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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Love Comes In Many Different Packages

I was in my early forties, and for the life of me, I had never felt more lost then I did right then. At one time my world was captivated with kids, a husband and all of their schedules. I couldn't wait for the day that things would slow down. Only now, it seemed it had all came to a screeching halt. My husband of 24 years had been taken out of my world suddenly. We had married while I was only 17. I was a mom by the time I was 19, and a grandma by the time I was 42. How short life suddenly became. I watched my son and his wife laughing as they teased her twin brother that soon he would be married and having a kid of his own. Of course he argued back that he has never found the perfect woman for him so he didn't see that happening anytime soon.

They were all the picture of youth as they sat on the embankment with fishing poles in hand. Jaye and his wife Angie would be having their first baby within a few short weeks. Wow, my second grandbaby. Only this time, I wouldn't have nobody to share the grand parenting roll with. I watched the ripples in the pond slowly disappear as my line sunk deeper into the depthness of the murky water. My thoughts were on everything else but trying to catch the next fish. "Jes, you've got something on your line." Rick yelled at me. Surprised I watched as my line pulled tight and was taking off towards the middle of the pond. I pulled my pole back as I began to reel in this monster sized fish.

After playing tug of war for a bit, I reeled in a 2lb perch. We all laughed about this "whopper" of a fish. Teasing them, I told them that I had to get it mounted, it was such a prize catch. After a little more of fishing, we all decided that it was getting late and they needed to head back to town. Rick volunteered to help me put the fishing gear back into the old barn that was used more for a storage shed then a barn.

Jaye and Angie drove off as we placed the tackle boxes and fishing poles in the old pickup and then drove to the house. After putting them back in its rightful spot, I once again began to fight with closing the door. It had somehow over the years became stubborn about shutting correctly. Rick stood back and laughed at my attempts. He then went over and got the necessary tools out of his truck and came back then fixed the problem. "Just needs a little TLC" he teased. I watched his soft brown eyes danced as he talked. This opened the door for us to visit and before either one of us knew it an hour had slipped by.

As I lied awake listening to the birds chirping outside my bedroom window. For some reason, I felt lighter then most mornings. I didn't have the gloominess hanging over me. Then the phone rang in the other room. I sprinted out of bed and was able to answer it on the fourth ring. "Hello", "Jes, this is Rick. Jaye just took Angie to the hospital. She has been having contractions for sometime now." I told him that I would be there asap. I ran out and bottled fed the calves that were in the lot, and put some food out for the dogs. Then I grabbed a shower and was out the door within 30 minutes later.

Jaye was a basket case as he met me at the doors of the hospital. "She is hurting bad Mom. I don’t' know what to do to help her." I grinned and tried to convince him this was part of bringing a baby into the world. We walked down the corridor to the labor/delivery room where Angie was at. Rick was sitting beside her helping to take her mind off the pain through his funny way of telling stories. The contractions came closer together, and soon the nurse asked that only the "dad to be" stay in the room. Rick and I decided to go grab a coke to drink in the cafeteria. Time passed as we indulged into lengthy discussions about nothing in general. I was amazed at how easy Rick was to converse with.

It was as if there wasn't twenty years difference in our ages. The baby was adorable. She was so tiny, so sweet and so dependent on everyone around her. Jaye and Angie found that they had little time for anything else sense she had arrived. Every now and then I had the privilege of sitting with her while they had an evening out just to have a break. As I sat cradling her in my arms one evening, Rick came through their front door. "I knew that this was my chance to finally get to spoil my niece without her "mummy" standing over me being too protective."

He teased as he gently picked her up in his arms and stared in amazement at her tiny features. He ran his finger over the profile of her small image. "So precious these little creatures are." He stated. Sitting down beside me on the sofa, he propped her up on his knee as he crossed it over his other leg. He was such a strong man and to watch him handle this tiny infant was rather amusing as well as amazing. We chatted about how different things would be for her by the time she was grown.

I was becoming more and more comfortable in his presence. It wasn't like I was sitting next to one of my children's friends, he was different somehow. He then carefully picked the sleeping child up and placed her carefully in my arms. As I fixed her receiving blanket around this small form, he leaned over closer to me and began to rub the top of her sleeping head. The strength of his body was suddenly pressing against me. I could feel his chest rising as he breathed. I was suddenly aware of his manliness. His voice softened as he spoke about her beauty. The scent of his aftershave stirred my senses.

I wanted to close my eyes and let his being envelope mine. Then I shook myself to reality...this was my daughter-n-law's twin brother! I could feel my flesh burn from embarrassment for even allowing those feelings to take hold of me for even a second. I had never felt so uncomfortable in all my life. He still tenderly rambled on about babies and I wanted to sink into the cushions. In what seemed an eternity he got up off the sofa and told me he had to leave. I was hoping he couldn't tell how awkward I truly felt. He told me goodnight and was gone. Confusion over took my emotional state for days.

I knew that after my husband had passed away that I would go through a time of being lonely, but I wasn't ready for those feelings to creep in unaware. Thanksgiving came and sadly my children all had other plans for the holiday. They were going to their in-laws for the big meal. I told them it wasn't any big deal we could have a nice dinner together the following Sunday. I wasn't about to let them know how upset I was. This was my first Thanksgiving without my husband and now without any of my kids.

Tears streamed down my face as I stared off into the distance from my kitchen window. I felt a pity party coming on and I didn't know if I was strong enough emotionally to shake it off. My thoughts were soon interrupted by a knock at the utility room door. I didn't remember hearing any vehicle drive up, but then again I was overwhelmed by thoughts of disappointed. In walked Rick in his 6 foot stature. I saw a look of concern over take his face. Then it dawned on me that I had been crying.

Quickly I wiped the tears away and sheepishly laughed as I told him I always got sentimental on holidays. He told me that was why he drove out this way. He said he knew this was my first Thanksgiving without my husband and he knew the kids would all be else where. I questioned him about why he didn’t go to his parent’s home with his sister Angie and Jaye. Suddenly he looked like the boy that had gotten caught with his hands in the cookie jar. Walking over to where I was standing, he cautiously took one of my hands in his. With his other hand, he tenderly wiped away a stray tear as it had slipped silently down my face. "I’m here for you Jes. I want to spend today with you."

I know that shock was written all over my countenance. "That is if you would like for me too." he added shyly. I couldn’t keep the tears from flowing. I tried to smile up at him. Only I now saw a side of him I didn’t know existed before. Water filled the brim of his brown eyes as he caressed my hand nervously. "Jes, I have to admit to you that I am amazed by you. You’re not like any other woman that I have ever met.

I have tried to stay away from you, only I am always drawn right back to your presence. I know that there is an age difference between us, but Jes, I think I am falling in love with you."

1 comment:

Shelly said...

Ahh love this story!!

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