Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Empty and Full (06/04/09)
TITLE: Echoes in the Dark
By Karlene Jacobsen
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
I made my way into the kitchen, and noticed something glint in the late afternoon sun. My heart began to race. Fearing the worst, I braced myself for whatever awaited me. I inched forward. There it was again. Something flickered, a light maybe? It was difficult to tell. My trek moved forward. Oh why didn’t Ben come with me? This was his grandmother’s old home, left to him in her will. Wasn’t it his responsibility? He had to work, the house needed to be readied for the market, and I was the only one of his family available; so like the good wife that I am I agreed to come and get an idea what needs to be done; which supplies I ought to bring back with me. Honestly, I think they’re all just chicken.
At last, I reached the counter near the spot of that flicker. There was nothing there but an old picture. Whew! What a relief! I thought I was a goner for sure! I laughed nervously at my own crazy imagination.
I let my hand gently caress the frame, its delicate appearance with such exquisite floral patterns painted around the opening. This must have been hand painted. I’m quite the sucker for homemade stuff. Ben shakes his head, probably in exasperation, every time I run off to a craft show and some home with my newest treasure. Well, it appears as though Grandma was a bit of a sentimental gal as well.
Gently, I held the delicate frame in my hands. In the dimming light, I pulled it close and peered into the faces staring back at me. “This is a picture of this house.” I gazed into the faces of one-two-three-four-five-…nine children! “Holy mackerel, that’s a lot of kids.”
Ben rarely talked of his grandmother’s family. I never bothered to find out why. Now I wondered why his aunts and uncles rarely came around. Where were those eight missing children? Do they have children? What was their story? Did they care their mom—their grandma was gone? Oh why are families so hard on each other? I didn’t believe Ben would have any answers. But I’ll remember to ask when I get home.
I looked around the kitchen, trying to imagine it layered with children, every one eagerly waiting for breakfast. We’d been trying for years to have children, but my arms remained empty. Hers…? Well…
I carried that picture from room to room, imagining the laughter that filled the walls, the fighting over the single bathroom upstairs between four pouty girls and five scrappy boys. How many pillow fights ensued between the four bedrooms upstairs? How many young men anxiously for his first date with one of the girls? …Or the young man asking for the eldest girl’s hand in marriage? Did Dad make it rough on the boys? Did Mom prepare milk and cookies for the boys when they brought their sweethearts home?
The picture boasted of the perfect family. What happened to clear out these rooms? I closed my eyes, squeezing out the images. How young the grown ups appeared in this picture! They smiled back at me, as though exhorting me, “Embrace today… Treasure today... Tomorrow will be too late.”
Once again I looked around the room. Breathing in new hope for today, fresh dreams for tomorrow; and exhaling sorrows of yesterday, memories of what could’ve been.
I stepped onto the porch, where the picture had been taken. I took in the fragrant aroma of lilacs blooming around the corner and the warmth of the evening sun. Turning my face heavenward, I prayed for courage to embrace life and live as if there is no tomorrow.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.