Thursday, February 7, 2013

Quiet Morning || Words {Installment 2}

The early morning sun bathed the quiet house in pools of warm light. The smell of coffee, freshly brewed, mingled with the scent of baking bread and clean dishes. The grandfather clock in the corner ticked softly, the only noise disturbing the peaceful silence.
            A door was shut softly somewhere on the upper lever and the pitter patter of footsteps echoed across the ceiling. Slowly, an elderly woman made her way down the stairs. She moved cautiously, careful not to lose her fragile balance on the creaking staircase.
            Once at the bottom, she shuffled to the kitchen where she poured herself some coffee and sat down gingerly at the table. Her hair, wispy and almost white, was caught up in a small bun. Her hands, wrinkled from age, shook slightly as she brought the steaming mug to her mouth. Hazel eyes glanced around the room from behind silver-framed glasses, her mind lost in deep thought.
            Setting the mug in front of her, she stood and walked slowly into the living room. Feeling suddenly nostalgic, a small tear trickled down her face as memories poured through her mind. Crying babies, laughing children, and excited feet running down the stairs; birthday parties, Christmas mornings, family game nights and late night couch snuggles when nightmares had awoken one of the children.
            Wandering into the family room, she reached the bookshelves. Her worn hands ran over the titles, pausing at old favorites. A smile touched her lips as she closed her eyes and let the memories wash over her. Reading to the babies while huddled under the covers of the king size bed.  Reading on the couch to the older ones. The books that were now faded with age; dusty and neglected.
            She crossed to the shelf which held the photo albums, filled to the brim with hundreds of pictures. Pictures which documented years long past. She selected one at random and gently flipped through the pages. Who was the baby in this particular album? She couldn’t remember. She glanced at the date on one of the pictures and sighed, almost fifty-eight years had passed since these pictures had been taken, no wonder her memory was failing her.
            Placing the album back on the shelf, she let her eyes travel to the fames on the right hand wall. There coated in dust, hung all eight baby pictures. A sad smile touched her lips as she tried to remember herself when her life was filled with babies and the constant needs of small children. And there, next to the baby pictures, hung her wedding picture. All these years later she loved that man a thousand times more than she had believed possible on her wedding day. Although he barely resembled the young man in the photo, her husband’s smile was the same, his twinkling eyes unchanged.
            She heard him enter the room and cross over to her and she smiled as he reached her side. He slipped his arms around her and kissed her forehead.
            “Good morning love,” he whispered. “What are you doing so early?” She leaned into his arms and breathed in his wonderful, familiar scent.
            “I’m remembering. Late night bonfires, family movie nights, birthday chaos, popscicle wrappers and sticky babies. When did we get so old? How did the time slip by so fast?” She felt his arms squeeze her gently and heard him sigh,
            “If you could rewind time and go back to that life, would you?” he asked softly. She rested her head against his and thought about his question. Did she yearn to go back?
            “No.” she said thoughtfully, “no I don’t want to go back. It already all happened. Life moves forwards, not back. Besides, our family would feel incomplete without all the grandbabies, and great-grandbabies. Life is short and sweet. We can’t dwell on the past forever. Simple memories are all I need.”
            “Did I ever tell you how much I love you?” He asked as he cupped her face in his hands and kissed her forehead softly.She smiled as his whitened beard brushed agaisnt her nose. He wrapped his arms around her as she nestled her head on his shoulder; together they soaked in the quiet morning.

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