The Sound of Thunder – Prose by Stephanie Lawrence

One day, I awoke to the sound of thunder shaking the rooftops with its anger. And as lightning streaked swiftly among the clouds, I found that somehow it made me cry, reminding me that it knows that place within me, my hidden place, a place where smiles and laughter cannot go, a place where tears and sadness live, where darkness settles in and there it stays. No toys, no friends, no family to chase away the pain, no man to love me. 
It found this place I go to when my heart is sad, and I give in, and I give up and suddenly the thunder grows stronger, the lightning strikes harder and the sadness spreads. I go through the pain, moment by moment. First, I am sad, then unhappiness sets in, and I cry. I cry for the loss, both of dreams and the part of me that still wishes I was there feeling the pain. Ahh, we are young and stupid. 
Then as I begin to travel this road that I have made for myself, I realize it fills me first with doubt about the strength of relationships, then with memories, the bad ones, but eventually the good ones that make me glad I’ve come here. Finally, it soothes my heart and then takes me back to days when the love and laughter was good. I don’t want to remember the pain, for then I must relive the feelings.
I go to a place where special love can be found again. No more searching just to find answers to the questions never spoken; to days where love and laughter were everything, and it became the focus of our life. Where happiness together was all we knew. We never worried, and our love blossomed, and we were so blind.
We never saw the signs of problems that would grow. We never took the time to, for then we’d have to know the truth, and act upon that truth, and then when it all comes crashing down in just a heartbeat, neither of you know what to do, what to 
say or what to feel.
Anger now is living in your house with you both, eating away at the good times remembered, chipping away slowly at the happiness in your heart, and finally, it leaves too. And then, you promise yourself that you’ll never try again. You send yourself a note written with the pen he gave you when you still could say “I love you so.” But now, you only speak to each other the words that end the happiness and take away any dreams that you may have left. And instead, you say, “When will you go away?”
Time passes as your heart hardens, and then with each tick of the clock, somehow hope finds its way back into your life, and finally, you become aware of just how lucky you have been.
You look back and know that you have been so very blessed throughout your life. You’ve been a mother, grandmother, wife, and friend. You now know that to love once in a lifetime is such a special thing, but to love and be loved more than once is a blessing, even if it lasted only for a moment.
Love brings a happiness you find you can’t explain and whispers when it’s gone, “It’s ok, you’ll try again someday.” Life seems so very sad when you lose a love, your one and only perfect love that fit you so well you made your promises to him every day. You’ll love each other always, and you’ll be together till the end of time. And then one day you wake up, and you find that once again you’re alone. You look around and suddenly, you know. You’ve always known.
The loss of another true love betrays your heart.  You knew he’d always be there for you, but once again you find most good times in life someday come to an end. And when the end comes and he wants to talk, you turn away.
The answer to your problems now, takes all your happiness and turns it into tears, and then sadness again fills your life. But someday in the future, you will look around. 
You’ll see someone new, and the cycle begins again. It wasn’t supposed to be that way. It was supposed to be that when you found your first true love it would be forever. Life is a series of twists and turns. Ruts, and potholes block the way and darkness rules. 
But we are strong. We survive!

Written by Stephanie Lawrence in the summer of 2021, when the pandemic ruled our lives and created a new kind of separation in people, one that eventually we would have to fight our way out of.
Stephanie Lawrence

Originally from Los Angeles, Stephanie Lawrence has lived in and loved Lake County for 50 years. Lakeport is her home. She has 4 children, 11 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and is soon to be a great-great-grandmother come January. She found that her love of writing has increased with age and that being older does not mean incompetence. She has one book, "Choices, parts one and two" on sale now, and a second, "Poems, Stories, and Dreams", due out in January. She recently finished her third book, "Sleeping with a Monster, the evil within", and is currently working on three more. Always by her side, is her constant companion Mollie, a little long-haired miniature dachshund who has owned her for 3 years.

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