What would you do if everything you had was gone in an instant? Sam Shepard went to find it!
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In one tragic moment, Sam Shepard's family was gone. His wife and children taken from him in a tragic accident following a bitter argument. Sam is left alone struggling with a mountain of guilt and a chasm of grief that can only be filled with alcohol. When a young, attractive woman comes to stay at his inn, Sam thinks his luck might be changing. She brings him comfort and a kindred spirit suffering through her own loss. Is she the answer to everything he has been wrestling with for all this time? Soon after, Sam begins to have dreams about his dead wife and have hallucinations of her speaking to him. Has the alcohol finally gotten the best of him? With the help of his manager Natalie, his best friend Curtis and his Pastor; Sam follows clues from his dreams sending him on a journey through his past that explodes into his new future.
I went there last night, to the one place I haven’t been. To the one place that can make me feel—to the church. After the guests were settled and the lobby area was quiet, I grabbed my coat and my savior. I went out through the lobby and saw Natalie at the front desk. I told her I was going to the church for a while and would be back later. She looked at me like a sad puppy and told me to take as much time as I needed, that she was on until 6 anyway. That’s my Natalie, always dependable and always helpful. I just wish she’d stop treating me like a shell-shocked war veteran. And in some ways, I’d almost prefer to have post-traumatic stress syndrome.
I could tell that she knew I had been drinking, and I wasn’t doing a really good job of hiding Jack in my coat. She didn’t say a word, but it was that look of genuine concern she gave me as I pushed through the door that stayed with me.
It was almost as if she was reaching out and begging me to let her help. But it was likely my fertile imagination or the seed that Jack planted in my mind. She’s sweet, but why would she want to help me? Probably just worried the inn will run into the ground and she’ll lose her job.
I saw her smile sweetly as the door closed and heard her gently remind me that she was here if I needed her. For what? To heal my wounds? To soothe my soul? Or for work? What could she do for me? She’s sweet. Did I say that already? I guess Jack is still hanging around in my head. How many glasses have I had? I forget… counting becomes a challenge after a while. Outside it was dark and quiet and cold, but at the time, I didn’t notice. I found Sandy’s grave and sat down, leaning against the tombstone. The cold,
hard granite… it’s as comforting and welcoming as my bed has become since she’s been out of my life…
Sandra Jean Shepard
Born: May 15th, 1974
Died: September 1st, 2004
Beloved Mother and Wife
Our Lives are Empty Without Her
Empty. Our lives… her grave. When you think about it, it all makes
sense. They never found the bodies from the crash, and I still haven’t found my soul. Everyone assumed they were burned beyond recovery in the fire or thrown from the car into the ocean and that their bodies never washed ashore. None of it made sense to anyone, least of all me. I am so tired trying to make sense of it all... of anything anymore.
Yes, anything… that’s the right word. I leaned in, took a swig and started to cry. The tears came from me as if my eyes were melting, slow and warm.
Then they just began to flow more freely. I cried for what seemed like forever.
Then I got angry… again.
“WHY? Why did you have to do that? Why did you always run?! It was always about you and your precious comfort. You never stepped out of your little comfort zone, not for me, not for anyone. You didn’t like something, it didn’t
happen. We always fought over it, and you always ran away. You’d run… like a child! WHY? You ran from everything! Including me, including our family… And now you’ve run out of my life and taken our children with you. You took the
children; YOU TOOK TYLER AND CAITLYN, DAMN YOU! I hope you’re happy because my life is worthless now... without you… without Tyler… without
Caitlyn...” I was crying openly now. “God damn you… I loved you so much, I still love you; why did you have to leave?”
Then I heard something…