Queen in Pain

The last few days of my aunt Rebecca were punctuated by intense suffering, incessant whims and visible pain. She bravely soldiered on. The amazon was wasting away as each day unfolded but she chose to hold on. There was life in her eyes; they still radiated her past glory but her frail self is in defiance.

She chose to twist the turns and arguably, she made her final days the most phenomenon of her years. She was generous with her time; her words depicted a rare sense of calm. She thrived in this halo, seemingly her condition imposing, clothed into this explicit individual who was jolly to be with.

Since her cancer diagnosis, Rebecca had slowly turned into a blurry reflection of her former self. Her prosthetics limited her movement before she was indefinitely confined to her bed. Feebly clinging to the apron strings of nostalgia, she literally refused to ail. Her hairline had receded and all she could show off was a bunch of stringy strands on her scalp. She was thinly and weak till she barely walked. She was exhausted, and to me, each day seemed her last.

Every morning I met her ashen face, shared somber moments after which I would softly sob into my hands in her backyard. She preferred to smile instead. She was conceding, her pain notwithstanding, and seemingly growing into an imminent crescendo. I saw her gradually waste away, and even in my sleep her frail voice reverberated in damning tintinnabulations.

It was one of my then not-so-frequent visits that she beckoned me to inch closer. Her voice was reduced to a whisper. She wanted me to call to her bedside, her daughter in Australia. Part of me went numb and for a brief moment silently stared into her weepy eyes. I knew at that moment she was not to live past her fiftieth birthday a fortnight away. I swallowed painfully and was hushed tones till I took to calling Stella.

On a cold night in July, my aunt went to be with the Lord. She died softly in her sleep. I chose not to cry that day. It was most befitting for the queen in pain. Her Bible beside her haggard corpse, she looked like one in her sleep. She was calm, happy in her new state. It struck me I was not to see her again, but I had lived her pain, I had seen the damsel in distress waste away.

Stella was most dispirited. She did not make it to share her mother’s last moments. My dad was dejected. They just didn’t come to terms with the loss. Aunt Phoebe had collapsed at the news.
Burial preparation was intense grief. We all knew how much we would miss Rebecca. She was instrumental, sensational, was our Rebecca.

On a sunny Saturday, my aunt was laid to rest. The requiem mass had been solemn but dignified. She was eulogized as she would have wished with speeches brief and concise. The epitaph was classy and ingenious, and the wreaths, beautiful as she herself had been in her lifetime. I remember it rained that evening.

 

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Book Review: The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks

The gripping page turner, The Lucky one, is Nicholas Sparks’ romance novel with a collision between love, happiness and tragedy. Nicholas achieves in putting different episodes of romance and tragedy but still leaving his readers engaged throughout the read and feeling as if they were part of the events.

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In his third peace keeping tour to Iraq, US marine Logan Thibault comes across a picture of a beautiful smiling woman half buried in the sand. His first thought is to toss it off but he instead pin it on a board convinced that the one who lost it would soon claim it.

Weeks later, the photograph is still unclaimed and he decide to pick it and put it in his pocket.  Throughout his operation in Iraq, Thibault has unusual win in poker game than he has ever had before and survived several terror attacks in which his close friends perish. Only one of his friends, Victor, survives. Thibault shares with victor about the photograph which Victor explains to him to be his lucky charm and that he owes the woman in the picture.

Both Victor and Thibault move back to the US and resign from the marine.

Back home in Colorado, Thibault will not find peace and embarks on a mission to search for the woman in the photograph. He walks all the way from Colorado to Hampton with his German shepherd dog, Zeus and arrives in Hampton only to meet his lucky charm is Beth Clayton, a divorced young woman with a young son, Ben.

Beth soon gets attracted to Thibault and learns that the most ordinally things could be made extraordinally by simply doing them with the right people. She enjoys a relationship that she had never experienced before as their bonds continued to grow.

Thibault will later learn that Keith Clayton, the divorced husband to Beth is a sheriff who he had a rather dangerous encounter in his walk from Colorado to Hampton and who he holds sensitive secrets. Clayton seems disturbed by the fact that both Beth and Thibault are getting along well and that Thibault continues to frustrate him.

The secret of the photograph that Thibault continues to keep to himself will soon threaten to tear them apart and endangering their lives.

Clayton does not survive the whole ordeal and Thibault will later be the Lucky one as Victor would tell him. It’s a book you will not help but keep glued to it as you turn the pages.

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Nicholas Sparks is a fiction and romance writer whose all books are among the New York bestseller. Some of his other books include, The Notebook, Dear John, A walk to Remember, Message in a Bottle, A Night in Rodanthe, See Me, The Best of Me, At First Sight, The Longest Ride, The Guardian, True Believer, The Choice, Three Weeks with my Brother, The Last Song among others not to forget his latest novel, Two by Two.

His books can have also been acted as movies and continue to hit major screens in theatres.

NB: Never judge a book by its movie though!