Have you ever driven down a road and noticed off in the distance an old abandoned dwelling? There are no roads leading to it anymore. Tall grass and scattered trees surround it, growing wild without paths or trails. The windows stare vacantly out at you. Do you ever wonder as you glance in its direction, what story this old house could tell?
Somewhere in the Texas panhandle in the middle of nowhere on the wide-open prairie, dotted with mesquite and junipers, there is also such a place. Whether it is still there, I do not know; however, I am sure there must be traces of it. There has to be – after all, someone has to tell the story and it would be more convincing if I were to say, ‘look, here is where this story begins.’
From her widow’s walk, Bessie King watches and waits for her husband, Adam. For many months, day after day, she climbs that ladder and looks out over the Texas plains. Her sons watch and see her pain and heartache. Andrew, thirteen, slips away early one morning to search for his stepfather. After a year of waiting, Bessie is certain she has lost them both. She is now left to survive on the Texas panhandle with her son, Matthew, and an orphan Kiowa baby, she has named Ki. Mathew’s anger grows as he sees his mother climbing to the widow’s walk day after day, and coming down with tears in her eyes. For his mother’s sake, he decides it is time to chop down the widow’s peak that Adam built for her. So, for one last time, Bessie climbs those steps to see if her prayers will be answered.