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Authors Note: This story is named and written after the wonderful song created by The Beatles, ‘In My Life’. The text in Italics is the lyrics of the song and was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
As always thank you very much to eclecticwoman818 for her editing and constant encouragement with my stories.
There are places I remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all…..
Mark Nelson turned his car into the driveway after another day at work. As he entered his house from the garage it felt different somehow. The silence in his home enveloped him. This house, his home, had once been filled with noise, laughter and the sounds of family life. Now the silence was deafening. It had been this way for the past six months, but today was the first time he had noticed it.
Walking to his bedroom, Mark took off his work clothes and had a shower. Being a warehouse manager meant that he did get grimy after a day’s work. Having a shower refreshed him and he put on his usual home attire of an old t-shirt and shorts, before heading to the kitchen to make his dinner.
He had some music playing on the computer, more to break the silence in the house than anything else. Had his house really been this quiet for the last six months?
As Mark sat there eating his dinner his mind was churning. Unconsciously he was playing with his wedding ring, spinning it on his finger. This had become a bit of a habit he did when he was thinking.
Just on 2 years earlier his wife of 24 years Elouise wasn’t feeling well. Her appetite was poor and she wasn’t feeling herself. She thought it was just a bug and didn’t think too much about it. These symptoms continued for nearly a month before she finally decided go to the doctor. After some tests it was revealed she had advanced pancreatic cancer. This diagnosis was in May and she passed away in September, with Mark and their two daughters, Lara and Daisy, at her bedside.
This sudden loss of Elouise had drained Mark’s soul. They had been going out together since University, where they were both studying economics. The life they had together was wonderful. It is said that opposites attract and this could have been partly true in their case.
Mark was, actually still is, a relatively quiet person, especially when initially meeting people. Once he got to know people though his shyness did fade away. Back at University he was just another young man finding his way. At 5’10” tall, brown hair and a fit, but not athletic build, he was basically invisible in a crowd. He could have been anyone.
Elouise was different. She was outgoing, gregarious, with a big personality. Her flame red hair and infectious laugh definitely brought her attention. She was a popular girl but not in a bad way. They first met when they were assigned to do a group project together during their second year. Mark thought Elouise was the complete package, brains and beauty. He initially found it intimidating working with her that first time, but they soon built up a great friendship. She apparently liked Mark’s sincere manner and his smile. He liked everything about her.
They started going out and everything progressed from there. They were engaged after finishing University, got married, bought their first house, had their children and loved every moment together. Of course their life wasn’t perfect, but it was perfect for them. Mark felt that losing Elouise was like losing a part of himself and it took him a long time to even start functioning again.
As Mark ate his meal that evening he kept thinking about his wonderful daughters and how much they had helped him over the last 18 months.
Their youngest daughter Daisy was still living at home when Elouise passed away, and she and Mark took care of each other. Daisy has caramel coloured hair, blue eyes, is relatively tall at 5′ 8″ and a slim but shapely physique. She is the more emotional of their girls, having her mother’s classical ‘red haired’ temperament.
Daisy was in her final year of school when her mother passed away and she stopped her schooling to get over their tragedy. She returned to school the following year and achieved good results in her final exams. Daisy is now 19 and she is doing her first year of economics at the same university her parents had attended, living on campus.
Their elder daughter Lara was living away at University at the time, but came home as often as she could. Now Lara is 21 years old and doing medicine. She looks like her mother, 5′ 6″ tall, long red hair, porcelain complexion, green eyes. She has more of Mark’s temperament though, being a practical and logical thinker, but she still with a happy nature.
Mark’s thoughts swirled throughout the evening as he contemplated his life. He was 51 years old and for the first time since Elouise’s bursa escort passing he felt like he wanted to get on with his life. He needed to stop mourning her and stop using her passing as an excuse for not living. He had only been surviving for the past 18 months and not really living. When Elouise was close to the end in hospital she implored him to live his life once she was gone.
