I returned yesterday from a longer-than-usual visit with Mom and Dad. Mom is recovering from surgery, and with each day of that recovery, one of this fall's biggest worries wanes a bit more. She has an outpatient surgery scheduled for spring, but to have one hospital-stay down and one procedure to-go is better than where we were a week ago, so we will focus on that for now. And eat our weight in pumpkin muffins. My brothers have been keeping Mom supplied with gluten-free groceries, and the muffins, rolls, and macaroni have all been hits. I arrived Sunday with a basket of magazines, a handmade scrapbook, and a few other other goodies--and Halloween treats for my dad, nieces, and nephew--and set up camp in the living room with Mom, sleeping on one of the chairs at night while Mom slept on the couch. Sweet Mom, who always gives so much of herself to everyone else, has been showered with flowers, baked goods, visits from her beloved "grandbabies," and oh! the most wonderful mail. ♥ We kept lit in the living room a pumpkin-scented candle Aunt Laurie had sent in a pre-surgery care package. We made cinnamon rolls from a gluten-free pizza crust mix my younger brother had given her. We smiled over a get-well card my older brother's kids had drawn for her. We enjoyed a visit with my dancing queen of an almost-two-year-old niece. We enjoyed Dad's laundry service. And the early November weather was mild enough for Mom to get some fresh air out on the deck, albeit still cuddled-up in a blanket, and for me to take a break and enjoy some walks around the yard and in the woods behind her and Dad's house. We watched movies, old "Barney Miller" episodes--we share a Hal Linden crush--and the most striking sunset, and I myself found hearts, of course, while resting on the deck's steps, and while walking in the woods, and even while packing to come back here: A red heart sticker we hadn't noticed before appeared stuck to the kitchen floor. "Well, I'll have to think about that one," Mom murmured as she looked down at it during one of her required laps around the house. " I have no idea where that would have come from." She had just told me the day before that she hasn't had any stickers to add to her letters and envelopes in ages, so stickers could be a Christmas idea for her, if I needed any ideas. . . .♥ I couldn't bear to scrape it off of the tile. Mom can ponder it while she completes her daily laps, and assuming Dad won't notice it if he mops the floor, I will enjoy seeing it again when I return home in three weeks to help Mom put up the Christmas trees, to try our hand at gluten-free crescent rolls, and to give Chef Dad a break from cooking supper. Here's to every good heart that graces our journeys, and let us not take any of them for granted.