Always Beside Me

For the first time in quite a while, Beth felt a tinge of excitement hovering in the background just waiting to erupt. Her thoughts replayed the sequence of events that led to this newfound encouragement. Beth had grown weary of being alone. It had been 20 years since her divorce and quite honestly, she had found no viable prospects of companionship for the future. Feeling hopeless she turned to prayer and pleaded for God to bring the right person into her life. Little did she know that God would waste little time. This particular evening was spent attending a birthday party in honor of Beth’s ex-husband’s wife, Beverly. She enjoyed gathering with friends but was particularly interested in a new face in the crowd. This was her first time meeting Mike and he seemed like a genuinely, nice guy. They talked throughout the evening. Mike admitted to her later, the fact she had been included in the festivities, spoke highly of her character. As far as Beth was concerned, she could only laugh at God’s apparent sense of humor. Beth was elated when Mike asked her for her email address. The future looked a little brighter at the end of her pleasant evening. Beth anxiously awaited an email from her new acquaintance. It was during this period, the country experienced a devastating blow. September 11, 2001, a day that would forever be remembered. Although distracted momentarily, she continued to wait. Worried he had changed his mind, she was relieved to finally receive a message. Mike forwarded a poem his niece had written on the heels of the 9/11 tragedy....

Change of Heart

Submitted by Andrew Nicoll Sun bathed the charming farm house with gold and crimson rays as content horses grazed along the picturesque countryside. A sight Andrew and his wife, Anni, had witnessed many times. Their home was the perfect place to indulge his wife’s passion, animals. Feeling particularly compassionate for God’s creatures, Anni had acquired 8 cats, 2 dogs, 4 horses and 6 donkeys. With the exception of two horses, all were rescue animals. Over the years she developed a growing interest in birds of prey and began volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitation center. Wanting to improve her skills she attended courses at her own expense to become certified as a rehab practitioner. Anni’s propensity for helping others came from years of nursing. It was later she started her own consultancy business giving her the freedom to work from home. She would represent injured workers in their compensation claims. Although her business was successful it was up and down financially. Adhering to her own principles Anni refused to represent those she perceived to be taking advantage of the system. Kind and devoted, she never turned her back on someone who truly needed her help though, animals included. Andrew’s service to others came from time spent in the military and various roles of law enforcement. Both of which contributed to a strict personal code of structure and discipline. In spite of the tough exterior, there was no denying the soft spot he held for his wife and daughter. After 32 years of marriage Andrew and his wife had experienced their ups and downs but remained steadfast with one another through...

Fairytale Love

Submitted by Margaret Cowie February 2012 Margaret’s story could quite as easily start with “once upon a time…” Hers is a story that could rival any fairy tale romance. When she and her husband Will met, they instinctively knew their soul had met its mate. Both had experienced previous marriages but this one would prove to be a forever love. As in any fairy tale, Margaret and Will spent every available moment together. Like two peas in a pod, they shared many common interests and loved spending time together. Their castle, a quaint home in the country, served to provide a peaceful retreat from the chaos of the outside world. For 19 years, they lived a life full of love, respect and devotion. One morning, like any normal workday, Will kissed his wife goodbye and headed out the door. Margaret always felt a tinge of worry each time he went to work. She was fully aware of the danger dealing with high voltage transformers inherently held. For that reason, she was grateful each evening that he returned safely home. This time Margaret’s fears were realized. While servicing a transformer at Whiteface Mountain on the Lake Placid Olympic Grounds, he had the extreme misfortune of being on the receiving end of an electrical arc. Although the occurrence of an arc is relatively infrequent, it typically proves to be fatal because the resulting fire from the current is reported to be four times hotter than the surface of the sun. It was a dark and despondent time for Margaret. Will, her true Prince Charming, had always surrounded her with an impregnable...

A Morning Surprise

Submitted by Joe Moscon November 2011 It had been almost two months since Joe’s wife Sue had passed. Solitude had taken a new identity, one similar to the infamous Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Some days it was a warm recollection of all the good times with his wife. But then other days, the solitude weighed so heavy on him that it threatened his very sanity. He knew that being alone after all these years would just take time to grow accustomed to. He was eternally grateful for her love and encouragement being privileged enough to have received several signs. They were always at difficult times when he really longed for her presence. But try as he might, moving forward with his life was proving to be a daunting task. One way Joe held on to his sanity was to continue with everyday routines as he had for so many years. Like slipping on a pair of well-worn shoes, it fit him comfortably. Although sadness lingered around him, especially at home, keeping active helped minimize the pain of her absence. One evening Joe was sitting at home doing nothing specific, his sole companions their three dogs. By ten o’clock he was tired and ready to go to bed. Climbing to his feet he proceeded to the door. He always made his rounds inside and out the house before retiring for the night. The truck was locked up tight but he checked to make sure. Then he did a visual sweep of the carport, including the patio table he and Sue used to sit at every morning. Joe always made...

Endless Love

Submitted by Becky Williams October 2009 As Beau entered his apartment building he saw her once again headed to the laundry. He made a quick dash to his apartment and hurriedly scooped up his dirty clothes piled in the corner. Here was his chance to see her again and maybe this time he could find enough courage to strike up a conversation. But once again all he could do was admire from a distance. Oh, he had spoken once or twice and even talked to her about her poodle one day when she was out walking, but he couldn’t seem to muster up the confidence to ask her out. Her name was Becky and even though he hardly knew her he was already quite fond of her. Fortunately for Beau not only did they live in the same apartment building, they worked at the same place. Beau was an x-ray technician and Becky was a respiratory therapist. After much prodding from a friend, Beau worked up the nerve to ask her out. It was the end of the work day and Becky was getting ready to leave when the phone at her desk rang. On the other end was the mysterious admirer that her co-worker had told her about and it turned out that it was the same guy at the apartments. She agreed, to his delight, and their destinies became intertwined. Becky and Beau discovered that they were perfect for each other and approximately 2 years after they started dating they married. It turned out that they were unable to have children so they devoted themselves to one...

Believe In Yourself

Submitted by Sheila Bowman October 2011 Sheila was getting increasingly frustrated. She felt as if everything was falling apart. After losing her husband Nick nothing seemed to go right. The first thing to go in the house was the heat. Not long after that the air conditioner went out, not once, but twice. The patio door hinges locked up from lack of use, followed by the patio screens getting blown out from the weather. Why was all this happening now? Sheila wondered what she could have possibly done to deserve all this bad luck. Normally, Nick handled the “honey do” list with ease and things never seemed that bad. With Nick gone now, Sheila had to face these problems alone and it was beginning to get a little overwhelming. She had never been handy with tools nor did she have any clue on how to fix anything. As daunting as these tasks were already, the list just seemed to get longer. One of the toilets in the house broke, and finally the refrigerator gasped its last breath. For three weeks it felt as if she was camping, living completely out of a cooler. She tried desperately to salvage the food that had previously occupied the now useless refrigerator. Despite her efforts, she lost almost everything that had been frozen. Thank goodness a new one was scheduled to be delivered. The next day Sheila tried to focus on work, but the long list of things to fix still nagged away at her. Feeling somewhat helpless she headed home for the day. She pulled the car into the drive around 5:30...