted and desperate for some kind of normalcy. And my daughter was so very young, not yet walking, not yet talking. It seems so long ago in some ways, but scary-close in others.

We interviewed many people, some good, some bad, but with this young woman I felt a sense of peace. She cried out for joy when she got the job, and we were joyful, too. It’s not every day that you find someone you’re willing to trust with your greatest treasure.

Having her here several mornings a week helped us find our feet again. At first I used the time to get to doctor and hospital appointments, and then later, as I grew stronger, to write a little. She was the right person at the right time, you could say, but that doesn’t go far enough. As we worried together over bumps and colds, and laughed at funny sayings and gestures, I came to love her. And I’ll miss her terribly.

Even though I know that no good situation lasts forever (or should), it’s very hard to say goodbye.

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