Darkness has fallen and wrapped itself around us. Our eyes are slowly adjusting as we work. A flashlight is offered as another screw digs deeply into the wood. The police officer has turned his car around and offers to spotlight our work. I think there’s been enough of that. We’re almost done. The door is tested and it should hold.

As we walk through the muddy paddock I can’t help but notice that you’ve changed over the years. You’re quieter and more subdued, where once you were filled with life’s effervescence. Your cheery shade of red faded long ago and I can see where repairs have been attempted. One hole in particular begs for my attention but I must concentrate on the task at hand. Slowly, we navigate around the broken fencing and a forgotten wheelbarrow. I find my eyes drawn to a discarded lead rope as we approach the door.

Tears well up in my eyes as I stare into the neighbor’s yard. This is where it all played out. The spotlight was finally on you. This time you’re not here to hear me say goodbye. This time it’s your turn to start anew.