Can't Get it out of his Mind.........

No Small Sacrifice ............short story about the truth.

Coffee cup in hand , he steps out on to his deck in his slippers , the dogs scurrying between and around his legs . His takes his first breath of outside air and exhales after holding in in for a moment.........the air in his lungs feels cool and fresh as he opens the gate that will allow the dogs to go running across the field . Slowly but steadily , he makes his way across the lawn as in the distance he hears the first call for services at the old white church . In his mind ....he thinks back to a time as a child that seems to always be there , he remembers other mornings , other years and yes.......even another dog. But thats the beauty of life , isn't it .......memories. He sets his coffee cup , now empty although still warm , on the bird bath , reaches down and adjusts his pant leg ........no sense going out in public looking like a slob . Across the pasture , he listens as a diesel tractor moans away in the distant corn fields , and wonders .........another September ! Where did the summer go again ........
but hey .....It feels good to be home. Down in the field he listens as the dogs run through into the tufts of hay stil standing , although soon to be harvested.

Slowly ....there's no sense in rushing anymore . .....he makes his way to his planned destination , he thinks , one of these days I'm going to even up this yard ....bring in some loam , gravel and make it into a real yard. But just as he reaches out to grab on he stumbles a little , moving his foot he feels why , another hole to fill! He reaches out and grabs onto the pole and running his hand up and down for a moment to feel the old spruce surface , he thinks back to when he had taken it down and scraped , sanded and then varnished the old flag pole that his grandfather had set in the ground after the second world war and then maintained with diligence until he passed on a few years back. . Now........now it was his turn .

As the breeze picks up he takes the old clothesline rope in hand and the snap hooks and feels for the corner of the flag that is folded up carefully under his arm . On the top corner is sewn a tab so that he knows which is the top of the flag. Coming out here now each morning is becoming easier and easier . As he thinks back to the promise of a young man , "yes , Grampa , I will take care of the farm , of the flag and of this home. " And then.....he had gone off to war to do his duty and as those before him did ! He survived . Coming home though has been a blessing , Every morning he awakens to the sound of freedom and of survival from the memories of war .

Just as he finishes raising the flag to the top of the pole and ties off the rope in it's proper place the dogs come running and yipping in pure pleasure , Ahh another great day .......in the distance the bells echo from within the steeple , he feels the September suns warmth on his face and his hands reach to welcome his dogs , rubbing each of their heads he speaks softly .............
" Well boys .......tell me , is the flag right side up this morning ? You know I'm relying on you guys to keep a blind man from doing something foolish..........we have to keep the promise now don't we !" As he turns and follows the sound of the retreating dogs back onto the porch . He thinks of promises , of sacrifices , of blinding wars and of "seeing" through them all clearly to find the way forward .

Comments 18 comments

quester.ltd profile image

quester.ltd 5 years ago

beautiful imagines - but how did he loss his sight? The war? Memories are sometimes the thing that continues to motivate us through the days - other times it is the promise of things yet to come.

Thanks for the hub

q


femmeflashpoint 5 years ago

ahorseback - I didn't know whether to cry or smile when I finished this.

I've opted for smiling. I loved it. :)


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

They're tough, our veterans. Good story.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Oh this is so beautiful. The love for a Grandfather, a home, and the country is vividly woven into a story full of heart and even though blind, remembers the good times. Well done my friend..Loved it...


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

This is a poignant story of family tradition, memories and promises made long ago but never forgotten no matter what. Beautiful


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Quester , Thank you for the reminder , one little tweek at the end.!.......:-} By the way, beautiful avatar!


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Femmeflash , and a smile it will be ! Thank you for sharing , Do you write piano music or play others mostly? Such a precious gift!....:-}


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Becky Kats , Have you met Lucky Cats yet ....LOL....you are right, our vets = our best, man and woman!.....:-}


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Always , thank you dear , I wonder if he lives in an empty farmhouse ?............Do do do do do do LOL.........:-}


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

RoseMay, Thank you , I write this alot but ....I mean it !...... Thank you for sharing .........:-}


samiaali profile image

samiaali 5 years ago

Hi ahorseback, I loved this story. It is very beautiful. I am a veteran and so I appreciate this story very much. Thank you very much. I vote it up! :)


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Hi Samiaali , And you are my favorite Veteran on hubs ! Thank you for the most trying sacrifices that you have made. It is those like you who identify what my country is , As in most of my own family who also are vets, including my father , I am proud of you for what you have done ! .....:-}


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Very nice tribute, and well written.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Hi Willstarr , Thank you for stopping and reading !.......:-}


daddysgirl 5 years ago

Only you can pull this off dad!! Great write...thumbs up for sure! love ya bunches


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Do you know that you/we might have to look into that old farm house again.....


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Daddysgirl , The awesome daughter of a lucky dad ! You know I love the stuffing out of you!oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxoxooxoxoxo:-}


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Always , I'll have to think about that !Hmmm......Keep smiling !....:-}

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