It was time for Mark to live his life again, but there were some things he needed to do first to enable him to do this.
That evening he took some time and phoned both his daughters. They both lived in Sydney closer to their respective universities, about 40 minutes away from where Mark lived and they grew up. He asked them to come over on the weekend as he needed their help. He also asked them to wear old clothes, but didn’t say anything more.
When Mark went to bed that night he did something he never thought he would have to do. With a lot of sadness, and just a hint of optimism, he slipped the plain gold band off the ring finger on his left hand, gave it a kiss and placed it in the drawer of his bedside cabinet…..
On Saturday morning Lara and Daisy arrived and strolled into the house like they always did. Their presence immediately lifted the mood in the house. Mark was so glad to see them and gave them big hugs. They all caught up a little with what they were all doing over a coffee in the kitchen. Even though they spoke all the time, actually having Lara and Daisy there with him made Mark feel great. Being together again improved Mark’s confidence in the decision he had made.
Both Lara and Daisy were a little anxious as Mark hadn’t told them about what he wanted to do that day. Before they got started Mark led his daughters into the lounge room. He wanted to speak to them before they got on with the task for the day. As they sat on the lounge Mark insisted that Lara and Daisy should sit on either side of him.
“Girls I asked you up here today because I need your help. It’s time to do something I should have done a long time ago …. And now feels like the right time to do it.” Mark said seriously.
Lara and Daisy looked at their father, but also exchanged glances of their own. They were wondering what he was going to say. Mark was nervous too. This was a big step and he hoped they would be supportive.
“I need you both to help me move your Mum’s things out.” Mark said with a sigh.
Lara reached out and held her father’s hand while Daisy wrapped her arm around his shoulders. They both knew this was a big step for him, but it was something he needed to do.
“Dad of course we will help.” Lara said with a loving smile on her face.
“I need to move your Mum’s things out. It’s been nearly 2 years and if I don’t do this I won’t be able to move on with life… And your mother wanted me to move on….” Mark replied quietly.
“Yes Dad. We know. We were there too.” Daisy said, clearly remembering what their Mum had said to him before she passed away.
Mark was so relieved his girls understood what he wanted to do.
“I was worried that you might be upset with me for wanting to get rid of her things.” Mark said, looking at both his beautiful daughters.
“No Dad we aren’t upset. I think it is the best thing you can do. It is great that you feel it is time to move on a little. Don’t you Daisy?”
“Yeah Dad, you do need to move on. It is what Mum wanted.” Daisy replied.
Mark gave both his daughters a big hug each. Sitting back he reached into his pocket. He could feel what he wanted in there.
“Before we start there is something I wanted to give to each of you, something from your Mum and me.” Mark said as he lifted out two ring boxes from his pocket.
He turned to his left and faced Lara. Just looking at her reminded Mark so much of her mother. Her face was shaped the same, she had her red hair pulled back into a pony tail like Elouise often used to. The look of curiosity on her face was the spitting image of her mum. He handed the first box to Lara.
“Lara, sweetheart, your Mother wanted you to have this. I gave this to her on the night I proposed to her. Your mother’s face just beamed when she saw it and said yes……” Mark said, struggling to get the words out.
Lara opened the box and there was her mother’s engagement ring. The solitary diamond sparkled just like the tears that flowed from Lara’s eyes.
“Ohhh Dad I don’t know what to say. It’s beautiful.” Lara babbled before she reached out and hugged her father tight.
Finishing the embrace Mark turned around towards Daisy. His younger daughter was already looking very emotional, so Mark quickly handed her the other ring box.
“Daisy Honey we wanted you to have this one. I gave it to your Mum when she was pregnant with you. She always wanted an eternity ring and I gave this to her jokingly calling it her ‘maternity’ ring. She loved it and ….. Well you know she always wore it.” Mark said with tears streaming down his face as the emotion fully caught bursa escort bayan up with him.
