A touching—teaching—story about surviving the loss of a loved one from cancer.
Samantha lost her mother and has not been able to cope with that loss. And two things she sees every day are an unbearable reminder. She hates them both. Then something happens—a moment and a conversation with her grandfather—that changes her perspective. While she’ll never fill that void in her life created by her mother’s death, she learns that she can move on while still cherishing and loving the memories of her.
There are many things I can’t do. I have no superpowers. I don’t know everything and never will. But. I know that stories are the best way to convey messages you want to resonate deeply with people. And I think they—stories—are also a compelling way to teach compassion and maybe even come to grips with our own feelings.
Creation—in art, music, literature—is often attributed to a muse. A familiar spirit that guides and maybe even sits on a shoulder. One day I looked at my oldest daughter’s wedding pictures again while burning a DVD of them. One of her best friends, battling cancer and gutting it out though terribly sick, was a bridesmaid. In the weeks following the wedding, she had setbacks. The cancer had spread. And we lost Ashley. She was a brave and bright soul. As I looked at pictures of her at the wedding, I recalled how hard she hugged me after my toast to the new bride and groom… and I thought about our loss. And how we heal. Ashley was on my shoulder as I wrote this short story to explain how those we love—when they pass on—are never truly gone. The important part of them stays with us. Always.
What some of my early readers had to say about the story:
As a writer you believe what you’re creating will touch someone in some way. But you send your creation out into an often silent world. Maybe it’s just not found so it can be read. After all, we live in a world where we’re inundated with information, social media shares, and posts. Pictures of cute dogs… cute cats… cute girls… and bacon. In all of that, sometimes your writing gets missed. BUT then there are times where you get a message from a reader like this. And it confirms that what you’re doing does reach some people and that it’s touched their heart. I received this message–screen-grab below–from a reader of the excerpt from this story that I posted on social media.
Here’s more comments from other readers:
“Superbly written.” –Gwendolyn M.
“Wow, what a bittersweet yet beautiful story of love and loss and healing… Thank you for such a poignant and touching story Dennis!” -Lisa Wolfington
“Loved your story. It made me think of loved ones that are no longer here. They will always be with me. Thank-you.” -Marsha Mooneyhan
“Beautifully written, Dennis.” -Michael Koontz
“A beautiful story of loss and healing; so touching and lovely.” -Nina Anthonijsz
“Talk about tugging at the heart strings.” -Vicki Tyley
“I love your story; it’s a touching and poignant piece.” -RC de Winter
“Thank you, so much. It’s a beautiful story; a sweet and touching read. I need to explore that connection [in the story] I am glad you wrote this as it’s nudging me to explore what it is.” -Amy Dionne
“Left me speechless and filled with precious memories from when Mom was around. Thank you for this beautiful story.” -L. Moncivaiz