How to Burn a Widow’s Marriage
I stopped in the woods when I heard men’s voices, and I advanced slowly to turn the corner on the trail.
The trees were pretty thick, and I was surprised to see a cloud of black smoke. I figured the neighbor was burning something.
It was not a good time because Georgia and Florida were having bad forest fires.
The storage trailer was up in flames, and a fire truck was parked in the backyard of my old house!
My mind was exploding with fear for the Brown House.
Bonfire at the Storage Trailer
I liked to walk in the woods behind the brown house where I lived with Jason before he died. I liked it for all the common reasons- nature is peaceful and all.
Jason showed me where he played paintball, and I walked our dogs on the dirt trails when he was working. I can see tracks from the four-wheelers where the neighbor kids were riding.
My in-laws had a single-wide trailer back there that they used for storage, and the surroundings were pretty overgrown.
I remembered that there was an old Little Tikes car inside, one of those toys with an open floor so the child could propel it with their feet like Fred Flintstone.
I decided to trek through the woods for it and clean it up for Caleb.
When I saw the fire, I ran to tell the family, and we drove to the front driveway of the brown house.
Memories All Tied Up in the Brown House
The brown house is a physical representation of normal life to me- a husband, wife and baby.
What if the fire spread in the dry brush and destroyed the resting place of my memories?
Once a widow, you can’t make new memories in a new house. The possibilities are spent. It’s a dead end.
If I can’t see the flowered wallpaper of the kitchen, and if I can’t run my hands over the pressed green counter tops, I can’t touch memories anymore. I can’t connect to the physical anymore. I lose so much more.
Jason can’t sit in a new kitchen and wrestle with a new dog. He can’t hold up a new baby. He can’t sing to me on our karaoke machine at a new house. I won’t hear the drum of his boots on another porch.
I don’t want to lose more. I lost too much already.
I closed my eyes tightly and tried not to see the bad memories. I willfully blocked out the black vans, the open front door- and the covered stretcher.
Instead, I tried to imagine a different reality. I could walk into the back door and call Jason and tell him that the old trailer is burning to the ground.
I can picture everything in that kitchen and living room, etc. I can see Jason driving up.
It wouldn’t seem strange at all. The yard is still bright and sunny. The sun is still shining like it always did.
I didn’t stay long, but it gives me peace to look at our old home when I drive by.