Memories of You
Her fingers delicately traced the letters on the stone remembering with tears in her eyes the brief joy she’d had at holding her baby. A baby whose life was cut short way too early, a baby who was perfect in her mother’s eyes. Now all she had was the pink blanket her daughter was wrapped in and the tiny gown she’d breathed her last in.
Placing her hands on her thighs, she stood up whipping away any stray tears that had fallen. She didn’t want anyone to notice her sorrow or the pain she was still going through months later. No one seemed to understand the loss of a child and she was grateful that most people left her along to her thoughts.
In the distance he stood watching this petite young woman kneeling at a small grave, tracing her fingers over the stone before getting up. He wanted so much to reach out and hold her close, take away the pain she was feeling, tell her it was going to be ok. But that just wasn’t done. The pain was always there, ready and willing to walk through the door. He hoped that someday her pain would be set free and that he might get up the courage to speak to her. For now though he was content to watch her each Sunday mourning her loss.
Myra turned and headed back out of the cemetery and to her car. It was time to return home, to lonely shadows and painful memories. Her life had been wonderful up to the point where she’d lost her own child. They’d both wanted a child so badly, tried so hard, and when the moment came, the tears of joy wouldn’t stop flowing. All that had been dashed the moment Dr. Mike held their baby in her arms, perfectly formed, but lacking the power to breath. “I’m so sorry,” she murmured trying to hold back her own tears.
Myra reached for her baby anyway, as Dr. Mike held her out to her. Holding her had been wonderful, but there was no warmth in the little body, no cries and no sweet breath to caress her face. She couldn’t help the tears and when she tried to hand the baby to her husband, all he did was walk away. It had been too painful for him too and since then their marriage had unraveled. There was barely anything left of it now and any day now she expected divorce papers.
Turning into her driveway that afternoon, she noticed a light on that wasn’t there before. She wasn’t expecting anyone and wondered for a second if there was a light she had forgotten to turn off.
“Hello? Is anyone there?”
She heard the scratch of something on a hard surface, but couldn’t place it. A second later there was a rustling and a boy appeared.
“Sorry ma’am, I didn’t think you’d mind that I well…” He stammered out while starring straight down at his worn out converse.
Myra looked him over. His clothes were dirty, shoes worn out, and his dark hair was all ruffled up and sticking out here and there.
“Mind that you what?”
“I…I…just wanted to find a quiet place to draw. Streets too noisy and well your home seemed inviting and well the door was….” He trailed off still very embarrassed about being caught like this. A moment later he was out the door before Myra could question him further.
Shrugging she put her purse on the counter and reached her hand out to pick up the paper he’d been drawing on. “Oh my,” she gasped the moment her eyes touched the paper. The boy was truly an artist and he’d drawn a beautiful picture of a young couple with a baby. He truly had a gift as he captured the happiness in the picture and the way each of them tenderly held the baby. She could immediately see herself as the woman in the picture if things had turned out differently, and the man with the long hair was very handsome and nearly took her breath away.
Michaela was just walking out of the hospital doors when a strange man approached her. He was dressed very casually and his hair was quite long with a slight wave to it. Holding her purse close to her, she waited to see what he wanted.
Hank noticed almost immediately the striking beauty of the doctor coming out of the hospital. She stood tall and strong, like someone who knew how to hold her ground. He liked that in a woman, although his heart sank a little when he noticed a gold band around her finger and a baby in her arms.
“Sorry ta bother ya ma’am, I was just wonderin’ if ya could,” he paused for a moment thinking what it was he needed her for. He wanted to help the poor woman he saw each Sunday, but didn’t now how or if he should even be doing this. Toying for a moment he decided to tell some version of the truth, but not all of it.
Michaela stood there listening to him relate the tale of a friend who was grieving over the loss of someone. She didn’t catch who, but was touched by his worry for the friend and the way he wanted to help her. Back in her early days of marriage with Sully, they’d lost her father which had devastated them both and in the end made their marriage stronger. It looked to her as if it had done the opposite on his friend.
“Think nothing of it,” Michaela replied as she sat down, put Katie on her lap, opened her purse to search for a card. When she found what she was looking for she scribbled a number on the back and handed it to him. “Call this number, ask for Charlotte and tell her Dr. Quinn sent you. She’s a wonderful grief counselor and should be able to help your friend.
Hank smiled his thanks before pocketing the card and heading away from the hospital parking lot.
Myra let the week pass in months as she continued to go through the motions of life. Her divorce was final and she thought that might bring some relief, but it didn’t. It didn’t erase the pain of losing the baby or the harsh words inflicted on her. Marriage hadn’t been the fairy tale she’d been expecting, instead it had been a horror she didn’t want to live through again.
She had kept the picture of the couple close by her bed all this time, looking at it from time to time. Deep in her heart she wanted very much to have that happiness in life too, a child to hold and care for. She wasn’t sure she wanted to go through the motions of marriage again, after being so scared by her first husband.
Yet she couldn’t explain the feelings she got when her eyes glanced over at the long haired man, he was beautiful. She’d tried to get him out of her head, but he refused to leave her alone.
Sighing, Myra put the picture back on her nightstand and headed out of her bedroom. She found her purse in the kitchen, picked it up and rummaged for her keys. It was Sunday; time for her to go play her respects to her little girl.
Myra went through the motions of her grief all over again as she always did, although she wasn’t expecting to see someone else in the cemetery with her. Normally she had the place to herself and if anyone did come by then they’d obviously left her alone.
It bothered her to have people watching her grieve and she got out of the car, grabbed her purse and walked over there with the intention of telling whomever this was that they had to go. It was her time here after all.
Hank heard her footsteps even before he turned around. She was walking pretty fast and if he didn’t know better she probably wanted to throw him out. Not that it would be any shock to him, but he wasn’t going to let her get away with it this time. She needed his help whether she wanted it or not.
“Ma’am,” Myra froze in her tracks at the deep softness resonating in his voice. Slowly she looked up and her heart skipped a few beats. It was the man in the picture, it had to be. He had the same long blonde hair, scruffy look, and clothing that hugged his body in just the right places.
It took her a moment to find her voice again, “What are you doing here?” She struggled to get her words out still overcome by this stranger.
“Look I know it’s none of my business, but I seen ya here too many times. Somethings eatin’ at ya and you haven’t let it go for several months. Ya need help, and I’m gonna make sure you get it.”
Myra tried very hard to fight back her tears. The way he cared about her so much was more than she could handle, and yet she didn’t want to admit that she was broken. “I’m just fine.”
“No ya aren’t.”
“But…” Myra started to say before the tears really came down and she found herself falling straight into his arms. There was no use fighting now, he’d seen right through her no matter how much she denied it. She was broken inside and he somehow knew it and wasn’t going to run from her. Taking a deep breath she told him everything, sobbing hard through it all. By the time she finished he had tears forming in his eyes and a complete look of understanding.
Hank drew her close to him holding her small frame against his strong body. He wanted to tell her that everything would be ok, that the sun would shine again. But he knew she needed to find that out herself. Until then he was going to be her rock and never let her go.