Park Memories

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                       June 12, 2014

 

        (Today’s writing assignment in WordPress.com’s “Writing 101” challenge for June was to write a post involving three people- a man, a woman, and an older woman knitting a sweater sitting on a park bench. The story was to offer three different perspectives of what was happening, beginning with the man and ending with the elderly lady. Tough task!)

 

He thought of things past, points of reference in a life that had taken several turns. As he walked with Sue along the park path they had journeyed several hundred times he remembered the conversation they had shared about Johnny.

“He’s no longer a boy, Sue. He’s a young man dressed up like a boy. It’s time to let him go, to let him be.” He felt her hand tighten on his in anxious disagreement. Ever since Johnny had received his high school diploma at the football stadium adjacent to the park he had become more and more determined to join the military forces. Bob understood. He had wrestled with the same decision when he turned eighteen almost three decades ago.

They walked in silence. Most of their walks these past two years had been in silence.  He often got lost in his thoughts as he viewed the white rocked cliffs to his right, thinking about when their son left home for basic training. His face was still not much of a threat to the electric shaver he had received for a graduation present, but he saluted his father as he departed that day.

Sue unconsciously clamped  down hard on Bob’s hand as they walked. She saw an elderly lady up ahead knitting something red. Red was the color of their son’s hair, but it also the color of his blood that spilled out at a roadside bombing in Afghanistan. She knew that when Bob saw the red garment he would breakdown emotionally. It was still so painful. She didn’t fault him for encouraging their son’s decision for military service, but she knew he blamed himself. No words could lessen the pain…so they walked in silence…grieved and bereaved…empty shells whose lives would never be the same.

Mrs. Jones didn’t know this as she knitted. The sweater was for her great grandson who was yet to be born, still tucked away in his mother’s womb. Her grandson was coming home on leave in a month, just about the time that the baby was due to be born. She wanted to make sure it was ready. Her grandson was her hero, fighting in harm’s way for his country’s freedom.

She noticed the couple drawing close. They looked like the walking dead, and then she noticed tears running down the cheeks of the man’s face, and she knew they had lost someone dear. The woman gave her a nod that seemed to carry a blessing with it. It was as if the passing lady who looked so sad was wishing only good things for Mrs. Jones.

Explore posts in the same categories: Community, Death, Freedom, love, marriage, Parenting, Story, Uncategorized

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