Marjorie stood in her backyard, looking at that handmade picnic table at the end of the property, in Nova Scotia. That was Richard’s favourite place to sit. During the calmest of days, they could enjoy her view and watch as the seagulls sunbathed on the exposed rocks.

How ironic that when they had finally retired and moved to their dream home by the bay, Richard only had two years to enjoy it. Every afternoon, when the weather allowed, she walked to the end of her property with her glass of wine. Richard would watch her from the kitchen window, making sure that he didn’t miss one moment. Her face clearly read fulfillment. It beamed through the kitchen window every summer morning. Her expression reflected with aid from the bay. It lit up every square foot of that house.

Memories now overpowered the smell of that salty water, the taste of its fresh bounty, and even her ability to enjoy sitting at that table ever again.

The last six months had been rough, no less than the water on a stormy day. Initially, the doctors had diagnosed his illness incorrectly and Richard didn’t get the care he needed. Proper healthcare was hard to find in this part of the world… By the time she found a specialist, before they received a proper diagnosis, it was too late to save her husband. It was hard for her to comprehend that, after fifty years of marriage—she would be alone.

Her daughter, Emma, had arranged for the sale of the house. She insisted she come to live with her and her family in British Columbia. She said she needed “looking after.” The movers had arrived, and she had to say goodbye to the bay, the seagulls, and her independent life.

Marjorie picked up her drink one last time and walked out into her backyard. The picnic table had a layer of salt on it. She rubbed her fingertips along it, anyway. She looked back at the house and cried.

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    6 months ago

    Hello Melissa – Such a sad but beautiful story. I was astonished to see your title, since I had just read a fascinating article in National Geographic about that very same bay. This excerpt from the article may interest you: “If you want to see where dinosaurs walked and giant, ancient centipedes crawled, just follow their footprints. That’s what scientists are doing in New Brunswick, Canada, where the world’s highest tides rush… Read more »

    Reply to  Melissa Taggart
    6 months ago

    What a lovely life, Melissa, growing up with the bay in your backyard, your food all around you, and fossils as treasures. No wonder you have developed such a wonderful imagination. Even the wild storms would have been exciting for a child, I think, or maybe just scary!

    Carrie OLeary
    Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
    6 months ago

    A very poignant story, Melissa. It makes me happy that your protagonist spent the last years of her husband’s life in a beautiful place that gave them both joy, but sad that it was for such a short time. It’s nice that she is moving away to be closer to her family, but heartbreaking that she has to leave a place she loves. Your story is handled with great sensitivity as always.

    Carrie OLeary
    Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
    Reply to  Melissa Taggart
    6 months ago

    I did wonder when I read it. I’m so sorry to hear that. That makes the story even more poignant.

    Margarida Brei
    Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
    6 months ago

    Melissa, you have crafted a poignant story of love, loss and wanting healthcare against a dramatic backdrop of natural beauty.

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    6 months ago

    Hello, Melissa. It was a heartbreaking read. I almost cried while reading it. I can’t imagine myself in the same situation as Marjorie. It is so hard to accept the death of loved ones and leave the home that you really love. Well done.

    Christer Norrlof
    Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
    5 months ago

    This is such an emotional read, Melissa. I can sense the joy and fulfillment that Marjorie and Richard felt on a daily basis when sharing their lives close to the Atlantic and its powerful nature. And then the grief of losing the companionship and to be forced to leave the area. How sad! But, at least, Marjorie had the experience and now has all the great memories. Most people don’t even get… Read more »

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