Strand of Pearls
This set of hubs will reflect parts of my life.
Strand of Pearls I
The first installment of "Strand of Pearls" stories
Not Play Time
"Mommy, when is daddy going to get up and play with me?" a tiny voice came from beside her, surprising the newly widowed mother. She hadn't noticed the little blonde toddler as she squeezed through the forest of legs to reach her mother. "How do you answer that?" Betty thought, fighting back tears. "How do I tell my little girl her daddy isn't sleeping and won't be able to play with her anymore?"
The older children were supposed to keep Darlene away from the front of the room where the casket lay. But in their own grief they were remiss and she managed to make her way there. All nine pairs of eyes were focused on their father. Betty stood numbly with one hand on her swollen belly reaching down with the other to comfort her daughter. Darlene had no idea that she had ripped the remainder of her mother's heart from her with those words. How could she? She was only a year and a half old. Close behind her were her siblings of varying ages, from 3 to 19 years old. She didn't understand their sadness and confusion. She only wanted her daddy to play with her like he always had.
After the service the mourners made their way to their vehicles to follow in the procession. Many people stopped Betty for a hug or to offer some words of sympathy. Most of them had words of praise for her late husband: "What a good man he was, he will surely be missed." she heard often; "I never had a finer worker. He put his all into everything he did." was another comment made frequently due to the many jobs Henry had held down to support his large family. One man said,"I will never forget how kind he was to us when we moved here from Mexico. He treated us as if we were family. He was always there to lend a hand."
As she awkwardly entered the car she thought of how this child inside her would never know his or her father. She smiled as she recalled Henry saying this one was going to be named Mitchell, whether it was a boy or a girl. He had wanted to name a child Mitchell for quite a while but the last four were girls. He loved his girls with all his heart but they were beginning to outnumber the boys. He had said once or twice that he wanted to have his own football team. "He just may have a football team after all," Betty thought, "most of the girls are tomboys."
When the procession began Betty's brief reverie was interrupted as the blue-eyed toddler pointed to the hearse and shouted, "That's my daddy in there!" Betty wondered how she knew. She was certain Darlene had not seen them put her father in the hearse. She wondered how she was going to help her small children understand their loss. After all even she couldn't understand how God could want this man enough to leave these children without a father and her without her loving husband.
He had suffered heart attacks before and survived them but this one was much more severe. Betty had prayed the nine consecutive days of the Infant of Prague Novena and had felt successful in keeping him alive, after all he was still hanging on. Watching him suffer and struggle made her begin to feel selfish in that endeavor. "Who am I to keep him here suffering if God wants him?" she thought to herself. At that moment she knew she had to let him go.
Now they were standing on a green carpet near a deep hole in the ground staring at a coffin wrapped in an American flag. The priest began with some prayers, then, trying to console the mourners, he related a story: "Betty told me she once walked into the living room to find Henry sitting there with a bible on his head. She asked him what he was doing and he told her that he was wishing that everything in the book was in his head."
Father stood behind Henry's casket blessing him and preparing to release his body to the earth. After more prayers and more nice talk about the man his military brothers demonstrated their respect with a 21 gun salute. At each volley everyone jumped and many began to sob heavily. The bugler then played Taps, accompanied by weeping. Sniffles were still heard as the flag was folded and numbly received by his grieving widow.
© copyright 2010
Strand of Pearls Part II
- Strand of Pearls II
The continuation of Strand of Pearls. More of my life story. The days and nights were filled with emptiness in the Strand home after Henry's passing. Everyone began acting up and fighting with each other. No...
- Building Community
Imagine sitting on the front porch, on a nice day, watching children across the street playing ball. A neighbor is walking her dog. Another neighbor calls out to you as he passes by. Maybe you decide...
The Romantic Strangler
- The Romantic Strangler
The gleaming lamps cast a radiant glow on the handsome face reflected in the mirror. Franois rubbed the macassar oil between his palms, then applied it generously to his hair, combing it through with...