Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Bridge (07/31/08)
TITLE: To Be Remembered
By Karyn Ward
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When Brian died, I was convinced that I needed to sell the house. He had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer the pervious year, and at the very end of his life he was permitted out of the hospital to an at-home hospice. It was a long process of doctors, medicines, and treatments that was nearly draining me of all of my spirit.
It’s not that I didn’t want to remember my husband or our life together in the cottage. I just didn’t want to have to face memories of his sickness every time I walked by his favorite chair, his closet or his study. I wanted my life to be purged of any and all reminders that Brian was gone, and I felt the best way to do that would be to put the house up for sale.
Two weeks after I put the place on the market, I wandered to the bridge in our backyard and looked at the rushing water beneath. An eagle was soaring high above in the sky, and the water level was high, almost over the brim.
I remembered that right before the end, Brian had asked me to take him here, to our special place. His health was doing miraculously better, but now as I look back on itI realize that he was only rallying—the final burst of energy before his total decline. Brian told me that he would never forget the way my face looked that day as I smiled at him, so lovely and compassionate and tender, and that I looked ten years younger than my true age in the softness of the full light of day.
That afternoon I decided to take the house off the market. Though some of my memories were full of pain and heartbreak, there were still others that I knew I could never let go of. I could picture Brian’s face as we sat on the bridge, him knowing that he was close to dying and not mentioning it to me once, out of sympathy to my feelings. There was laughter in his eyes. “I’m going home to God,” he said. “Just you wait and see. You’ll get there, too.”
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