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Response #1: hoopanaholler

The room was dark and hazy like the coming of night. Soft sounds filtered through the walls and muted music could be heard as if from far away. The old man on the bed gave a soft sigh and opened his eyes again. Old man death was very near; the old man could smell him in the distance.

He tried to focus his eyes so that he could see once more the surroundings that he had taken for granted in his lifetime. The chest of drawers that his wife had so loving polished every week, the comforter that she had sewn while they sat by the fire on those long winter evenings and his rifle which had helped provide the food that had sustained them during the harsh winter months. In his mind’s eye he could see the green lawn where his children had played, fought and grown. They were his best crop ever! The thought of his sons and daughters brought tears of joy to his faded eyes even now. They would always be young scamps to him even though by now the oldest was gray haired and wrinkled.

His thoughts wandered to a new realm as his withered fingers gently plucked the quilt that his middle daughter had lovingly spread and smoothed over him. Is this what they mean when they talked about your life flashing before your eyes? There was nothing flashing about it, it was more as though he was taking a quiet stroll down a wonderful forest path. Memories flowed with a smoothness that he had never taken the time for before. People, places and events all took a turn flowing through his consciousness.

As he lay in his bed he felt a peace and rightness that had been missing since his wife’s death two years before. The music that had been in the background rose in volume and intensity; he heard laughter and the sweet sound of his beloved’s voice calling to him. Suddenly the room flooded with light and he saw the face of the one dearer to him than life itself. He found himself rising from the bed and running to her with his arms out stretched. The light seemed to push him toward and away from all that he had lived for. Today was the day he had waited for all of his life. His wife was now his for all eternity.

His children tiptoed into the room afraid of disturbing him, one look and they knew that their precious father was no longer with them. Tears running down her cheeks his youngest daughter slowly moved to his side to touch him one more time. She slowly turned her head to look at her siblings, “Look at the smile on his face”, she whispered in awe, “the only times he smiled like that was when he was hugging Mom.”

His children looked at each other and some of their grief dissipated. The children knew that once again their parents were together

Father and Mother looked back at the group around the bed and smiled. Mother put her arm around his back and leaned against his side, as she laid her head on Father’s chest she began singing “count your blessings, name them one by one,” and Father starting naming their blessings. “Eric, Denise, Sandra, James…….”

One Response to “Response #1: hoopanaholler”

  1. […] Responses are displayed here in the order posted. Response #1:  hoopanaholler […]

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