Love in Autumn

After Jim died I was in a cold, gray fog. The kids were all there with me for the funeral but it is the part that comes after that is the hardest. I moved around dazed feeling like I was walking through Jello. What used to be inconsequential little things, those things I took for granted, would bring back memories to stab at my heart. The absence of the weight of his body on the other side of the bed. The way he would throw his arm over me in the middle of the night. All the million little details he attended to that made my life easier. Each time I confronted something on my own it was a painful reminder that he was gone. I did have a small financial cushion but it would not maintain me in the house. I would have to sell our home and figure out where would be the best place to land next. I did not want my kids to be burdened with a helpless old woman. Is that what I am, a helpless old woman? I was a young woman once who might have been considered a bit radical. What happened to that independent girl who believed in Women’s Liberation? Can I bring her back again? I was scrolling through my Email when I noticed a message from Road Scholar announcing a trip to London to visit all the places that are associated with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his excellent detective Sherlock Holmes. I had been a great lover of English mysteries and Sherlock Holmes. I always thought it would be wonderful to see 221B Baker Street. Jim and I had wanted to travel but life doesn’t always give you exactly what you want. I signed up for the trip. I could not believe it was really happening when my plane lifted off from LAX. I ordered a glass of wine and stuffed my IPod ear buds in to relax to the sounds of La Boheme, one of my favorite Puccini operas. I must have fallen into a deep sleep because before I knew it the plane was touching down at Heathrow.

Our tour group met in the hotel lobby later that morning. Our guide was an energetic young man who quickly herded us aboard our coach. As I took my seat on the tour bus I doubted myself for a moment, my critical voice chattering in my ear, You’re an old fool. What ever made you think it was a good idea to squander money on a trip like this!   I pulled out my itinerary to check what was scheduled for the day. That was when I heard someone asking me, Is this your first trip to London?  I turned to look in the direction of the voice and saw an older gentleman sitting next to me. His gentle brown eyes held my gaze.

This is my Flash Fiction contribution to the WEP Valentine Challenge, click on the link if you want to know more about it. Featured Image of Sherlock Holmes Museum by Anders Thirsgaard on Flickr.

Approx. 475 words

Critique Preference: General

 

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Source: 29 Ways to Combat Senior Hunger

41 thoughts on “Love in Autumn

  1. patgarcia

    Beautiful, Deborah! The beginning of a friendship and maybe more. Life hands us blows. Departure and change are frightening, but this woman steps out although she has inner attacks of criticism.
    Loved it.
    Shalom,
    Pat

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Olga Godim

    A charming story. Traveling does that to you, kicks you out of your grief. Your story resonated with me. When my dad died, my mom was devastated. She lived in Israel. I lived in Canada. For various reasons I couldn’t go to her, couldn’t even attend the funeral, so I asked her to come to Canada. She did. It revived her, almost gave her a new purpose in life. Bickering with my unruly kids and cooking and cleaning for my family, while I worked long hours every day, healed her broken heart. She felt useful and needed again, with no time to mope, as she would’ve in her own empty house. I didn’t set out to exploit her, she just assumed all those domestic chores, and I didn’t argue. It helped, which was the point.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      Thank You, Olga. I am happy my story resonated with you. I am sure it helped your mother so much to be with you and your family. I am sure it was a happy reminder of her younger days as a mother but now from the grandmother’s perspective as well. ❤

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  3. Denise Covey

    I love the positive affirmation of aging, Deborah. It suits my anti-aging POV. Older people have so much to offer and their lives aren’t over when young people say so. I love the at times stream of consciousness way of storytelling. Very powerful and invites us into her life. Now i want to hear about this budding romance…

    Thank you for a heartwarming entry to the WEP Valentine’s blogfest!

    Denise 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      Thank You very much, Denise! Older people and older women know who they are and that they have a depth of experience and lives lived to share. I love stories of romance found when not expected and in the older years as well. ❤

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  4. Sally

    It is so difficult to be a ‘single’ person when you’ve had the love and joy of being a couple. I really admire her for going on her trip and being English myself love Sherlock Holmes. The ending could be another beginning for her, lovely romantic finish to your piece. I enjoyed reading this.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      It is a tremendous challenge for someone who has been in a long term relationship to find themselves without their partner. I am glad she took a chance and went on that trip by herself. Her life is not over yet. Glad you enjoyed it and Thank You, Sally. 🙂

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      Reply
  5. Yolanda Renee

    There is so much hope in this piece. I love it! Sometimes doing the safe thing isn’t the right thing. I’m so glad she took a chance and made the trip. I get a feeling that she is too, that last sentence says so much!

    Thank you, Deborah, for taking part and posting this lovely entry for the WEP Valentine Challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. madilynquinn01

    Would’ve liked to see this in not so big a chunk of words, but I really dug it! I hope she finds what she’s looking for in London (which that trip sounds pretty awesome, actually).

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  7. Kalpanaa

    I thoroughly enjoyed your story. I particularly like stories about older women who think they need to reconcile with being elderly but still remember the person they once were and end up embracing their younger selves.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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