Alan stomped around upstairs, not because he was mad, that was just his normal walk. The garage door opened and he left for work. He loved his job as a school band teacher. Lynn was still in bed. She loved her sleep. Trying to be quiet so I wouldn’t wake her, I poured myself a glass of orange juice, settled back in the La-Z-Boy, and grabbed a book from my current stack of to-reads. Before the end of the first page, my eyes were drooping.
The sound of footsteps upstairs told me Lynn was up and on her way to the coffee pot. After doing a few quick stretches, I grabbed my favorite cup from my small downstairs kitchenette. It was a small mug, with tiny teddy bears on the back and bigger bears on the front, with the words, “Everyone Needs A Little Tender Loving Bear.” The mug reminded me of when I used to make and sell teddy bears. Buddy had been my biggest fan, he loved them. My first bear was made with scraps of blue fur from an old fuzzy robe, and Buddy wanted to keep him. He named the bear, “Pat,” because he was my pattern. I hadn’t been able to convince myself to sew since Buddy passed away.
Upstairs, I waved my mug around the corner of Lynn’s kitchen and said, “fill it to the brim.”
Lynn chuckled, then grabbed my mug and her nearly five-gallon one and poured steaming hot coffee into both cups.
We sat at the white kitchen table in the center of the dining area. The view from the surrounding windows of her ranch-style home in the suburbs was calming. Pine trees and bird feeders circled her backyard and deck. A heated birdbath decorated the front porch. The surrounding Holly bushes sported bright red berries.
“Want a chocolate chip scone to go with your coffee?” Lynn asked.
We ate scones and drank hazelnut coffee while I interjected talk about Lanny, but the conversation drifted back to Buddy.
“I miss Dad so much,” Lynn said. “I’d answer the door when you guys came to visit, and Dad would give me that big smile of his. ‘Hi, Skeeter.’” he’d say. Then he’d give me one of his big bear hugs.”
“Yes, he always did call you, Skeeter. He loved giving everyone pet names. Do you want me to start calling you Skeeter?”
“No, it’s okay,” she said. “That was Dad’s name for me.”
“Now you’re going to make me cry. I miss him too. It’s so lonely without him. He always kept me laughing.”
“No, I never did.” I laughed. “If I had to go somewhere alone, he always took the car the night before and filled the tank.”
Memories swept me away as I gazed out the window with a longing so intense, it hurt.
My husband, Buddy, had been easy going, calm and loving, short, cute and cuddly, my life, my rock, and my loving arms after a rough day. He played guitar and sang love songs to me. One of my favorites was “Teddy Bear,” by Elvis Presley.
We shared love, laughter, tears, meeting the Lord, and the blessings and burdens of life. Together with our three children and anyone else I could convince to pick up a hammer, we built our dream house on forty acres. But we never had time to finish and enjoy the fruit from all our labor. God called Buddy home to his mansion in heaven.
Lynn had a faraway look in her eyes. She stood up, forcing a smile. “Dad’s better off now. He wanted you to be happy. That’s the last thing he told Pam and me. ‘Make sure your mother has fun, even if you have to hog-tie her in the car first. And Skeeter, please take her out and make her buy some new clothes.’”
“He always worried about me. I never spent money on clothes. Every extra penny went to the house. Now my closet is full of the things you insisted I buy,” I said, poking Lynn in the side.
“And you look awesome, Mom. Stylish and up to date.”
“Alan has an errand for me to do,” she said, “so I better get ready.”
“Yeah, I need to get ready, too,” I said, as I headed back downstairs to jump in the shower. I knew if I dared to get on the computer, I might spend the day in my robe.
With my wet curls left to air-dry, I had my quiet time with the Lord. A bright red cardinal competing with the other males for a mate, outside my window, reminded me of the lonely souls on the dating sites searching for new love.
The sound of the garage door opening alerted me Lynn was leaving. I prayed for her safety and thanked the Lord for the special relationship that He allowed us to share with Him, and each other.
Excerpt from the book: Lonely Heart Meets Charming Sociopath.
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