“Mallet.”

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With each swing of the mallet, I pound the spike deeper into the ground.

Anger, jealousy, envy, and hate fuels my swings but, I cannot stop pounding the spike more profoundly into the ground until my arm and shoulder begin to ache as tears and sweat streaming along my cheeks.

I hear the faint echo of voices rising above my delirious fog of emotions.

With a final blow, the mallet rests atop the covered spike, I’m exhausted, breathing heavy with tears and sweat dripping onto my hand and onto blades of grass next to my mallet.

I noticed indented marks on the grass around the spike revealing the imprinted marks of the mallet.

Suddenly, I feel hands on my shoulders, and around my neck with a soft voice repeatedly saying. “It’s all-right daddy.”

The familiar voice overrides my mental haze with the word “Daddy.”

I open my eyes, turn my face to recognize my daughters, ages 9, 12 and 14-year old twins with tears in their eyes.

The twins are rubbing my shoulders, the 12-year-old is hugging me, as my youngest with a towel wiping the sweat and tears from my face, and she softly says.

Mommy is here with us, Daddy.


I thought to myself, this was our annual family camping trip to the beach, and our first without their mother, the love of my life and I realized, I was a widow.

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