The Place Where Time Returns Us

I took the call at the seminary where I worked. A missionary in Haiti had died after suffering severe injuries in a traffic accident. After losing my breath and all coherent thought, I began to wonder about his wife. As a mother of five, what would happen to her? Some time after that, our former next-door neighbor in Texas contacted me with the news that her husband had been killed on his way to work by a young, drunk driver.

At that point, my husband of three decades and I began to have serious discussions about the future and what we would do if one of us should lose the other. We live in an age where you practically have to run a background and credit check on a person before you can let them near your family and finances. In addition, those of us who have technically reached midlife are beginning the transition to our AARP years. Aches, various conditions, and disease can visit us at any time regardless of how young we feel. We’re not as energetic.

So what would relationships look like at that stage? Is it possible to find someone we trust as much as we trust one another? If so, can we expect the passionate love we experienced in our younger years, or would it be more sedate, mature? If we can’t see ourselves falling in love with another person, would we choose companionship or settle for suffering the loneliness one encounters after losing a beloved spouse?

With those thoughts, a story was born.

With one child in college and the other nearly there, Shannon Mitchell expected to spend more time with her husband of twenty-six years. Then, the unthinkable happens. Three years later, Shannon is about to begin a new chapter of her life with one of her late husband’s best friends. But a week before the wedding, trust turns to betrayal.

Longing for the past and hiding from the man desperate for her forgiveness, Shannon contemplates life, love, relationships and the options she faces as a widow in the transitional stage of life.

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