Julie looked around at the sun dappled lawn as she sat between her son and husband.
“Do you remember the first time we went to the new park? The one right down the street?”
Silence answered her. Even the birds stopped chirping. She closed her eyes, smiled sadly at the quiet surrounding her, and leaned back with her face to the sun. With a small giggle she started sharing her version of the memory.
“Rick I think you were as excited as Jimmy was. Neither one of you would sit still through lunch. On the walk over you and Jimmy kept skipping ahead of me. I remember the heat, Lord it was hot. Of course that could have been because of how fast you two made me walk.”
Her grin grew into a smile.
“The sight of you two racing ahead, Jimmy’s legs pumping trying to keep up with his Daddy, had me laughing out loud.”
“Come on, Mommy!” Her boy was growing up. He’d start kindergarten in the fall. In just two weeks her baby would be a little man.
“I’m coming honey. Rick, slow down. He’s going to be exhausted by the time we get there.” She laughed at the excitement that was in her man’s eyes. She couldn’t tell who was more excited, the newly turned five year old or thirty-five year old man.
“Mommy, come on! Only old people are slow and you’re not old yet….”
Shaking her head she gave in.
“Fine race you there, you two!”
She started running, quickly passing them.
“Up, Daddy, up! We can’t let a girl beat us!”
“Hey no fair,” she laughingly hollered as they passed her. Her husband’s laugh and son’s smiling face looking back at her more than made up for the exhaustion that was beginning to claim her. She huffed to a stop as they came to the park.
“Ok fine you two win. Now go play so Mommy can rest.” She winked at her husband. His troubled face looked back at her and she shook her head at the question in his eyes.
“I’m fine, hon. Honest. The chemo just took it out of me this round. I’ll sit in the shade and watch you two act like monkeys and gerbils in the tubes and playground equipment.”
She shooed them away as she took a seat at a picnic table.
The treatments had been doing more than making her tired lately, but she couldn’t let her guys know that. Just yesterday the doctors told her she wouldn’t last much longer, that her body had fought as much as it could. But she refused to believe it. She would see her baby graduate into the first grade. And if she had anything to say about it high school and college.
A sharp pitched gleeful squeal had her raising her head with a smile. Her gorgeous guys at play. There wasn’t a more beautiful sight in the world.
After three straight hours of play Jimmy was starting to droop around the edges as her mom would say.
“Come on, guys. Time to head back to the house. I’m in the mood for a nice cool glass of lemonade.”
As she got up she stumbled slightly, making Rick glance at her sharply. She shook her head in denial and turned quickly to Jimmy.
“Well, squirt, did you like it? Have fun?”
“Oh YES Momma! Next time do you think you could come play too?”
Tears filled her eyes at the innocent question. She glanced over at her husband who quickly intervened.
“Come on buddy let’s go home. We’ll let Momma rest in the cool AC while we get the lemonade and snacks. Then it’s off to nap for you.”
“Awww but I’m not tired.”
It was a familiar whine. One she had heard a million times before…right before he passed out for a couple hours.
“Come on champ lets go.”
Rick picked him up in his arms and started walking toward the house. As they made their way he kept looking back at her making sure she was doing ok. Just as they got to the second crosswalk her foot caught in a crack and she started to fall with a yelp. As she hit the ground Rick turned to come back to her. A loud screech filled the air and her head swiveled towards the sound. A huge van was racing around the corner and coming straight for her guys. Rick turned and saw the car closing fast and had just enough time to turn back and open his mouth before tires screamed against the pavement and the two most precious people flew across the road. With dull thuds and sharp cracks against the pavement her life changed.
“Mrs. Rightner? It’s time to go back to the hospice ma’am.”
She looked up at the young man who stood above her. Noticing how young he looked she realized just what her precious boy would miss out on. No first crush, first kiss, or first love. No school plays, band or football tryouts. Closing her eyes, she nodded.
“Just give me a moment more.”
She waited as he went to sit away from her. Just close enough to hear her if she needed him, and far enough away to give her the illusion of privacy.
She turned to her right, looking at her son’s well groomed grave. Reaching out a shaking hand she laid it where she imagined his head would be.
“My brave boy. Today would’ve been your graduation day. You would have started first grade next year. I would have lived to see it.” Tears falling she bent and kissed his headstone. “I miss you so very much.”
Turning she faced the ground where he husband of nine years lay.
“Rick, I miss you. I miss seeing you first thing in the morning with your grumpy before his first cup of coffee face. I miss your laughter at life. I could never move beyond you but I’ll be joining you soon. Take care of our boy, at least until I’m there to hold you both in my arms again.”
Sitting back on her decimated body she raised her voice.
“I’m ready to go back now.”
As she was lifted into a chair her eyes stayed on the headstones and blank plot waiting for her to join her men.
“See you soon, my loves.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
This RSSS was requested to be anonymous. And the request for a scene was a simple one:
"Make me want to cry. Give me a scene that will touch people's hearts."
Well I hope I managed to catch the essence of exactly that for you. I look forward to even more RSSS in the future! See you guys and gals next Sunday!
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