ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Mira , A short story about loss

Updated on September 10, 2013


Elsie tightened her scarf around her neck as she looked outside at the snow flurrying around the bare trees. She had turned sixty-two last spring, and it seemed that since then, even her bones got cold. She buttoned up her coat, picked up her purse and stood gazing out the front door while she mentally tried to prepare herself for the blast of cold air that was about to violate her entire body.

The weatherman had said that the temperature would reach a high of about fourteen degrees today, but the chill factor would bring it closer to zero. Just thinking about it made Elsie shiver.

On days like this, she wished she knew how to drive, but cars made her nervous. She had let her husband, Bill, chauffeur her around all those years. Bill had died almost ten years ago, and Elsie had lived alone ever since. Sometimes it was hard to believe that so many years had passed. There were times even now that Elsie would stop and wait for a familiar answer or action from her loving husband, only to have to remind herself that he was gone.

Her only son, Michael, had taken his young bride and moved to California more than twenty years ago, after his graduation from college. He now had two grown children of his own. After his father died, he had pleaded with her time and again to move west and live with his family-or at least live in the same city-but Elsie wouldn't leave the home where she had spent so many years. Michael finally gave up asking and for the moment seemed content just to call her once a week. Also, he and his family would fly to see her as often as they could.

The first year after Bill died had been the hardest. At first, she had spent most of her time curled up in bed, crying-wishing that she too would die. Her son stayed on, trying to coax her to move to California, then. She finally realized that Michael must return to his family, so she had put on the bravest front that any person could, and he reluctantly went home.

At first, Elsie's friends called and stopped by often. They even tried to include her in the events that normally she and Bill would have attended together. But as time went by, and after many refusals from Elsie, they stopped trying. Eventually, Elsie drifted away into a lonely, private, little world of her own. Loneliness can be a matter of choice, and for Elsie, it was a very secure place to be.

Claudimira | Source


Then came Mira. It had been almost six years ago that Elsie met Mira. It was a Sunday morning, one early spring day. As Elsie sat in church, she noticed this small, olive-skinned woman in the pew in front of her. Mira weighed about 105 pounds, and, as Mira liked to say, she was 5 feet 3 inches on her "tall" days. On that particular morning, she was elegantly dressed in black, with her silver-streaked hair wrapped in a coil in the back. When church ended, Mira stayed, kneeling in her pew with a rosary in her hands.

It was drizzling outside when Elsie started her short walk home. After only a block, the rain started to come down harder. Her umbrella kept most of Elsie dry, but her leather pumps were soon soaked, and she could feel the dampness on the hemline of her dress. Just then she heard a horn sound and turned to see Mira waving frantically for Elsie to get in her ear. Elsie opened the door and slid into the warm seat, quickly shutting out the rain before she said anything. "Thank you. I was hoping it wouldn't rain until alter I got home, but I didn't make it." She smiled warmly. "I live at 728 Oak Street. Just turn left on Parkway and it's the first right."

Mira put her car in drive and pulled out onto the road. "I see you at Saint Josephs almost every week and sometimes walking home. You always make me wish I had the energy to walk to church. I'm Mira Lacher."

Elsie laughed. "I don't drive. Fortunately, I live so close. I'm Elsie McCarthy." Mira pulled into Elsie's driveway· “Thank you again. Would you like to come in and have some coffee?"

Mira said she would love to, and that was the day their friendship began.

Together they sat at Elsie's kitchen table, sipping hot coffee and enjoying Elsie's homemade blueberry muffins while they talked for hours. Mira told Elsie she was born Claudmira Evelene Ramondelli. She came to America when she was only two years old, with her mama and papa and her three brothers, Frederick, Antonio and Geno (Eugene), then only nine months old. Her mother spoke only Italian, and her father spoke very broken English. Although Mira went to school in America, she still had a strong accent and often spoke rapid Italian when she was excited. She had married young, to a man named Charles Lacher, and raised three children-a son, Eugene (after her brother), and two daughters, Maria and Rosa. Her children were all married now, and Mira had ten grandchildren.

Mira listened attentively as Elsie told about her family, her life and the death of her husband. Mira told her that she had lost her Charles, too, nine years ago.

Mira took Elsie's hand in hers and said, "It's not good to be alone. You come and eat with me tonight and meet my family. I'll come and pick you up at six.” Mira left with the promise that Elsie would come.

Mira and Elsie rapidly became best friends, and though Mira was five years older than Elsie, she didn't look any older than her friend. But she did seem so much wiser at times that Elsie often felt like a child.

Elsie recalled the day that Mira turned her life around. She and Mira had decided to visit the cemetery where Bill and Charles were buried. It was Father's Day, and they had known each other only a few months. When they got to Bill's grave, Elsie knelt down and started to cry. After a long while, she felt Mira's hand on her shoulder. Without looking up, she listened to Mira's soft and comforting voice.

"It's good to mourn over the loss of someone we love. It heals us. It helps us to appreciate the good when it is here. But the time must come, my caro amico that we must let go of that pain and go on. It's time for you to let go and to remember the good times."

"I know," Elsie said softly. "Sometimes I just get so angry­--angry at Bill for leaving; angry at God for taking him. I guess I always thought we would go together." Elsie was looking at her husband's headstone as she talked.

Mira knelt down and wrapped her frail arms around her friend "We don't know why things happen the way they do. We can spend the rest of our lives looking for answers and never finding them, or we can stop looking and start living again."

They stayed there for a long while, wrapped in each other's arms, comforting each other, lost in the memories of a long-ago. When Elsie finally looked at Mira her tears had been replaced by a mischievous smile. "Let's go get some ice cream."

Elsie did let go of the pain and the anger that day. It started gradually, but soon she was able to laugh and joke about the good times she had shared with her husband. She became a part of the Ramondelli-Lacher family. She was introduced to Italian foods and customs, and for the first time in a very long while she was happy. Mira's grandchildren called her their American grandmother, and since Mira was called "Nona”, Elsie became "Grandmother El”. When Elsie's family came to visit her, they were welcomed too. For the first time since his father died, when Michael went home, he didn't worry about his mother staying behind.

Geno | Source

The sound of a horn blowing brought Elsie back to the present. It was Geno coming to take her to the cemetery. Mira had been dead almost six months now. Her heart had just stopped one evening when they were sitting at Elsie's kitchen table with Geno, telling stories and laughing. Mira had just laid her head down on the table as if she were sleeping.

Elsie took one more look at the snow whipping around the bare trees and opened the door. The bitter-cold wind brushed the tear off her cheek as she looked up at the heavens and smiled, knowing Mira was watching. It was time to go and say goodbye to a friend.

© 2013 Rebecca Shepherd Thomas


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)