Life became hard in the way that one might imagine it was for a woman. I had to fight to keep my family’s land, eventually becoming one of the only women in our city to possess something so grand. As I have seen it throughout the years, many women have had to fight in such a manner, though perhaps my continuous fight to avoid selling parcels of land, and defending them when I had to, became the reason why I did not move on. My son, the last part of my husband I had, grew strong and had plenty of male role models as it might be difficult to believe, but I had many men that sought to help me out of the goodness in their hearts, and not the vague promise of a turn in the sheets, or a place in my house. I remained single until the day I passed on from this world, though I made many a great friend, and many a detractor that saw my relationships with men as scandalous or perhaps worth a bit of gossip. To this day however, I hold that I did not whore myself to the men I cared for in exchange for men that my son could look up to. Those that wanted more were dismissed from our lives, while those that showed that they were truly there for our benefit and nothing else we kept in touch with quite often.
My boy, my dear boy, he grew strong throughout his years, and was ever protective of me, even when he married and convinced his wife, a darling woman who wasn’t afraid of hard work and who I admired greatly, to move into our family home upon their marriage. I almost protested, thinking that I would be best placed in a smaller home of my own elsewhere, but my son would not hear of it, and neither would his wife. I was not a burden they told me, but an angel, and in time they granted me three lovely grandchildren whom I came to know well before my passing. I can still recall waking as a spirit in this very house, wondering why I’d not found myself holding my husband, reuniting with my parents, or even finding myself at the fabled crossroads that some speak of in near-death experiences. I had thought that God had forgotten about me at times, but after a time I forgot this as I watched my grandchildren grow to adulthood, going their own way long after they had ceased to see me in the manner that children appear so capable of. They would be the last descendants of mine that would occupy this home, but not once have I begrudged them for selling our legacy away, as it is the way of this world, things must come to pass that we do not fully agree with, for it is the way of progress, and little, if anything, can stop progress.
Yet the house has remained, and after watching my son and his wife pass away and be accepted, I hope, into the gates of heaven, I can only think now what I thought then: my home is burden, and my pleasure. My grandchildren came here only a handful of times, the last being to deliver the keys to the house to the new owners, a rather interesting couple that could not have lived as they did in my time. A strikingly handsome man and his equally striking and young, dark-skinned wife, perhaps of African origin or perhaps American, as I heard her called both within these walls. They were a lovely couple to be certain, and while I harbored my own reservations concerning their union, and the idea of their children when they were born, they were quite the loving couple, and were entirely devoted to one another. Had that been where it ended I could have foregone the mistake I made following a near-tragedy that befell the family.
(to be continued)