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This work has reached the exceptional level
A modified haibun/story
For Everything a Time by vickib
 Category:  Biographical Non-Fiction
  Posted: April 16, 2013      Views: 309

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The cold of night would soon arrive. 4:10 pm. Six-year-old son is in the little room off the kitchen, playing computer games. Baby girl asleep in her bassinet. Alan's favorite music, the Moody Blues, plays softly through the house.  His parents keep busy; she folds laundry with her thoughts on the sofa, while he sits heavy in the chair and stares at a book from under his glasses. Fire burns low. Another hard day aching to end. A semblance of peace for people alive on the edge of normal. I return to our bedroom and my dying husband.

between hearth and heart
a flame struggles to burn-
oak to ash

The wither of life once so youthful, clings. Such a strong will to live. But so must be the spring that feeds it. Now barely a trickle, merely a drop. No miracles left to hope for. No words to speak. Nothing for me to do but wipe a tear from my cheek. The end is near. I am here. It's okay to go. You should go now.

Against his shell I lay my head to listen. To be close, love, miss, mourn. It's cold, damp and warm. I drift off on rhythms of unsteady tides. Emotional waves give and take. Rainbows swept away in the downpour of rain, under thunder and lightening that surrounds me. Surreal are the sight and sound I've become accustomed to. ... Awakened by calm. The storm has passed. Silence ... Silence ... Silence. 6:10 pm.

last breath
of Winter-

I had prepared for this moment for months with the guidance of Hospice. Everything was in place. Planned. I called the number taped to the phone. The ambulance would be here soon to take him away. No flashing lights.

I had asked my little guy if he'd like to go for a walk. We didn't need to be home for that. We walked for miles as sun went down and darkness settled in. We talked about everything over and under the sun. What's on the moon, and where do storms go, anyway? He's brave along an unknown path. Me, frightened as a child, lost.

The longest night of my life moved into day with no sleep. 3:15 am. Alone in our room. I played the Moody Blues. Moody. Laid my arm across where he used to be. Panic set in. Pure panic. Thinking I should go get him. I'd just go get him. Purse in hand, I stopped myself at the door and laughed. My mind has left without me. Get a grip, get a grip. This was not the plan. This is no man's land. Under my breath I whisper, "God help me."

Grateful for the wake-up call, I tiptoed through the dark house to our bedroom. A candle flickered. Standing there, starkly aware with the ghost of him in an empty space packed full of memories. Walls warped, distort. Time, lifelines. I went to the closet. For what? A place to hide, to cry? I was done being brave. Touched one of his shirts. Smelled it. The smell of him. I put it on. Packed in my head. Everything.

Every moment we had. Every dream. The kids. Romance. Hard work. Hackey sack. Our wedding day. The time he left me on the golf course because I threw my club. Our first encounter when I waited on him at the restaurant. God, he ate slow. When he told me he called his parents to tell them he'd met the girl he was going to marry- hadn't even gone on a date then. To assume I would marry him, sss. Right. How did he know? Look at me now, I thought. In a closet. In a heap of reality.

How do I pick myself up? Such a laundry basket of emotions. Sorting colors into black and white. Faded. The cold of night bled into morning sun. Bright and yellow-two little daffodils yawned and squirmed, unfurling and stretched out across his pillow.

between sand and stone
a bridge over rising waters
life's journey

This Sentence Starts The Story contest entry


Author Notes
Word count around 706 per FS calculator.
First part of haibun present after second haiku past tense and more story than haibun. Experimental. Hope it works.
I'm almost done getting this stuff out.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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