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A Short Story by L.J. Holmes
Release: July 6, 2012
Editor: Carrie RO
Line Editor: Antonia Tiranth
Cover Designer: Nika Dixon
The sound of the crash rebounds within the cavern of her mind only to be interrupted by the distant voice of her doctor attesting to her diminishing claim on life. She’s dying.
Off through the tunnels of her life, she revisits her birth onward with her beloved grandmother guiding their flight.
In life she is broken, here she is whole. In life her children await her. Here her beloved grandmother enfolds and comforts her.
In life she will know pain, crippling pain. Here she will be as she has always been, free to smell the daffodils and dance among the raindrops.
With time running out, she must make her choice…be very brave and return to her shattered flesh, or stay here and wait till time marches on and her loved ones pass into her waiting embrace.Life in the flesh, or life in spirit?
"Unlike you, your mother resented me; Oh not that she ever said so in so many words, but nevertheless, she did." And as I looked back, I had to admit, my mother did find any reason to ridicule Gram's day-to-day existence. "Also, your own conception plagued her. She could no longer hide her drinking nor her extra-marital games from her husband. Your mother, I am sorry to say, never learned to control her needs, nor could she forgive me for not dying. You and I, little one, were constant reminders of all she'd lost, and just how far astray she'd wandered. She turned to alcohol, because only through the dense fog of inebriation could she find peace for her battered soul and a small measure of forgetfulness for her weary brain, and that began long before you were born.” She assured, her gaze direct and pointed.
"Well, as I said, when it came time for me to make my choice, I wrestled with what I knew for you could only mean a tragic and pain-filled childhood if I remained here, and the reality that if I returned, my old body would've made it almost impossible to do more than sit in almost vegetable-like solitude. How much help could I be to you?"
"Oh Gram, I would have loved and cared for you." I cried rushing to her, dropping to my knees at her feet.
"I know you would have wanted to, love, but you were young, and the burden of caring for me would have been too much. Besides, by crossing over, I was also faced with meeting Grandpa again, and honey, I know you can now understand how devastated I was when I lost him. Grandpa was, and always will be my soul mate." Gram drew a breath deeply into her lungs as she continued. "Your childhood years were a myriad of pain and mistreatment. Your mother and the man you believed to be your father, abused you, both physically and emotionally. Your heart and your soul felt lost, but as lost and frightened as you felt, you never gave up. They never stripped you of your will and determination to survive at all costs. A lesser person, like your mother, would have lost themselves in booze, drugs or men, but steadily you held your head above them and fought back. I am proud to call you my granddaughter. Now you must make a decision. See, I knew in my soul, that you'd survive and do well, so my decision wasn't too difficult. I was tired, child, very tired when my body ceased. Those last six years of my life had sapped me of all energy. Only you offered me any warmth in my life there on Earth. Here I could be young and vital again, and here I could be in love again with your grandfather.
“He came to me, just as I came to you. In his arms, I flew into my past and relived the joys and sorrows from the many chapters of my life. When you love, choices are difficult. For myself, I had to choose between the two people I'd loved most in the world, my long dead, but never forgotten husband, and you, flesh of my body, breath of my soul. Would that I could have split in two and gone both ways, but such options are not possible in this or any other world.""So you chose to stay."
About the Author:
I am a retired Special Ed teacher who fell in love with the magic of words sitting on my Grandmother’s knee when I was little. She was a master storyteller. She created a kaleidoscope of wonder for me that I wanted to give to my own children and students; I am now the blessed mother of a beautiful and incredibly talented daughter, herself a published author, a blindingly handsome son, and the enthralled pet of two enchanting kitties. What more could a woman ask for?
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