“Sarah, you are so stubborn!” Judy snatched up her jacket and left the house in frustration. They had been arguing off and on all evening about Judy’s New Year’s Eve party and Sarah’s habit of spending the year end alone with what she called her emerald memories evening.
Sarah sat there on her sofa staring at all the photos lined up on her fireplace mantle. Her and Jack had been married for almost fifty years when he passed away. She kept all her favorite photos there, taken of the two of them throughout the years. They were so much in love and so happy. How could Judy even think that she would want to let go of her memories with Jack and meet other men? She had no desire to get involved with anyone. She had her happy life, her love, and it was gone now. She could just not imagine a new life with another man.
Her sister Judy was much younger than Sarah and had been happily married for several years now. She has no idea what it is like to lose the love of your life, so how can she get upset with me? I am happy the way my life is. I have wonderful memories. Why would I want to stir things up and start the dating routine at my age? Good grief! She kept muttering to herself as she tidied up the kitchen and turned the dishwasher on. She poured a glass of wine and went in to watch a movie. The only movie on was ‘All That Heaven Allows’ with Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson. It was one of her favorites, so she curled up on the sofa and settled in.
Sarah had seen the movie a few times, but it had been long ago. She watched with renewed interest and mixed feelings. Judy’s words kept running around in her mind. “Sarah, I know how much you loved Jack, but you are still young enough to love again and enjoy life. That does not mean you would betray Jack or your emerald memories. You’ll always have those memories. You can also make new memories if you found the right man.” Sarah’s response was, “Why? I am not a lonely woman who needs a man in my life!”
Judy had begged Sarah to come to the party tomorrow night. Her and Mark wanted Sarah to meet their friend, a neighbor who lost his wife about five years ago. “He is so nice, Sarah, and very attractive. He retired a year ago and is lonely. He wants to meet a nice woman he can casually date and see where it goes from there.”
As Sarah watched the movie she saw the change that came over Cary, the widow Jane Wyman played. Cary was content with her life, but when she met Ron a gradual change came over her. She began to feel young and alive again and emotions ran deep in her. Sarah felt a stirring of what those emotions were like. She remembered how it made her feel to have a man fall in love with her. She was enthralled with how the relationship between Cary and Ron developed and was so thrilled when the two of them overcame all odds to admit they loved each other. She shed tears at the happy ending.
When Sarah was getting ready for bed a sudden urge to check her wardrobe came over her. She went into the walk-in closet and looked at all her evening clothes she had not worn since Jack died. She pulled out a dark green dress that she had looked stunning in. She held it up to her and gazed in the mirror then hung it up outside the closet door, opened her jewelry cabinet to find the emerald earrings Jack had given her, “emerald memories” she called them, and decided to make a hair appointment in the morning.
Sarah fell asleep with new thoughts on her mind and looked forward to the party.
© 2016 Phyllis Doyle Burns
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