Cora was much too young to be a widow. Married only six months and already a widow. Gani, her husband, wasn’t a soldier who went off to war. He didn’t have a dangerous job. He simply ran into a truck. Or should I say, the truck ran into him.
So here she was, wearing black and trying to hold back the tears. But they just wouldn’t stay behind the the dam. Nineteen years old, and a widow. That was all she could think of.
At the funeral, folks came up to her and offered her their condolences. They offered them to Gani’s family as well.
After the funeral, she went to bed and stayed in bed for several days, getting up only for food. The house she and Gani had bought was now empty. And she wasn’t even pregnant. That, at least, would have been something.
Her mother-in-law came to see her. “Get out of bed,” she said. “I will make you a nice breakfast, and you’ll feel better.”
“How can I feel better?”
“But you will,” her mother-in-law said.
As Cora ate her breakfast, her mother-in-law sat across from her. “You know, I lost my first husband.”
Cora put some eggs into her mouth and chewed, then she said, “You did?”
“I did. And I cried for weeks. Then I realized I was still young and life needed to go on. Whether with me or without me. My son is dead. You are still alive. Put a smile on and go out into the world and enjoy yourself. The house is paid off. From the insurance.”
“But what about Gani?”
“What about Gani. He is in someplace wonderful and he doesn’t want you quitting life. He loved you. Do you think he wants you dead too? He doesn’t.”
“But I can’t.”
“You can. And you have too. Remember the wonderful days you had with Gani. They were a gift. Now you have permission to go on and live your life. You’ve had some great times. And you are going to have some great times in the future. Life is too short to waste it on the dead.”
“What will everybody think?”
“Who cares what everybody thinks? The important thing is that you get on with your life.”
That night Cora put on the new dress Gani had bought for her. She put on the new shoes she had bought herself and went dancing. Dancing made her feel alive. At the dance, she met someone. Someone who became her second husband. Little did she know that he would die from an accident with a truck too.