The Jam Jar

The Jam Jar
Posted on January 22, 2014

‘Keith died a week ago. We’ve been married forty eight years. A long time, ups and downs I suppose, but mainly ups. Always a kind gentle man, but a bundle of energy when he was young. Loved him to bits. He was seventy eight. It wasn’t a shock you know, he’d got weaker and weaker, his heart. He took lots of pills but they said they couldn’t operate now. I didn’t cry at the funeral, just couldn’t, just numb. There weren’t many there, about twelve, most of us friends are gone now. Billy and Julie were there of course, and the two kids, bit tearful. Keith would’ve been so proud. Billy reckons Tommy is really bright. Might go to university. Nobody in the family’s ever gone before. Farmers most. And young Martin, well, he’s spitting image of his grandad, and just as daft. Anyway, yes, there was so much to do after the funeral, making sandwiches for everybody and lots of cups of tea. Julie and I chatted lots. She’s a good daughter-in-law to me. Helping Billy through this she is. Heartbroken, the poor lad. Idolises his dad, even now. So, don’t know what they all thought, me not crying. Just got through the day I suppose. But when I was doing the food I could hear myself screaming the bloody house down inside, but it wouldn’t come out. Even after they’d all left. So now they’ve gone back to their lives and I’m stuck here on my own with mine. I’m alright I suppose. Got enough money. And I’m well enough, except for the arthritis. I can get out and about and Mister Lamesly delivers the shopping. Feeling a bit lonely though, like you’d expect, but we weren’t great talkers. We watched telly a lot together. And Keith still drove the car so we had days out. Liked to go to the coast. Fish and chips and stare at the sea. Can’t do that any more. Anyway, as I said, I couldn’t cry, not even when I went to bed. Seems so big now, and so cold, that bed. Then, this morning, I thought I’d make myself a jam sandwich. We both love blackcurrant jam. So I got a new jar out of the cupboard. And I’ve been crying my eyes out ever since. I can’t open the jam jar. Can’t get the lid off. It’s the arthritis you see. Keith always opened the new jars for me. I can’t stop crying.’

2 THOUGHTS ON “THE JAM JAR”

theparisreviewblog on January 22, 2014 at 9:27 pm said:

This is a really quality short story. As someone with a literary blog, I admire the format as well as the subject matter that you’ve eloquently expressed.

ainsleypaul on January 23, 2014 at 9:52 am said:

Your comments are hugely appreciated. Thank you. As for your own blog, I’m very impressed, especially regarding its aspirational nature.

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