A life passes

Posted on July 23, 2013


A woman watches. Life passes her window like flickering film. Wars boom and flash, a rocket lands on the moon. People get the vote and her children get older – they go from school, to church, to jobs and then to separate lives. They turn and wave. And then they bring wives and husbands round for tea.

Some of them have their own children. The woman puts their pictures on the wall – dozens of faces smiling down, framed by school ties. Their cards, written in stubby handwriting, fill drawers and she writes them letters in handwriting too neat for now. She embroiders their names as a record to be neatly folded away with newspaper cuttings and the memories of the children who make her proud. They’re brave and sometimes it’s sadder than she can bear. But she carries on. It’s what she does. It’s what she’s learnt.

She’s the centre around which we orbit, chattering and being busy and relying on her in ways we don’t really understand. She’s wise and old, sometimes gossipy and often mischievous. And why not?

A century turns, the birthday celebrations get bigger – the woman has lived a long, good life. Then, one day, the edges fade. And just like that, she stops. The film flickers a little. But it doesn’t end. There’s so much love here. She’s passed on the story – it’s our legacy. Let’s make the next chapter worthy of her.

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Posted in: Non-fiction