Some losses are harder than others


It’s hard for me to believe, but I began the journey of writing articles for the Delaware Gazette back in July of 2016! While I was leafing through the first of the old journals, I ran across the story titled: “THE THINGS I HAVE LOST.”

It was summer when I was inside a friend’s car and she hit my car (while parked in my own garage) and demolished it from front to back and from top to bottom. It was my brand-new white Chevy Malibu. Our police chief said he had never written up a report on a car being totaled while in its own garage. So, that was the first of my many losses that began that year of 2016.

So, my topic for this article will be some of the things I have lost in just the past six years.

My biggest losses were three of my sisters as well as one great-nephew and one niece’s husband. Their names were John, Ginny, Marilyn, Ann and Nick.

Another loss was the house I lived in from the day we got married in 1959 until we sold it in 2020. I lost it because we needed to downsize, so we bought a smaller place across the street.

The new owner tore down our eight-room house, so nothing is left of it. I can’t tell you how many times I have looked across the street expecting to see that white house with the red front door still standing there. But it’s gone.

I have also lost some of the clothes I was wearing in old photos I have looked at. Recently while going through some of my photo albums, I became aware that the outfits I had on were gone. I know I would never have given them away, so how did they disappear? My guess is because as I was packing, I was putting good clothes in one bag and old clothes in another. And then I got them mixed up and I ended up with my old clothes, with my better ones having been given away. We even made a trip to Goodwill to see if we could find any of them. No luck.

All of the horses we had at the farm are gone now. I’m not sure where they went other than they may have died by now. Their names included “Tango Tag,” “Sweet Georgia Kay,” “Bubba” and “Bevis” (the Percherons). For me, a big loss was not getting to be at the farm when the children came to ride in our indoor arena. And then go to the horse shows and see them win all their ribbons, especially the blue ones. A couple of the girls have continued into adulthood with having their horses at their own or another horse farm. But mostly the children have all grown up, and we no longer own the farm.

So, losing three of my sisters, a great nephew, and a niece’s husband, my new car, the house I had lived in for 60 years, my better clothes, horses and kids who came to ride, all add up to an overall big loss that happened to me since 2016. I should add that I have lost a lot of my hair, and more of my hearing and some of my eyesight.

Writing about loss is a little too depressing for me today, so I got out my journals to see if I could find something to at least bring a smile to my face. And I chose this one sentence by our younger daughter when she was 3 years old. She handed me her little book and said, “TALK TO THIS PAGE.” And sure enough, I “talked to that page” and a whole lot more pages and have been smiling ever since.

By Kay Conklin

Contributing columnist

Kay E. Conklin is a retired Delaware County recorder who served four terms. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in sociology and anthropology.

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