Jacqueline is a published author. Among her many books are: "Wait Until Autumn," "Threads of a Tapestry" and "Simply Living Godly."
Holding on for Dear Life ...
The attractive older woman sits in a chair with her photo album resting on her lap. Raine’s eyes are a bit sad as she thinks about the relationship she shared with her daughter. Ayana now has no time for her mother as she is far too busy with her various civic groups and functions. Pensive Raine turns the page as a solitary tear escapes her eyes and rolls down her left cheek. The tear seems to embrace the photo where she is sitting at the computer next to an ambitious Ayana who is doing her best to assist her mom.
“Oh, how I remember this moment well.” Raine reminisces into the wind as she reclines in a slant-wooden chair on her beautiful seaside patio. “In those days, I held a very special place in your heart, Ayana.”
Raine is jarred from her fantasy by the ringing of her cellphone. Her eyes eagerly examine the Caller ID. No, it’s not Ayana calling, but her good friend Beatrice Adams. The woman has been very concerned regarding the health and welfare of her longtime friend.
“Hello.” Raine almost sounds in agony as she answers.
“Raine, are you still thinking about the fact that Ayana hasn’t called regarding your birthday?” Beatrice sounds almost annoyed.
“I guess I am, Beatrice. I was looking forward to just spending some time with my only daughter.” Raine laments.
“Honey please! It’s time for you to move on.” Beatrice chastises.
“But, it’s my birthday, Beatrice.” Raine defends.
“Yes, a very special landmark in you life. Today you turn 60 years old. I bet you are sitting home alone with that blasted photo album on your lap, right?”
“Is that how you plan to spend the most wonderful day of your life? Sitting home alone, looking at pictures of Ayana and longing for the days when you meant the world to her?” Beatrice shakes her head incredulously.
“I had planned on spending it with Ayana. We would sip tea on the patio and reminisce about the good times we shared.” Raine begins to feel even sadder.
“No, this is not how you are going to enjoy this wonderful day! You are still a very beautiful woman. You have matured in such a wonderful way—the way fine wine ages to perfection.” Beatrice retorts, visualizing the smile on that still youthful looking face.
“I don’t feel much like celebrating today.” Raine sighs.
“I will be at your place in 30 minutes.”
“But—” before Raine can utter another word, Beatrice has hung up the telephone and there is nothing on the other end except a buzzing sound.
“How am I going to explain to that woman that I just want to be alone with my memories.” Raine begins to hug the album as if somehow Ayana would appear to comfort her aching heart.
Then putting the book down, Raine retrieves her cooled cup of Peppermint Tea. Instead of sugar, it is sweeten with raw honey. As she continues to sip the tea a breeze seems to flow through the open-air arrangement and brush gently against Raine’s legs. Then another flows seductively through her hair as if to whisper “It will be alright.”
Discovering Life Anew ...
Raine is almost on the verge of total relaxation when she hears what sounds like the doorbell ringing. Thinking the figure may be Ayana, she slams the cup down and makes her way toward the house to see who it is. Her face falls when she sees it’s only Beatrice.
“Well, it’s good to see you, too.” Beatrice says sarcastically.
“I’m sorry Bea, please let's go in.” Raine manages a slight smile.
As always Beatrice is beautifully garbed in a lovely turban , a colorful matching top and an understanding heart. Every strain of hair is in place under the turban and she smells of violets. Although not quite as pretty as Raine, Beatrice always displays an award-winning appearance!
“Why are you staring at me like that?” Beatrice inquires.
“Because you always look as if you’ve stepped from the pages of Vogue!” Raine retorts.
“Let me tell you this. If I had your looks, I probably would be!” This comments does bring a welcoming smile from Raine.
“See? Your face lights up so lovely. This is a day of celebration and by George we are going to celebrate.” Beatrice decides.
“Maybe Ayana will call later, and I won’t be here.” Raine tries unconvincingly to persuade Beatrice.
“Good! That will teach her to neglect her mother on the most important day of her life. Listen, Raine. We only have one shot at this—this life of ours! We can spend it wasting away at wondering why people respond the way they do or we can get up off our tails and live it to the maximum. Do you think that daughter of your is moping around thinking about you?” Beatrice never minces her words.
“Hell, no!” Raine finds Beatrice’s attitude contagious.
“Damn straight!” Beatrice has never heard Raine speak this way, but she is liking it.
“It’s hard to turn loose memories or times when things were not so complicated.” Raine admits for the first time in her life.
“Of course it is. We as mothers tend to filter our lives through our children. It is not their faults that we do this but ours. Then one day we look around and wonder where all the time has gone. You dear Raine have the chance to create new memories. Cherish the ones that are gone but never, ever try to relive them in the present!” Beatrice proclaims.
No Turning Back ...
Beatrice grabs Raine by the hand and leads her into the bedroom. Then she throws open the double doors to her walk-in closet. There are outfits for every occasion and event. Each one is filled with memories of Raine’s past. Dresses and suits from the time when Bruce was alive, and she was an "up and coming" corporate wife. Short sets from the French Riviera when Bruce got that big promotion.
“Look at those furs you’ve recently taken out of storage. No wonder you are like this. Your life is almost entirely cocooned in another point in time. It’s now time to select, update, and throw out!” Beatrice orders.
The next three hours is filled with the two women going through boxes, shelves and hangers. There is enough items lying on the floor, the bed and a velveteen chair to start a small boutique. Both women look around in amazement.
“I never realized that I could accumulate so much. The memories that some of these things possess.” Raine marvels.
“We tend to hold on to people just like we hold on to objects. There comes a time when we have to let go of both—people and objects. Moving on isn't easy but its vital for growth!” Beatrice says.
“What am I going to do with all this stuff?” Raine stares at the sea of memories.
“We are going to Chester Albright’s Hardware Store and get some storage boxes. Then we are going to categorize all these items. Come Saturday, you are going to have the fanciest yard sale this town has seen in many years. Bank the proceeds for a Journey of Discovery Trip. Spend some time really getting to know the “me” that everyone else has only glimpsed. Have yourself a fling!” Beatrice laughs and Raine joins her.
“I started the day feeling sorry for myself because I felt my daughter was neglecting me and I end up rejoicing because I’ve discovered I have been neglecting myself. Thanks, Beatrice!”
“No, thank you for being willing to change. Not everyone wants to! Here's to a Happier Life, Raine!”
© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS