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Her descent continues with increasing intensity.
However, that was a few years ago and a web White Pages search failed to list her. Therefore, she didn't know if the Gerrs still lived there. Her visit would be a surprise.
Diana Gerr had boxes stacked in her living room, boxes packed with stuff that she deemed worth saving and moving over to her new place, an apartment a few miles away. Moving day was days away. Two of her daughters would help with the boxes; the movers would get the furniture.
She sat at her dining room table sipping tea, her mind spinning with decades of memories, some good, some not so good, and some so hilarious she laughed out loud. She was happy, she was sad. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was her life, her life with Byron, her husband of nearly fifty years, dead six months almost to the day. She didn't want to move, and yet she did. All those memories-it hurt to be here. Better to start anew, if one can start anew nearing seventy, and she could. She was lucky. Her mind remained razor sharp, her synapses firing just fine, working as intended, a little slower to reboot, but what the hell. So far, she had dodged the dreaded dementia and Alzheimer's. Her joints sometimes ached, but not terribly, and they were the same joints she was born with, no metal or plastic anywhere. Shades of gray sprinkled her light brown hair, still worn with bangs and down to her shoulders. She once stood five foot-three in her bare feet. Now she was an inch or so shorter and plumper. Fat, she called herself in moments of self-deprecation. She wasn't really, but then she always compared her aging body with that of the svelte young woman she once was, the girl who played field hockey and softball and ate what she wanted and didn't gain a pound.
She was in prime shape by the time she met Danny Kelby. She thought about him now and then, as she did last night sifting through old photos. Danny...Gosh, she loved him so, then hated him with equal passion when he broke the news about that girl. In a fit of anger, she almost dumped the little photo album she kept, mostly black and white photos of her and Danny over the course of two years. Thank God, she didn't. Beach scenes were once her favorite. Now, she felt partial to the one taken by a friend at an anti-Vietnam War demonstration in '70, because it underscored the personal is political phrase that came into vogue then. They were a picture of cohesion, both to their cause and to each other.
She sipped her tea, wondering if he still had her ring. No, he probably hocked it. Either that or he misplaced it. Well, maybe not. After all, he did elect to keep it after she gave him the okay. Sometimes she regretted not keeping it, then came close to contacting him, demanding its return. Then she'd reconsider, scold herself for being mean-spirited, before brushing it from her mind and moving on. They had traded emails around the turn of the millennium, Christmas holiday greetings that he initiated. She hadn't heard from him since. She hoped he was doing well. The acrimony she once harbored had faded into the ether of time. Left was the twilight of the good times they shared, the beach vacations, making love under the stars, studying in the library, or just lazing around, planning a future together. Softly, she sang a lyric from James Taylor: "Like people on the moon I see are things not meant to be..."
Wistful, she felt so wistful sipping her tea, reminiscing and now hearing her doorbell. She wasn't expecting anyone. She padded across the room. "Yes?"
"Um, it's Sparkle Kelby. I mean, Sparkle Lange. It used to be Kelby."
She opened the door, her eyes focusing on this woman, average height, slim with long brown hair wearing tight jeans, light makeup and a shy smile. Diana didn't have to ask; she knew who she was. She also sensed the reason for her visit, but was afraid to ask.
"My dad, Danny Kelby, died six months ago, and he asked me years ago to give you something after he was gone.