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Since fanfiction has been having some issues, I'm going to save some of my stuff here too.

Title: Remembering Grace

Summary: Sometimes the people who make all the difference never know. Grief/Reflection. J. Kirk

Rating: K+

Disclaimer: I own nothing but my own memories.

Sam had sent him the obituary with no more than a note saying 'Thought you'd want to know'. Now Jim Kirk stared at the lines, not knowing how many times he had read them before they really registered:

"Ms. Grace Hazelton, long-time resident of Riverside, Iowa and late of Clearwater, Fl., passed away last week at the age of 83 after a long struggle with cancer..."

He wasn't sure why it felt like a kick in the gut. It wasn't like she was family, but he felt real loss...why? What had he lost? She was just the lady at the end of the road. Until he read the obituary he hadn't even known her first name.


It seemed fitting. She had been a sort of grace to him. A quiet place to escape the yelling. The one who would let him in and give him milk and cookies when he jumped on his bike and needed to be some place Frank wasn't. A warm and present maternal smile when his own mother had been so far away she seemed more an image on a flat screen than a living, breathing person.

He hadn't thought he'd spent that much time there, but now memories were insisting otherwise. He remembered her showing him how to make pumpkin pie, and letting him have it warm out of her old-fashioned oven afterward. Coming by one December and helping her decorate her tree. Bringing her flowers (admittedly stolen from her own garden) because even as a selfish, stupid little kid he had sensed that he owed her something. She had just smiled and put them in a vase. She had always treated him like Jim; not 'that Kirk boy'.

But he hadn't seen her in years. After things came to a head with Frank, he'd been sent to a distant uncle on Tarsus IV. And when he'd gotten back after that disaster, she'd been gone. Moved to Florida, the neighbors said, to be with a daughter who'd had twins and needed her. By then he was 15 and knew he didn't need anyone.

Much later, he'd thought a couple times about looking her up. He wondered if she'd known that the new Captain of the Enterprise was the same kid who'd tossed paper airplanes off her back porch; wondered if she knew how much that breathing space had meant to him.

Now it was too late. All he could do was send condolences to her real family and a donation to the charity listed in the obituary.

That, and remember. When he missed his mother most, she was the one who had told him that the people we hold in our hearts are never really distant; never really gone.

There was an ancient earth tune, still used in most Starfleet memorials. It seemed appropriate. He called it up to play, set the lock on his door and poured a drink to toast her memory.


AN: In loving memory...


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