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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Empty and Full (06/04/09)

TITLE: Cuz's Advice on Love
By Mary Lou Cook


I dragged the heavy suit case out of the back end of my jeep. As I struggled over the graveled drive-way Denise waited by the steps of my home. It was a stone cabin that overlooked a mountain stream surrounded by tall pine trees and rocky cliffs.

As I lifted the heavy suit case up on the front porch I asked, “What’s this full of?”

Denise now waited by the front door. “Books, I’m not coming out here empty handed to die of boredom.”

Lugging the heavy suit case through the cabin door I said, “With my wonderful hospitality and communing with Mother Nature how can you be bored?”

Our mothers, being sisters made Denise and I cousins. My features were blond and fair like my German father. After a failed marriage I chose to live with my solitude among the mountains. Even without a family of my own I lived a full, happy life. My cousin’s features were like those of her father, a Cherokee Indian. She chose to live in the crowded city with her husband and their three children. As each child moved on with their new lives she faced the empty nest syndrome.

After getting Denise settled in, she and I sat on the porch swing drinking mugs of hot herbal tea. We watched the gentle rain fall through the pine trees while nearby a deer grazed with her fawn. With a deep sigh Denise said, “Cuz, thanks for letting me stay with you for a few days. Billy graduating from college followed by Eve’s wedding, and now Steven’s graduation from high school. It’s too much for me to think about. I’m not ready to let my babies leave the nest.”

Sipping my hot tea I said, “You know you’re always welcome here anytime. I enjoy our time alone. Besides, with you here I don’t have to cook.”

With one of my cats curled up on her lap, Denise stared off into the falling rain. “Not to have a house full of kids and to face an empty home. I will serve no meaningful purpose for anyone. I’m not ready for this part of my life.”

Looking around for my other cat I asked, “Aren’t you forgetting an important factor here?”

“Cuz, what have I forgotten?”

“You have forgotten about your husband, Bill. To him you serve a meaningful purpose. You may find this hard to believe but there is life after children. My thoughts on this whole ridiculous situation is you need to get over this and enjoy what God has given you.”

With a laugh Denise said, “You have always been more than willing to share your thoughts. How often I heard your mom tell you to keep your mouth shut. So how do I get over this ridiculous situation?”

“How to get over this is to get yourself all dolled up and put on your sexiest outfit. Turn on some romantic music and share an intimate dinner with your husband. Fill your bedroom with lit candles and cover your bed in rose petals. Start rekindling what you and Bill had before there were children. Find the spark you once shared with him. Enjoy being with each other. In other words become a couple again”

“Bill would die from a heart attack if I did that.”

“I never heard of anyone dropping dead from a romantic rendezvous. At least he would die a happy man with a big smile on his face.”

With her upset voice Denise said, “You are being rude.”

Smiling at her I said, “I may be rude but you are a prude. Your home is not empty. It’s full of the love you two share. Start enjoying being a couple again.”

With the look on Denise’s face I knew her thoughts were somewhere else. With a quiet voice she said, “I could buy a sexy red dress, put Kenny G on the stereo, and fix Bill his favorite dinner. Try to bring back the spark he and I once shared. Become a couple again.”

Lost in my own thoughts I said, “God has blessed you with the love of a good man. Don’t fill your life up with nothing but regrets.”

“Cuz, you have all these romantic suggestions and advice on love. Why don’t you have a significant other in your life?”

“I could never keep my mouth shut.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Patricia Turner06/11/09
Very good advice here. I like the conversation between the cousins - very natural - and I could visualize the setting so well.