Trish Garrity has to find a way to go on after the tragic loss of Samantha Preston, her partner of six years. Trish now has to face the future alone, and she's not sure how to do this. With the help of twelve letters Sam wrote prior to her death, Trisha is guided through the first year of her grief and to a place of self-acceptance and inner strength--strength she'd always thought she drew from Sam.
The drive to Cleveland tested every nerve in Trish Garrity’s body. Black clouds gathered over the choppy waters of Lake Erie and heavy rain fell in sheets. She pulled into Phyllis Preston’s driveway and sat for a moment while the knots in her neck eased.
Finally, pulling up the hood on her jacket, she ran for the front porch. Phyllis opened the door immediately.
“Trish, I thought for sure you’d cancel your drive over here in this rain.”
She met Phyllis’ gaze. “We need to talk.”
Stepping back, the older woman pulled the door open wider. “Come in. Let me hang your jacket to dry. I’ll make tea.”
Trish kicked off her wet sneakers and followed Sam’s mother down a hallway and into the kitchen.
Phyllis picked up the teakettle and filled it from the tap. Her hand shook as she set the kettle on the stove top. “I know what you’re going to tell me. I’ve seen it coming.”
“Sam’s coming home day after tomorrow and starting hospice care.” The words came out in a rasp.
Phyllis eased into the chair opposite Trish, sighing heavily. “Even though we’ve known it would come to this, it still seems unbelievable. Do you want me to come and stay?”
Trish shook her head. “The doctor said it could be a matter of days or weeks. I won’t tell you not to come, but… I mean, you’re welcome. You know that. I’m sure you’ll want to be with Sam before…” Her voice trailed off, emotion clogging her throat. She still felt awkward around Sam’s mother, even though the woman seemed to accept her as a part of Sam’s life.
“I’ll wait a few days and give the two of you some time alone. You’re not so far away that I can’t drive over for a visit.”
Trish nodded. “Phyllis, you’ll have to forgive me if I offend you or make mistakes. I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know the proper etiquette for watching the person you love the most die.” Her voice cracked.
Phyllis reached across the table and held her hand. “And I don’t know how to let go of my child. I’m sure we’ll step all over one another, but our main focus has to be on Sam. That's what is important now.”