I stepped out of the car after a four-hour drive, and checked out the
house. It was missing the pots of flowers that I planted by the front door
every spring, but otherwise appeared much the same. By the garage, Jay’s
vegetable garden seemed uncharacteristically overgrown. He was usually on
top of every weed and slug, but the cucumbers, tomatoes, and beans were
rioting across the ground in cheerful abandon.
Pulling my weekend bag and laptop out of the Prius, I walked into the
kitchen and dumped them on the bright-blue counters I’d chosen ten years
before, when we built the house. They still looked like new and nothing was
out of place, so I guessed my husband had tidied up, knowing I was coming.
There was a stillness to the air inside, as though it hadn’t been disturbed
for a while. I couldn’t see or hear anyone, so I walked through to the
picture window in the dining room and gazed at the view. It was still
beautiful, the lake serene. The lawn Jay had planted the year before
stretched down to the water, and I could see a few sailboats racing in the
distance. A day without a cloud on the horizon.
Jay was lying on a chaise longue on the deck, his eyes closed. A glass of
something stood on the side table beside him, sweating in the heat. I
scanned his face, wanting to get used to the idea of being there with him
before he saw me. He’d lost weight, and when I looked beneath his tan,
there were shadows around his eyes.
“Hi, Jay,” I said. His eyelids fluttered open. If all had been well between
us, I would have called him Jayway, or darling. But all was not well.
“Thanks for coming up, Gabi.”
I’d decided to treat my visit as a weekend in the country, and planned to
read, swim and pick blueberries when I wasn’t driving my husband to and
from his appointment. He caught me glancing at his drink.
“It doesn’t make the pain any worse,” he said, picking it up and taking a
sip, as though to prove it.
I remained silent.
It had all begun so differently, so long ago.
It's time for widow Molly Stevenson to stand on her own two feet. With blind dates, a needy ghost, and her small‑town bookstore in trouble, she's going to need all her inner strength to prevent another unhappy ending.
Now available in paperback, e-book, and audio formats from your favorite retailers.
When Gabi and Jay first fell passionately in love, they lived on different continents. Separated for nine years by circumstances and distance, they eventually found a way to marry. Over three decades though, alcoholism tore them apart, and Gabi moved on.
Then a fatal diagnosis forced them both to make decisions. Without love, Jay’s final journey would be lonely and hard, and Gabi knew she had to return to care for him.
But she never expected to fall in love again.
This moving memoir doesn’t shy away from the realities of life, but the relationship between these two lovers, tested by separations, alcoholism, and to its ultimate limit by pancreatic cancer, proves that love—and a sense of humor—can conquer anything, even death.
A collection of short stories inspired by Frankenstein, was published in July 2019. My short story Monster was included. I’m not saying it was inspired by my late mother-in-law, but there’s a hint of something there… The proceeds from this book benefit the Westport Library.