New Things

New Things

A Story by Shelley Warner

Before my adventures with John in his Red Ford Truck


 See, the former things have taken place and new things I declare…

(Isaiah 42:9 NLT)

The former things...I remember going with my husband Tom, in the winter of 2015,  to see his oncologist. It was an encouraging report. Cancer indicators in his blood work had gone down and the tumor was shrinking. “You may have years left,” the doctor said. “Go out and celebrate.” We did. We stopped at a restaurant  for breakfast. I had my favorite--chicken fried steak with hash browns. I can’t remember what Tom had; maybe it was pancakes and eggs. A few months later, in the spring, despite chemo, his tumor had grown. The doctor said Tom would probably have until the next Christmas. But by June, he was on hospice. In July, he died. When Christmas came, I woke up early. I screamed and cried. No one heard me because I was in the living room and everyone else was asleep in the bedrooms down the hallway.

 In the following years, I worked through my grief, writing a lot of grief poems, stories, and journal entries. Gradually, I became accustomed to life without Tom. I was thankful for the things that remained in my life.

New things...I never expected to love again. One morning, three years later, in August 2018,  I woke wondering, “What’s happening with Johnny and his sister Nora?” Johnny had been my first boyfriend back when I was 13 and my family had lived in Mount Lake Terrace, Washington where we attended a little church that had an active youth group. Nora was my best friend at church and she and Johnny attended youth activities. He was kind of shy, but after a few months, he kissed me. After that, we snuck kisses in the back seat of the youth leader’s car on the way to various activities.

Well, five decades had gone by and I knew that he had gotten married, so I didn’t try to contact him. But I did find Nora on Facebook and messaged her. I told her I had lost my husband and I was raising my two grandchildren.  She quickly answered back, “I was just thinking about you!” She told me that John had lost his wife to cancer the previous year. I looked him up on Facebook and saw a picture of him standing out in a field, trees in the background, sun glasses on his face. It struck me that he looked like a thoughtful, peaceful person. I didn’t want to be intrusive, so I did not contact him. A few weeks went by; Nora asked if she could come visit me in Boise, Idaho. I was happy to have her come. The night before she arrived, she texted me, “We’re staying in Ontario, Oregon tonight; we’ll see you in the morning.”

We? Who is she travelling with? I wondered. I knew that she and a grandson sometimes went on road trips together, so I figured that was the case. But it would be nice if it were John. Sure enough, the next morning, John was with Nora at my front door. We all had a nice day. Zach showed John lots of car games on the computer and he patiently sat watching them with Zach. Nora and I caught up a lot and she let Faith style her soft blonde hair. Then the kids went to the community center at Morley Nelson Elementary and Nora, John, and I went to Albertson’s Park. Nora relaxed in a shelter by a fountain, while John and I, in 100 degree heat, strolled through the park. “I told my grandson that a girl once put her arms around me to show me how to play miniature golf,” he said. “That girl was you. You were a lot of fun.”

“I don’t remember that,” I laughed. “But I do remember kissing in the back seat of the youth leader’s car.” We finished our walk. We all went out to dinner that night. John and I both had steak with shrimp and shared our shrimp with Zach, who ordered a burger but likes seafood. Faith had spaghetti, her favorite meal. The next morning, Nora and John came over for a couple hours and we made M &M cookies together.  They came out chewy and delicious. John said they were perfect.

We saw each other again the following March  when the kids and I were visiting my daughter and her husband in Tigard, Oregon. I’d invited him to spend the day and he drove down from Mossyrock, Washington. We went on our first nature drive in his red ford truck, driving out 99 W to Newberg and beyond. On the way back, we stopped at McDonalds for hot fudge sundaes.

When we said goodbye that evening, I invited him to come see us some time in Boise. A few weeks later, he came. That began a new thing in my life and many adventures with John in his red ford truck. 


© 2021 Shelley Warner

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that is a beautiful story and a lovely piece of prose. as my granny, God rest her, would have said,
"if it's for you it will not go by you".

Posted 2 Weeks Ago

Shelley Warner

2 Weeks Ago

Thank you for reading my story Caroline. Yes, I like the word "prose" and I like your granny's state.. read more
Somehow love will find a way to lead you back into each others arms.

Posted 1 Month Ago

Shelley Warner

1 Month Ago

Yes, it is wonderful. I live in Washington now and we spend a lot of time in each others' arms.
What a sweet and encouraging story. The loss of Tom was beyond tragic, but meeting back up with an old flame--John--opened up a new, wondrous chapter in life. Sometimes the end is not the end.

Posted 1 Month Ago

Shelley Warner

1 Month Ago

I like that. "Sometimes the end is not the end."
Shelley, this story began with terrible sadness and ended on a happy note. You have been given an opportunity, a second chance of happiness. I loved this account of how you got in touch with John again after many years. May you have many happy adventures together. All good wishes.


Posted 1 Month Ago

Shelley Warner

1 Month Ago

Aww, thank you Chris I was worried that people would get tired of hearing about John and me, but I c.. read more
Chris Shaw

1 Month Ago

Sounds like love :))
Shelley Warner

1 Month Ago

Yes :) :) :)

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4 Reviews
Added on July 30, 2021
Last Updated on August 6, 2021


Shelley Warner
Shelley Warner

Camas, WA

I like to write about my life. Sounds a little narcissistic, right? But it's the challenges, the griefs, the joys, the faith struggles, and the enjoyment of nature that inspires me. I have published t.. more..


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