Ellen walked through the fog along an empty street lined with deserted nineteenth century townhouses. They were elegant, solidly constructed, and made out of brownstone. Once this had been a fashionable address. Now it was empty of tenants.
Ellen was walking to visit her husband. He was interred in the family mausoleum in the cemetery up ahead. The family had been rich and prominent during the nineteenth century. Back then, they had owned a mansion in the area. Now it was empty too. Ellen's husband had been the remaining heir of the family, when there was nothing left to inherit.
Several blocks down the street was the ornate and open gate of the cemetery, which had been founded during the eighteenth century. Tombstones, mausoleums, and statues disappeared into the fog.
The mausoleum that contained the body of Ellen's husband was in a hill overlooking the red brick church, built before the American Revolution. The mausoleum was also built of red brick. It had a cross leading up from the roof, as though it was a small chapel. A mausoleum symbolizes a family that was at one time financially and socially prominent.
When Ellen reached the mausoleum she looked into the barred door at the placard that read, "John Morton 1961 – 1991."
"Honey," She said. "I'm back."
Ellen continued, "The leaves have fallen from the trees. There is a thick fog, but it is not very chilly.
"The trees you planted around our house have grown taller than the roof. They shade our house in the summer, and help to keep it cool, as you planned. When our son Bill was a boy he liked to climb in those trees. I was afraid he would fall, but he never did.
"Bill was easy to raise, even without you. He was always a good boy. But you did help. I have your photograph on the mantel. When I told Bill, 'Your father would not want you to do that, ' he did not do it.
"Once I was talking to a friend of mine who asked plaintively, 'How did you keep Bill from staying out late? How did you keep him from getting into trouble in school?'
"I had to tell her, 'I never had to tell him not to do those things because he never wanted to.'
"Bill was not the brilliant student you may have preferred John, but he got reasonably good grades. He got along well with his teachers. He had a good sense of humor. I never had to pick him up at the police station, or anything like that. You would have been proud of him, Dear.
"He went out for a few school sports. When he did not make the teams I bought him a weight set. He worked out at home and became pretty muscular.
"Bill looked so handsome in his tuxedo for the prom. He took Mary Davis. She was born to Jack and Edith Davis. They still go to our church. Mary looked beautiful in her prom dress. I was so proud when Bill graduated from high school.
"You can be sure that Bill had her home at a decent hour. When he came home there was no alcohol on his breath. He drank wine and beer now and then at home, but he was never part of the drinking crowd at school.
"Very few Americans died in the Gulf War. I don't know why God took you away from me, but it happened.
"I have a co-worker named 'Ted'. He goes to our church. I have had lunch with him several times at work. There is an Italian restaurant near to where we work. You would like it. It is owned by an Italian family I like to talk to. Having lunch there with Ted did not feel like a date.
I was afraid he would ask me for a date, because I did not want to hurt his feelings. He did. I hurt his feelings by turning him down. He wants to find a woman to be a mother for his children. Ted is a good man. He would make some woman very happy.