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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Bridge (07/31/08)

TITLE: To Be Remembered
By Karyn Ward


When Brian and I were first married, we found a beautiful two-story cottage overlooking a river on the east side of town. The outside had been painted in a dark shade of umber, its window panes black and criss-crossed against the glass like Hansel and Gretel’s gingerbread house. Douglas Fir and pine trees covered its grassy lot, and in the backyard stood a dome-shaped bridge that led to the riverbed.

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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This article has been read 359 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sara Harricharan 08/07/08
A lovely, bittersweet story! I'm kinda glad she kept the cottage, I was hoping she would. Good last lines too! ^_^
Mary Alice Bowles08/07/08
Interesing, very interesting.
Wonderful ending. May God keep on blessing!
Dan Blankenship08/08/08
Read it from beginning to end without hesitation.

I have to know (after the challenge week), is this a true story?

The visual descriptions are awesome, and I could feel true love displayed throughout the story.

EXCELLENT ENTRY! The story will be stuck in my head forever.

May God bless.

Dan Blankenship

Patricia Turner08/11/08
This sad and bittersweet story sounds too real. I hope the MC isn't you. Good writing; keep on with it.