Thursday, August 7, 2008

Life intervenes...

As a writer, I am supposed to be all things creative. I am supposed to be organized and "with it".

Unfortunately, life intervenes.

My regularly scheduled post has been pre-empted by a writing prompt that turned out pretty good. Thought I would share.

Hope your "back to school" time of August goes smoothly.

“That was the best game we’ve ever had!”

Tommy’s yell made me jump as he waved at the players who ran back to the locker room.

He was their biggest fan, and I snapped a quick picture of him leaning over the rail to slap hands with his heroes. It sits on my desk today and when I look at it, I always smile.

Those warm fall days we were so blithe. We attended the football games of his favorite team as often as possible. It seemed such a small thing to let him enjoy them while he had the freedom to do so. If the news from the doctor was true, they might be the only joy he ever got out of the rest of the year. He had been told he had a problem with his heart. They placed him on the list to get a new one.

When the weeds of summer came, everything changed. He couldn’t breathe right and had to be hospitalized. The pulmonary doctor just shook his head and told us that he sure hoped we found a heart soon. That sour news made Tommy angry and he told me he was going to get better. And he did.

We went to church every Sunday sitting in the second row so the minister could know we were there. He kept a close tab on us, checking to make sure things were going well. When we were not there, he called.

It was the first snow of winter. Tommy told me he didn’t think he was going to go to church that Sunday. Rather he wanted to walk through the park and feed the geese. I agreed. He loved the geese nearly as much as the football games. He said they made him feel like he is such a small bit of humanity because he couldn’t fly like they could. He always wished they would learn to speak in our language and tell him what it was like.

We were just about to go home when he noticed one of the geese sitting still, entwined in a piece of wire. It was honking miserably and we both knew that we had to try to set it free. Tommy got on one side and I moved to the other. The goose knew we were about to gang up on her, because she tried to flap her immobile wings and her eyes went all around in fear.

We just kept smooth-talking her until she understood we weren’t going to harm her, or at least she settled somewhat. Tommy took one side of the wire, used to make fencing, and began lifting it to find the end. I saw it first and together we disentangled the goose.

She immediately began honking in angry toots and flew off as fast as she could.

“She’s just thrilled to be free and flying,” Tommy said.

It was not very long later after he died that I remembered that statement.

I suppose he, too, is thrilled now to be free from a weak failing body, and if I know him, like I think I know him, he is flying somewhere right now.



Marta Stephens said...

I had to read this twice. It's just beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing.

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Kim, this was so moving. Thank you for posting it. Hope life has settled down a bit more and that things are stable soon.

s.w. vaughn said...

Absolutely lovely story, Kim.

And I hope you see smoother sailing soon! :-)

pat said...

Great story here...genius, as a matter of a fact.