We have been together for some time. Jennifer, my wife, introduced me to her a few years back. That might be a little strange but, Jen could see we had so much in common. Her brother Joe is a big Clemson fan like me. Like me, she over-visits the upstate of South Carolina. Recharging her batteries involves a cabin on a lake somewhere up there. I can see myself doing the same thing. I have an idea which lake but, I will keep her secret. Our affair is based on mutual admiration, respect and similar history. We are similar in all the things that really matter. Well, mutual to the extent she wouldn’t know me from Adam’s housecat at the grocery store.
Do you think it is kinda weird that I think my wife loves her too? I guess it doesn’t matter. It is over anyway.
I was introduced one morning when Jennifer and I were reading the paper. With my supernatural powers of intuition, I noticed she was sniffling. “I will never read Sharon Randall again. Just read it,” she said sticking a rolled up section of paper in my face like I hadn’t gone outside to do my business. I don’t really read the “Life” section of the Times Daily but, I humored her. I don’t remember the story but, I remember the lump in my throat. It was big as a softball. It was probably a column about her first husband. I remember how Sharon would stop with a sort of literary device to ask me a question. That’s exactly how it felt. She wanted to stop her story a minute to see if I was ok… you know, paying attention.
I have stolen Sharon’s device and I am not giving it back. You can’t make me.
Reading her columns, I always feel like I am listening to a story over her breakfast table. I know the characters of her stories. Joe, her brother, is blind and is a BIG Clemson fan. I know her boss turned second husband. I have heard all of the grand babies’, Wiley, Randy and Henry…
I wish you could have been there the day Jennifer learned I was reading Sharon’s columns on-line, ON THURSDAY.
Jennifer is black-fingered newspaper reader from way back. Without Dead trees and Diet Mountain Dews, I don’t think we would ever make it to church. That morning I grinned, handed her the paper and told her she would probably like Sharon that morning. “How do you know?” I surprised even myself by keeping that secret until Sunday. “Because, I read it online Thursday,” I said without even the slightest hint of guilt.
Ok, maybe I felt a little guilty.
We both have a connection to Sharon’s work that is hard to describe. She seems to have been there. Her accounts of her first husband were a huge solace after my daddy-in-law died. I have no idea why. If someday in my writing I can connect in some small way as she has, it will have been a good day.
I guess you have read by now that Sharon won’t be in the paper Sunday.
I will miss our visits. I will miss our little chats. I will miss her family. Now they like the cousins we never see. I don’t know about syndication. I am not sure Sharon will ever grace the pages of the Times Daily again. If it turns out Sharon isn’t coming back, I know more than a few people will be sad.
I know two people whose Sunday morning will never be the same.
Sharon Randall says she is looking into self-syndication. You can read her archived columns and the status of her syndication here.