It’s Fiction Friday with the Friday Fiction Friends, formerly the Friday Fiction Femmes Fatales. We have a new (male) writer now. We all write different stories based on the same prompt, given to us by Molly Field at Grass Oil. March’s theme is luck and renewal. This is the thirteenth episode in an ongoing series. If you missed the first twelve episodes, here are the links:
Just like expression goes for the month of March, “in like a lion, out like a lamb,” we all come into this life crying and bloody and leave it in silence and peace. We are born alone, and we die alone. Life is a journey we share with others but ultimately, it’s a journey we take alone. With the promise of every new birth, every new life, there is the certainty that life will end. When, where, how, and why we never get to know in advance. That’s the game of life. Enjoy it while it lasts because in geological time, it’s a fleeting moment in the vastness of space. What matters the most is what happens in between birthdays and deathdays. That’s what we call life.
Richard Keilsth left this earth suddenly and unexpectedly. He didn’t get to say goodbye to anybody, and Amanda and their boys, Steven, Brad, and Robert were left behind to pick up the pieces. Somehow, they had to accept the facts and move on with their lives without a husband and a father.
He also left behind a broken-hearted mistress, Amanda’s so-called best friend, Amy. Amanda told her not to go to the funeral and didn’t really care about talking to her for a while. She had more important things to think about, specifically saying a final goodbye to the love of her life.
Even if he was cheating on her and not a perfect husband, Richard was the love of her life. She met him while she was still in college, and they got married soon afterwards. He built a family with her and shared history with her. Amanda was working on taking the high road and forgiving both of them. What was the point of being angry with Richard when he was already gone forever? As she reflected back on their lives together, she felt that their true love outweighed all the ups and downs in their relationship. Amanda appreciated everything they experienced together during their twenty years together and couldn’t believe their love story had come to an end.
Anillos de Matrimonio, Aros de Matrimonio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Amanda went to the funeral home
with her boys early and stayed late to have some personal time with him. They were all dressed in black suits. The boys were sullen, with freshly brushed hair and matching ties. She hugged each of them and fought back tears. Amanda dreaded the idea of everything that was about to happen. After losing two children already, the funeral home was a far too familiar place for the Keilsth family. First there would be the visitation, long lines of people to greet, then the funeral and burial followed by a reception. She knew she had to be strong to get through the next couple of days, stronger than she’d ever been before because this time her sons only had one parent to guide them through their loss.
Her final moments with Richard were breathtaking. The last time she saw him was in the hospital, and then there he was in the coffin dressed in his favorite suit, peaceful, and silent. Make up made him look surreal. He truly was gone. What lay before her was the shell of the man she loved. His spirit and his energy were already long gone. There he was, the man who had saved so many people’s lives with his hands, the man who laughed boldly and loved intensely, lying there still in repose, gentle as a lamb. Never again would he surprise Amanda with flowers after work or jump into the pool. Never again would he betray her when she wasn’t paying attention. Their entire life together flashed in her mind as the reality sunk in.
She thought of a video
she saw on Facebook earlier that day and took some deep breaths.
The message of appreciating all the ordinary moments before they are gone resonated with her soul. How true were those words, how little do we truly appreciate the day-to-day beauty present in our lives? Had she truly loved Ella and Anderson while they were here? Did Richard know how much she loved him that fateful day? Losing them so quickly and unexpectedly taught her an important lesson. We never really know if tomorrow will come, and we need to take the time today to tell people we love them. We need to take the time every day in all those ordinary moments to treasure and appreciate the lives we have. For just as it is certain a child will one day grow up and move away from home, each and every one of our loved ones will leave us too, and we never know when it will happen.
She said her final goodbyes and laid him down to rest the next day in their family plot at the local cemetery. The funeral train extended for miles as everybody who knew and loved Richard, except his mistress Amy, came out to pay their final respects. That night, Amanda dreamed of Richard, Ella, and Anderson.
Nobody spoke any words, but she clearly remembered their three figures standing there holding hands. She woke up with the feeling that he was at peace on the other side with their two children. While she wished they had exchanged words or that she could remember more of the details, it gave her a soft feeling in her heart to know that they were together on the other side. She felt empowered to watch over her boys on this side, and the memory of the dream was so vivid it made her feel like they would be there waiting for her when it was her time to go. He was truly a part of her, and his spirit would continue to live through her and their sons and grand-daughter.
She got out of bed and resolved to start a new day in her new life. No more guilt, no more anger, no more fighting, just peace. She pressed play on her iPhone and this song by Rascal Flatts came on:
“It wasn’t long enough together, but it was long enough to last forever.” ~Rascal Flatts
RIP Richard Keilsth
Here is the prompt:
March, “in like a lion, out like a lamb” —
for our writing: to be deflated, belittled or humbled after the failure of a daring or boastful act.
I’m putting a couple of restrictions on this one though to sharpen your lion’s writing claws before we submit to our kinder, gentler lamblike selves: 1,000 words max and no dialogue, all description. *Show* not tell: how your character has softened, deflated from the beginning of his/her intro in even one post? to now.
Visit the other blogs to see what they wrote with the same prompt:
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It’s A Dome Life
World’s Worst Moms
No Holding Back
The Incompetent Hausfrau
Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!