A Quiet Strength

A Quiet Strength

This short piece is dedicated to my Mom. Thank you for the example you set for me, both in living, and in dying.

Grace hesitated, her hand trembling as it moved closer to the door’s lock, making it difficult to insert the key. High overhead, the cry of a hawk distracted her, causing the key to drop from her hands and fall to the floorboards of the porch. Retrieving the key, Grace turned her back to the door, leaning heavily upon it, and she paused to survey the Lewis ranch.

The barn, whose stalls had once been filled with horses, now stood empty, save for a brave, lone field mouse who skittered beneath the door. Inside, Grace knew, a rickety ladder still lead to the loft where she had so many times sought refuge as a child. She fought a foolish urge to flee there now, and hide herself deep in the hay.

Gathering her strength, Grace turned again to the door, unlocking it with determination. She pressed the door open, closing her eyes as she did.

Behind closed eyelids, Grace envisioned the scene as it once had been–Her father, sitting in his chair near the fire, listening intently as her mother read from the Good Book. Gracie, together with her brothers and sisters, gathered on the floor at her feet. Grace breathed deeply, inhaling the sweetness of memories held dear, and the soft fragrance of her mother.

Smiling, Grace opened her eyes, but in an instant, the happy vision evaporated. The room, once overflowing with the warmth and presence of family, sat in stark emptiness. The reverent murmurs of her mother’s reading were silent. Grace glanced toward the ticking of the clock, but a barren mantel assured her the sound was only a trick of her grieving mind.

Overcome with sadness, Grace shut her eyes tightly and breathed in deeply, striving to reclaim the happy vision, if only for a moment.

But the moment was gone. The scent of her mother no longer lingered. No laughter, no loved ones. Nothing. Only quiet. Grace opened tear-filled eyes. Too quiet.

“You ready?” Although she had been too consumed to notice his approach, Grace did not startle when her husband spoke.

“I’m an orphan now, Matthew,” she said, her voice a quivering whisper.

His strong hand rested on her shoulder and the huskiness of Matthew’s voice spoke louder than his words. “But you’re not alone, Gracie! Never alone!”

Isaiah 30:15 NIV – in quietness and trust is your strength

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

June 2014

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