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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Gossip/Rumors (either or both) (10/28/10)

TITLE: The Sun Shines Again
By Esther Phillips


It was a typical Monday evening in July, 1976. My husband came home from work, and I had dinner ready so we ate right away, just like usual. He changed clothes and headed out for a basketball workout with a bunch of his friends. In about an hour, he was back home and was really sick. He sat down and said he didn’t feel very well. I asked, “Have you felt this way before?” He answered “Yes, I just got overheated and that happens.”

He went on to get a shower because he thought that might make him feel better. When he came out, he said he was cold. He was never cold so now I was really getting alarmed. I got him a blanket, and asked if he needed to go see a doctor. He promptly responded, “No, I’ll be OK in just a little bit.” Well, in a little bit, he went into cardiac arrest. When the medics arrived, they told my neighbor on their way out that he would probably not make it to the hospital, and he didn’t.

What started out as an ordinary day quickly turned to be a disastrous day. One neighbor drove me to the hospital while another stayed with my three children. The doctor took us into a small room and told me “I’m sorry, but your husband has passed away.” He was very helpful in trying to get help for me. After I talked to my pastor on the phone, my neighbor drove me back home. When I arrived home, there were already many cars of people waiting. I asked them to wait outside because I needed to have time with my children and tell them what had happened.

The days ahead were difficult, but we managed to get through each one. September arrived and the kids went back to school. I was lost and a long time friend started calling me. He had divorced a couple years earlier. He said he was there for me anytime I wanted to talk. He worked shift work and I found myself calling him in the middle of the night because there just aren’t many people who would be willing to listen when they are trying to get their rest.

Eventually, I started meeting him at various places. One such place was the bowling alley because we both loved bowling. Then one evening when we were bowling in a tournament, I heard from a friend that someone was passing around the rumor that we had been going together for a very long time. In fact, they said we had been going together before my husband died. I had a mission to find out who started such a hateful accusation. I started asking my friends if they had heard it and they had. Then I asked where they heard it. I traced it all the way back to the person I believe started it. It was a man and he said, “I don’t remember where I heard it.” I accused him of starting it, but of course, he denied it.

My male bowling partner who was also my active listener in the middle of the night was very supportive. We continued to date and eventually married. The gossip could have turned either one of us away from seeing each other, but these gossip hounds were not successful.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Mildred Sheldon11/04/10
Thank you for a very interesting take on gossip. Usually you do not find who started the juicy morsel.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/05/10
How sad that gossip could have ruined your healing process. I don't understand the need to try and inflict pain like that especially after already having your fill of pain.
Jan Ackerson 11/09/10
I was very happy to read the pleasant ending that this story had, and that you've found second happiness despite ugly gossip.