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...

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...

New Beginning

Submitted by Joe Moscon October 2011 The bond between husband and wife can be one of the strongest connections we experience. This is especially true for couples that have been together for a number of years. Living with someone day in and day out provides the perfect opportunity to discover their true nature. Through all of life’s ups and downs it is impossible to hide who you truly are. Many couples become so close they can seemingly read each others thoughts and can intuitively anticipate the other person’s needs. Because of this tie our spouse so often becomes our best friend. They are one of the few people that know us inside and out and the mere fact that they have remained with us has, over the test of time, proven that their love is genuine. Joe and Sue enjoyed just such a relationship. The trust and dependency on one another that had developed over the years was the biggest reason her cancer had been such a devastating blow. Joe wasn’t ready to lose his best friend and love of his life. For so long Sue had been the one to stand by him. She was his moral support, his guiding light and he lived solely to care for her and keep her happy. In Joe’s eyes, his wife deserved the best but this horrible intruder in their lives was something not even he could protect her from. After learning of her diagnosis they spent as much time as possible together. Oftentimes they talked about what was going to happen and Sue tried as best she could to reassure...

A Ride to Remember

Submitted by Joe Moscon August 2011 Joe stuffed his duffle bag barely thinking about what he was packing. His wife Sue normally shared this task with him but that would no longer be. Sue had succumbed to her battle with cancer two days earlier and he had to get away. He didn’t know where he was going and honestly wasn’t very concerned about that. He just needed to get away and take the time to gather himself. Sue had been more than just his wife. They were partners in life. She always had his back and fully supported him in whatever he did. He loved Sue with all his heart and he wasn’t sure how he would make it without her. Joe was large in stature. In fact, one of Sue’s pet names for him was Big Guy. And although he might appear rough and tough on the outside, inside he was a very tender-hearted man. Right now though his heart was broken and he felt the need to ride. Joe cranked his Harley and pulled out of the drive. With no destination in mind his journey began. As each hour passed, the miles of pavement took him further and further from Memphis. Before he knew it he crossed the state line into Texas. It was then that he stopped. He knew there was something he needed to do. Texas is one state that does not have a helmet law so as tribute to Sue he reached into his bag and pulled out her Betty Boop bandana. He tied it on his head and headed off again. He knew...