A Widow and A Friend follows Tina Mason at 61, navigating life after the sudden death of her husband of 36 years. The day of his funeral brings a surprising turn with a knock at her door, offering Tina a different way to grieve and an unexpected friendship.

This story gently explores the journey of loss, love, and finding connection in the most unexpected places. Tina, now facing the world as a widow, learns that the process of healing can take many forms and sometimes, support comes from where we least expect it.

As Tina opens her door to new experiences, she discovers that life still holds moments of joy and opportunities for growth. A Widow and A Friend is a heartfelt look at the complexities of starting over and the strength found in companionship. Through Tina’s story, the book invites readers to see grief and healing in a new light, reminding us of the resilience within and the power of a simple act of kindness.


Excerpt from A Widow and A Friend © Copyright 2024 Stella Stella

SATURDAY Evening, around 7:30pm

It was another mild day in Oakland, California. The temperature had been averaging seventy-five degrees which was nice weather for May.

Tina was experiencing another failed attempt at getting used to the new sound of quietness in her and Mitchell's home. Finally, tired from mindless pacing around the house, she went into the living room, sat in the recliner, and laid her head back. Potential tears welled up in her eyes, but not fully enough to form and roll down her cheeks. She had probably exhausted whatever tears she had left in her. She was just there, in deep thoughts, alone, sad, and distraught. Her entire world had gone somber.

Tina couldn't help thinking about a simple assessment of her life right now. It was a thought that had become an auto-replay over the past few days. She and Mitchell lived in this bi-level Tudor style house for their entire thirty-six years of marriage. It was a well-built craftsman with three bedrooms, all of which were upstairs on the second level. When they originally bought the house, it had two bathrooms, one full bathroom off the master bedroom, and the second bathroom was more of a powder room downstairs at the bottom of the stairs. When Tina became pregnant, they added a second full bathroom upstairs between the other two bedrooms in Jack-and-Jill style.

Just off the front door was a small foyer area leading straight into the living room. At the back of the living room there was a wall separating it from the large, updated chef's kitchen, where they also added a small den area. The entire house was nice and comfortable yet not extravagant. Tina decorated in warm colors, so it always felt updated and homey.

Over the years they had renovated the house twice. The second update was primarily to add a screened deck which they used regularly to host backyard Barbecue’s.

Tina was sixty-one. She was in good shape with no health issues. She had perfect coffee brown skin, like the color of a latte. Her bright brown eyes and short black and grey peppered afro further complimented her complexion. She had soft features and a nice smile that together made her an attractive mature woman. She had always been a curvy size eight, or ten, depending on the outfit.

Aside from her recent sadness, much of her beauty held up well. She was just an older version of the same attractive woman she had always been.

Tina looked like a woman who was kindhearted, and who had lots of love in her life. It was that love and the fulfillment of having been loved that reflected in her face. When she smiled, the only wrinkles were gentle laugh lines around her eyes. She wondered a bit about how she looked at this moment right now. She guessed not very good, considering all that had happened. She sat there and wondered about the next few days, and then what about after that. What would her life become?

Now, it was just her, and the quiet of the home that was usually filled with sounds of her and Mitchell doing their life. Sounds that can easily be taken for granted. Like the sounds of the television, food cooking, dishes clinging and so on. When she was downstairs, she could always hear Mitchell moving around upstairs. The familiar creeks from movement on the hardwood floors was comforting.

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