Hope, then Heartbroken


Two years ago, in July 2014, we lost my father-in-law to liver cancer. This year, in June 2016, we lost my mother-in-law to breast cancer. When Jimmy passed away, we also lost our home. My husband had lived there for his entire life, as it was built in part for him by his father, aunt, and uncle. When Jimmy passed, my husband’s aunt and uncle basically kicked us out and we had to find a new home. The house was then sold to a family and we haven’t been back there since.

Last night I had a dream that we went over to that house, and Susan and Jimmy were inside sitting in their chairs, like they had always done. I was so happy to see them, we sat and talked to her and Jimmy. Looking around, there had been changes to the house, of course, but it was all Jimmy and Susan’s belongings, like they had never left. It was so comforting and I soaked in the sights and went outside and soaked in the air around me. It was home. Susan sat inside watching her shows (soap operas) because it was that time of day and Jimmy went outside and tinkered around his shed doing this and that, like he usually did. I began thinking about the family that had bought the house and asked Susan about it, and asked where they were. She stated that they had ripped up the papers and decided not to move in. I realized that we could move back in, if it was okay with Jimmy and Susan, and we could all be a family again. It would be like it used to be.

Then later on, I remembered both Susan and Jimmy’s passing in the hospitals, and the heartbreak of loss struck me again. As humans, I don’t think we ever stop dreaming of that day when we can see those we have lost and talk to them. I don’t think we ever stop dreaming of going back to the way life used to be, a better life with smiles and laughter. A sense of freedom and the sense that anything can be fixed. As humans we are full of hope, but at the same time full of heartbreak.


Our House



When I was a child, my family moved a lot. We stayed in one general area, but never stayed in one home for long. However, I do have to say that there was one that really stood out. This home was old and had an upstairs, which made me very excited. My older brother and I had the small bedroom upstairs that was right beside the attic. My favorite memories are of us having friends over, taking the mattress from the bed, and riding it down the small staircase. This house was an odd shade of green and located on a small side road. Outside was a willow tree that I admired and a big tree in the middle of the yard that we would climb, sap sticking to our arms and legs. My parents had a waterbed in their bedroom, my brother, our friends, and I would climb onto their dresser, jump, and land on the waterbed, which hurt terribly if there was no cover on it. Needless to say, the house was always full of life, and these are some of my memories.

Little Louisa


Little Louisa had a crooked nose and an even more crooked spine. At 91 years of age she had accomplished very little, but had no desire to prove to anyone that she could. Her life was not for anyone’s benefit, it was solely hers and she felt free not having to meet anyone’s expectations. When she went through town nobody knew her name besides the owners of her favorite shops. Little Louisa enjoyed candles, cookies, and calendars. Each day she would burn a candle of her choosing and watch the wick burn down to the bottom. A still flame burning down, putting off a sweet aroma, filling her small cottage. Little Louisa drank tea and coffee with as much sugar as she wanted and smiled when she finished her cup. Satisfied. Little Louisa didn’t need or want anyone to drink tea with her. She didn’t want the fuss of another person bringing down her mood, talking about what angered them and what they could do without. By herself she was in peace, solitude, quiet.


Abigail D. Gray