Daisy was already in tears as she opened the box to see the gold band with multiple small diamonds embedded in it. Daisy wrapped her arms around her father and held him tight. She was crying into his shoulder. This was so much more emotional than Mark had thought it would be. Lara leant across and hugged them both too.
When they finished hugging and dried their eyes Mark began to speak. “Girls you don’t have to wear the rings…..”
Looking across however, he could see that Lara and Daisy had already put their rings on, both putting them on their right hand ring finger.
“I’m going to wear mine all the time Dad.” Daisy immediately said.
“I will wear it all the time too Dad, except when I’m working.” Lara chimed in with a big smile on her face.
Mark smiled at his girls.
“Ok …… Well let’s get this started.”
With that they went in and started to clear out all of Elouise’s things. It was a really emotional day. There were plenty of laughs, lots of old stories reminiscing about Elouise and more than a few tears shed. Often it would be as simple as a single piece of clothing that triggered a memory. They all supported each other.
What should have been a quick process ended up taking all day. The girls took some of their mother’s things to keep and a lot was donated to charity.
As it had been a long and emotional day Lara and Daisy wanted to stay the night rather than drive back to Sydney. The family had pizza for dinner and watched a few old movies curled up together on the lounge, just like they did on many a Saturday night when the girls were young.
While watching the movie, Lara said to her father in a somewhat surprised voice. “Dad you’ve taken your wedding ring off.”
“Yes I did. Like I said before it is time to move on.” Mark replied
“You didn’t throw it out did you?” Daisy asked in a concerned manner, hearing the conversation.
“No girls. I have kept it with your mother’s wedding ring in a very safe place….. I’m not forgetting your Mum. I will never forget her. I have the greatest reminder of her here in my arms, you two. I will always love her. Always…… But I need to live my life again….”
His daughters embraced Mark a little tighter. He thought that they understood where he was coming from. It certainly felt like they did.
The following morning they all had breakfast together before Lara and Daisy headed back to Sydney.
As they said their goodbyes Lara said to her father “This was perfect Dad.”
“Yes. All being together again, just like when we were young. It felt right didn’t it?”
“Yes Sweetheart it did.” Mark replied happily.
Lara kissed her father on the cheek. In a very knowing voice she said “Now you can move on Dad.”
The girls got in their car and drove away. Mark’s mind churned over what Lara had said. She was was right. It was almost like they had drawn a line under the past. His girls, his young women, were grown up and not little girls any more. They had their own lives. They had celebrated their old life. Now was time to move on.
Three months later and Mark had started to move on. He wasn’t exactly painting the town red, but was doing a little more. He had reconnected with friends and was accepting invitations to go out more than saying no. It felt great to see people again and after the obvious questions on how he was doing without Elouise, conversations moved on to other topics. Life was getting better.
One Saturday morning he was out doing his weekly grocery shop. He shopped like he did everything in his life, with a purpose. He had his list and was looking for the various products he needed. As Mark rounded his trolley into the next aisle, a young boy came running towards him.
Mark brought his trolley to a halt barely missing him. The boy looked at Mark with a startled look on his face, before he turned and ran quickly back to his mother’s trolley only a couple of steps away.
The mother saw what had happened, looked towards Mark and began to speak.
“Oh I’m so sorry. Thank you for not…… Mark?”
Mark looked at the woman. She was about 5’6″ tall and her hair was pulled back into a loose pony tail with strands of hair hanging down across her face. Her hair was brown with many blonde highlights. Her eyes were a stunning hazel colour and he could see a smile emerge on her face. In that split second Mark knew who it was.
“Angela, is that you?” he replied.
The smiles of recognition spread across both their faces. They moved in close and hugged.
“Angela …. Reed isn’t it now? How long has it been?” Mark asked.
“No not Reed any more, back to Summers again. The last time I saw you Mark was when I left AHS. That would have been 18 years ago. Wow. You look great. How are you doing?”
They chatted for a few minutes having not seen each other since Angela left the store where escort bursa they had both worked. Mark was the assistant manager and Angela was fresh out of school, working while she studied at University.
