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The entire event felt chaotic.  Erica was trying to decide why.  She’d planned every little detail, meticulously.  She hadn’t left anything out.  Meeting upon meeting, everything was scripted right down to the entry of the last float.  There were timers with stop- watches that indicated when each entry into the parade, whether antique car or float or band, whatever, was ushered into the line-up, cued in fact.

Nothing had gone wrong, everything was going exactly as planned, but she still felt this sense of foreboding, that something was wrong, out of place.

Glancing around the crowd, she watched people chatting, hopping, clapping hands, eagerly awaiting the show.  They were 3/4 of the way through the parade but still this feeling of chaos persisted.

It had to be her emotions.  She was raw and they were chaotic, rumbling back and forth from delight to tension to eagerness to relief.  It had to be related to her missing Dennis.  He’d always stood by her side, bolstering her up when and if anything went amiss.  This was the first parade without him.

His sense of humour, his nonchalant manner, the way he had of instantly cajoling people whose nerves were on edge, or who fought the system or wanted something different, expected better than, or simply had a tiff with another entry.

Chaotic, that certainly described her feelings without him.  Erica hadn’t accepted his demise.  The horses had broken away from their owner, he couldn’t control them and they trampled him, nearly to death.  He’d lived for three days, then died from his injuries.  She’d thought throwing herself back into the fray immediately was the answer, like getting back up on the horse, as it were.  She’d done it, overcome her fear and handled the event.

As she sat watching the carriage and horses pass by, a single tear dripped down her cheek.  Life would never be the same, nor her love of managing and setting up this parade.  When this was over, in honour of Dennis, she’d take a holiday and deal with the chaotic emotions that constantly threatened to overwhelm her.




Have you ever felt so exhausted, so emotionally spent, so completely alone and unable to connect you couldn’t think move or speak?  Well here I am!  Desperately in need of a recharge.  Taking stalk of my life won’t do.  I need so much more.  You were my last hope!

I plunked down on the stoup with nothing in hand but my old carpetbag.  I’d thrown all I owned inside, donned my coat hat and parasol spent the last of my hard earned money to get here, and you were gone.

The loss cut deep.  I knew I was welcome, I could enter, but without you here, what reason did I have?  You were my soul mate, the love of my life, and I’d arrived too late.  Desperately hungrily I recalled our letters, exchanged with such hope, such passion for life. I yearned for one last exchange.

I dropped my head in my hands and wept.  Wept for all that was lost, unattained, so much left unspoken.  We had a life to build together, hopes, dreams now ashes.

There was no one to blame but myself.  Having allowed the winds of time to whisk me about, chasing after knowledge and discovery, time had passed me by until your last letter and I realized the urgency.  Desperately I cling to the words in that letter, encouraging no urging that I come, and come soon.

I sat inconsolable.  Time stood still.  I wiped the tears from off my cheeks and looked up and witnessed your world.  A forest of trees swayed in a rumbling breeze.  The peace of this place enveloped me comforted me as I sat motionless not daring to move lest I break the spell.

It was as if a shimmering light began at my toes, warmth moved through me, encircled me.  This place that you loved has restorative power.  I sat awhile longer encouraged by all I felt.  Feeling revitalized, my thought process restored.

A sudden movement caught my attention.  There you were, tall, proud, your eyes held a glow of pleasure, happiness and surprise.

I stood and stared in disbelief.  I called to you and raced to your side.  I had to touch you to make sure you were real.  When your arms reached out to hold me, I flew into them with such relief, such gratitude I could not speak.

I dared not question why, you were here, we were together. No more time shall pass without your presence.  I thanked the gods that be.





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