Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: TRAVELER (01/28/16)
- TITLE: Journey Of Life
By C D Swanson
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“Sweetheart, you always do this, you know we can’t stay longer. The sunset is upon us and you know Daddy has to work tomorrow. Plus, you’ve been up since the sunrise Cami, aren’t you the least bit tired?”
I remember those incredibly beautiful days of summer. it was a peaceful time of innocence and bliss. Mom would pack the insulated bags with delicious goodies. I often wondered how that “magic” container never seemed to be void of food.
Dad would get the car ready, checking all the essentials for the long journey. You know, gas, oil, tires…so on and so forth. It was a process that seemed unending due to my over exuberance and my youthful impatience, after all I wanted to “get there now.”
After the long day of fun, games and family time at this oasis. I dreaded the sun going down, because I knew it was time to leave our playland.
I’d always ask if we could stay longer, to the groans of my siblings. Of course I’d fall fast asleep on the long ride home dreaming of the next time we’d take the trip to Long Beach. I treasure the memories of my youth.
“Why do we have to leave so early? Can we stay longer, please?”
My Mom would look at my Dad with that knowing smile before turning to me to answer, “I’m sure the host and hostess are anxious to clean up and get to bed, it’s been a long day.”
Aunt Annie and Uncle Joey did a lot of entertaining for family and friends, as did my parents. It seemed different when it wasn’t at “our house” although in retrospect, Mom and Dad threw better parties overall. I guess I just loved the excitement of dressing up and traveling to their house.
Dangling on the threshold of adolescence the world started taking on a nuance of which I hadn’t encountered before. Things that were boring became interesting; ostensibly things that were interesting became boring.
I treasure the memories of my pubescent years, which catapults me into the minority considering most individuals do not.
Dad walked me down the aisle and held unto me tightly. When we reached the end of the longest aisle known to man in the history of churches, he looked at me and smiled through watery eyes. He lifted my veil and kissed me.
I heard my Mom’s soft sighs in the aisle directly behind us. A flood of tears threatened to escape, it was a moment for the books.
As I held out my hand for Mom, the other hand holding my Dad’s. I hugged them both and wondered where the years went? The journey of life bringing me to this point in time…
“I’m sorry your dad didn’t make it, we did all we could.”
“Noooo! It’s too early! Daddy, can you stay longer, please?”
The paralyzing grief overrode my body as I sunk into a pit of despair and blackness ensued.
We gathered for the funeral, comforting words of scripture along with family and friends. We each went forward and knew we’d see him again.
Dad’s journey had just begun in eternity…
After Hurricane Sandy, Mom came to live with us for over a year. The memories and fun we had during this special time, are indelible in both heart and mind. It was one day after the other filled with delight, stories, laughter and sometimes tears.
It was a true gift from God, turning ashes into beauty.
The day came when she was ready to return home.
“Mom, it’s too early. Can you stay longer, please?”
“I’m sorry, your mom didn’t make it, we did all we could.”
“Nooo! Mommy, it’s too early. Stay longer, please….”
Mom's journey had just begun in eternity.
I know that I was truly blessed to have had such great parents.
The feeling of being an “orphan” is weird. It’s a club of exclusion, and one which most will encounter if things go with the natural flow and progression of life.
Although I ‘m a grown happily married woman—with unwavering faith that brings great comfort and joy realizing we’ll reunite one day in the future— there’s still the inner child in me wishing they’d both stayed longer.
Next time I see them I won’t have to ask, “Can you stay longer please?
Proverbs 22:6 - Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
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