She asked Mark about his family and he told her about Elouise’s passing. Angela reached out and put her hand on his shoulder, while expressing her sincere sympathy for his loss.
They were talking about Mark’s daughters and Angela’s kids, when Angela’s kids began to get restless and started annoying each other. They quickly wrapped up their conversation saying how pleased they were to see each other again and hoping to catch up again soon.
As they moved apart Mark took one more look at Angela. She was dressed in a nice pair of jeans, sneakers and a jacket covering a t-shirt. While she was obviously dressed to do her grocery shopping he thought she looked really good.
It is amazing the people who you run into in the supermarket. As Angela gathered her kids up, they pushed their trolley down the aisle and around into the next. Angela looked back and could see Mark doing his shopping. A small smile crossed her face. It felt really good to see him again.
Once at home she began to pack the groceries away. Her children, 11 year old daughter Taylor and 9 year old son Ryan, headed their separate ways, tired of being cooped together while they did the shopping.
Angela found that she was smiling happily to herself as she packed the things away. Seeing Mark Nelson had really perked up her spirit. She had always liked Mark when he was her manager at AHS. He was always nice to her while still being the boss and took an interest in what she was doing outside of work. He always treated Angela and the other members of the staff with respect. He valued their feedback and opinions, but was still firm enough with them to get jobs done. She really felt Mark was a friend.
Her mind went back to leaving AHS to move to the city and get a real job after she had finished her studies. Looking around her little house now, a feeling of disappointment filled Angela’s heart again. Her life hadn’t turned out exactly how she had planned it. While she did have a good career, working as a Sales Representative for a pharmaceutical company, and had two wonderful children, she hadn’t expected to be 37 years old and back living in a small house in the town she had grown up in.
Angela always thought she would have a bit more glamourous lifestyle, living in the city, enjoying all the nightlife and trappings that came with living in Sydney. For a period of time she did have this good life.
When Angela was married she and her husband had a lifestyle in the eastern suburbs of Sydney that looked amazing. Her ex, Adam, had a good job as a merchant banker and had plenty of contacts with the right people. They went out regularly to events, attended fancy parties, openings and premieres. They mixed with all the right people and appeared to have it all. While they weren’t quite socialites, as they both worked for their money, they were on the edge of that scene.
This fancy lifestyle however cost them plenty. They were mortgaged up to the eyeballs for their house and the kids went to private school. These people all wanted to be their friend when times were good, but when things got tough they all disappeared. Adam couldn’t keep it in his pants and Angela caught him and his ‘secretary’ at their house one day.
Unfortunately for Angela the divorce from Adam had taken a hit on what savings she had. As they were so deep in debt and actually owned very little, the property split was basically non-existent. The divorce was costly and Angela’s so-called friends weren’t there for her.
She had little option but to reluctantly move back to the area she grew up. Here she would be near her parents, where she had support and could be somewhere she could afford to live. Her work was great and they shuffled her sales territory to cover more of this area. Taylor and Ryan adapted relatively easily to their new school. Adam saw the kids 3 weekends out of 4, and was a good Dad to them. He was just a lousy husband to Angela.
Seeing how nice it was outside Angela went and sat on her back deck, looking over her back yard. Taylor and Ryan were now outside playing together having settled their minor shopping mall dispute. It dawned on Angela sitting there that her kids were happier here than they had been in Sydney. They relished seeing Angela more, and even having more of their Dad’s attention when they saw him on the weekends.
Watching them play Angela began to realise that she didn’t actually miss the supposedly glamourous lifestyle she once had, but missed having someone who was there for her…..
Seeing Angela again was great. He had often wondered how she went with her life once she had left the store they worked at. She was always level headed, but passionate about what she believed in. He thought Angela would succeed in everything she did as she had that type of personality that she would work to make it. As she had reverted back to her maiden name and was living back in the local area Mark realised that life must have dealt her a few tough cards.
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