Return to Sender
Estrangement by a defiant daughter puts the strength of hope to the test.
It was late afternoon, and Hattie knew Michael would arrive soon. He and his friend, Dave, had delivered the few furniture pieces she would need at her small apartment at Comfort Care Lodge. Hattie sighed as she gazed around. Her home had sold so quickly and the estate sale had been a great success. Most of what was left had been given away or donated. Just a couple of boxes remained; things from the children’s childhood. Michael would take his box home, and Lily’s…well, Hattie would keep hers.
Before closing the flaps on Lily’s box, she glanced inside. There was the pink dress Lily used to twirl around in and then run happily over to give Mom a hug. Then, reaching down, Hattie picked up the rag doll Lily had loved so much and held it close to her heart. Oh, those were such wonderful times. What happened to those good days when Lily had enriched all their lives? When did Lily decide to hate her? She loved Lily…loved her so much she could hardly stand it. A tear slid down her cheek as she thought of all the letters she’d sent to Lily. They all came back stamped “RETURN TO SENDER.”
She walked to the porch and sat on the wooden swing her husband, Glen, had made for them. It seemed like only yesterday when he was calling, “Lily, Michael, come and see what God painted today.” Sunset, she reflected, was Glen’s favorite time of day. She sighed and, glancing out over the yard, admired the sunflowers. They were so bright and beautiful. Her husband had started growing them the year they were married. She’d miss them. She wondered, Would the new people grow them?
As she sat gently swinging, Michael drove up in his big truck.