Some time back I spent a year writing a novel in the evenings and on the weekends. My goal was to put a minimum of 1500 words into it daily and with a few gaps did just that. I also read the script daily aloud to my husband, Terry. He became my number one encourager, editor, and challenged me to continue. So BRAKING POINTS, the novel came to be and that piece of work became a symbol to me that life continues not according to the years we are here, but as long as we continue to be adventurers no matter our circumstances.
So I have decided with fear and trembling to publish it in pieces on this blog, since it bears the same title. Basically, BRAKING POINTS is the story of Max and Lily, a couple married more than 60 years. Lily, who has dementia, finds an old photo and Max, slowed by age and a recent hip replacement determines to take Lily to the ocean by himself. It is also the story a runaway teenager, a compassionate volunteer chaplain who join their entourage that is anything but a quick trip and a sprinkling of family and other folks along the way. It is a journey of discovery and awakening.
The pictures tumbled onto the floor, old snapshots scattering at Lily’s feet; brow wrinkled with question, she stooped to gather a handful. What on earth were these?
She stared at the photos, struggling to recognize the faces, they looked familiar and yet unfamiliar at the same time. Why on earth did she have this box of pictures on the shelf of her closet? Why on earth had she been in the closet? Was this even her closet? She had no clue. She let the handful of pictures fall from her hand, as they fell she spied one of them that captured her attention. Fingers trembling she picked it up and regarded it.
Who were these people? Where was this taken? The background was sand, ocean, and sea grass, a family photo with three boys, one a teenager with a scowl on his face, two younger ones grinning and squinting in the sun, a man—Lily touched his face with her finger, a wave of affection filling her momentarily before flittering away, leaving a hole that caused her to recoil her finger as if she had touched something hot. The man was smiling and holding a little girl with bright eyes and tousled hair, a pretty little thing, Lily thought, and a woman sitting in the center of the group, laughter on her face.
Lily felt a pang of connection, almost smelling the ocean air, the warmth of sand on her feet, and with that a desire for the waves welled up in her only to come crashing down, leaving her confused. She looked around her. Who had spilled all these pictures on the floor? Well, they could just clean up their own mess. The family beach photo became a wad in her fist as she thrust it into her pocket.