The Loss (Ch 1 New TMoOD)

Author: Pbright
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May, 1943

Olivia Dunne has always been the daughter that her parents desired. The Rev. and Mrs. Dunne loved their only child as much as any parent could. Livy had the best of everything. When Livy graduated from high school she attended college, unlike many of her friends who married and began a family. Livy wanted to marry and begin a family, but she had not found the man to spend it with.

Being a reverend's daughter didn't make courting easy. Boys were too worried about what Rev. Dunne would do to them had they shown an interest in his daughter. Livy decided in college, maybe there would be someone.....someone who didn't know her daddy. But her hopes were unfulfilled.

Livy graduated from Denver University with a degree in teaching. Livy immediately got a job in Denver teaching 6th and 7th grade geography and history. Livy loved teaching and loved her students. She always took time with them and helped them with their studies. She encouraged them to study hard so they too could go to college and be anything they desired.

Livy had been teaching a few years when her mother became terminally ill. Livy continued teaching and seeing about her mother. She had lived with her parents all of this time, which made it easier to see about her. Livy's father would stay up nights with Mrs. Dunne so Livy could sleep and go to work the next day. One morning when Livy was getting ready for school, there was a light knock at her bedroom door. When Livy opened the door it was her father. With tears welled up in his eyes he told Livy that the end was very near and that she should see her mother before leaving for school.

Livy put on her dress and went to her mother's room. There her mother lay almost a ghostly figure. Very weak. She had become skin and bones. A contrast to what Livy always remembers her mother like.

There in the quiet of her mother's room Livy and her mother talked. They talked about everything. Livy cried mostly. Her mother did not want her being gone to be sad or wasted over by crying. She told Livy that she needed to continue working and to find the man that will make you happy...."happy as I have been with your father"
Livy sobbed at her mother's last request....."Have me a house full of grandchildren Livy, ones I myself could not bear."

Livy did not want to leave her mother's side knowing she would never speak to her again. But Mrs. Dunne insisted that she go to her work. "the students need you, Livy, they need you to teach them."

At that remark, Livy returned to her room to finish getting ready.
It was midday when Livy saw her father's face in the window on the door. Livy immediately began to weep....Not because she feared her mother's death, but feared her life without her mother.

Livy did not return to school that year, she could hardly bear the loss of her mother. Friends were always present and there to help Livy. But they had other obligations. Obligations that Livy had an urgency for, but who......who would she meet, who would be the man that she would love as her mother loved her father? Livy knew of no one that she desired to be with the rest of her life.

This was by far the biggest tragedy that Livy had ever faced.....soon she would have her second.

June, 1943
Wilson, CO

Raymond Singleton was busy around the farm that he had inherited from his family. Ray loved this farm more than anything else. It was his life. He loved plowing the soil, planting the seeds, and harvesting the crops. His farm had become more than his father, Chester Singleton, could have ever imagined. Ray's crops were bartered by the government to use during this time of war. Ray's work was important for something.......just what Ray needed it to be-useful.

Ray had grown up in Wilson, and his family was a dear family to everyone
there. No one had an unkind word to say about the Singletons. So it was natural that the whole community mourned the loss of Chester and Laura Singleton, that winter they passed from influenza they had gotten. Everyone felt even worse for Ray and Daniel. They were left to fend for themselves without the guidance of parents. Ray was left to raise his brother, Daniel. And Ray raised him well. Daniel ended up joining the Navy and being shipped to Pearl Harbor. Ray always said that the land locked his growing up and now he was doing what he loved....sailing the ocean.
However, tragedy struck Ray Singleton one more time.....Danny was killed at Pearl Harbor. It was a loss that the community of Wilson was not sure that Ray would ever recover. After the news of Danny Singleton was known by all, many went to see Ray. They would find him in the barn, in the field, on his porch, in his house sitting in the dark. Martha, Ray's older sister, worried so much for Ray. She asked him, begged him to come and stay at her house with her family until they were all feeling better. Ray refused. He never wanted to be a burden to Martha and Hank and he wasn't going to be now. Martha told many concerned neighbors "When Ray loves someone it's with his whole heart. Losing our baby brother to the war, has nearly killed him." The darkness of the next few years was Ray's life. Though his crops flourished, Ray's life did not. He mourned his brother for many years to come.

It was that June day that Ray prayed to God, "If it's Your will, please send me someone to love. Someone I can share this life with. Someone who will love me forever." It was a prayer that he prayed often. One that he hoped would be fulfilled soon. Ray was tired of being lonely. Tired of eating alone, tired of working alone. Most of all he was tired of the silence that imprisoned his life. He desired someone to be there when he came in from working, someone who would cook his favorite meal, someone who would be the first thing he saw in the morning and the last thing before closing his eyes.

God's will was already at work. At that very moment, someone was feeling the same loss as Ray and having the same prayer.

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