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My Parent's Tears(The Wild One Topic Challenge)

Short story By: Mistress of Word Play

My topic for the challenge was seeing your parents cry. This story is real. I wish it were not. I wrote it to help me deal with things which have happened in my life. Please read this and I hope it helps someone who has gone through or will go through a similar circumstance.

Submitted:Jan 11, 2010    Reads: 722    Comments: 42    Likes: 29   

The hardest thing for any parent to do is bury a child. Be the child young or old it matters not. This story is about my parents. I grew up with the assumption my parents were strong and nothing could ever shatter or dissolve the suit of armor they wore. I was wrong on both counts. I had a very difficult time writing this, but I felt it necessary to jot down the events which changed my view on so many things in life. It is not a pleasant story to tell or to read. I just hope it helps someone else as they make their journey down life's complex and rocky highway.
It was late autumn of 2006 and my youngest brother Charles had died from a massive coronary. I for the first time saw my mother cry when Charles died quickly and without warning of any kind. My brother's death disturbed all of us, but my father seemed unmoved and uncaring. Charles' wife Evelyn was with him when he passed away. I think she of all of us suffered the cruelest blow. My father took to locking himself away from the rest of us more and more. I never realized just how deeply Charles' death had affected him. I knew my brother and father had bad blood between them and thought maybe he did care, but he just did not want to show his true emotions. We buried Charles and life went on, perhaps a little emptier, but life continued. My mother and I took turns crying and consoling each other. It seemed the pain would never stay gone for long.
I remember my mother on several occasions after Charles' death saying, "A mother should not have to bury her child."
I agreed with her. Not knowing what to say or do, I became standoffish and grieved the loss in my own way. Looking back now I know I was wrong in doing what I did. I just pretended he wasn't gone at all. Strange how your mind has its own way of handling the undesirable situations which it encounters.
In late summer of 2007 another of my brothers Billy, who was one of the middle children, died in the same manner as Charles had. My mother and I had been calling him numerous times and when we received no response to our many phone calls; we traveled to his home. He had come home from work the day before, as he sat and drank his beer his life ended. I thank God to this day he did not suffer, but went peacefully after a hard day's work. I just wish he had not died alone. Billy's wife Diane, who I came to love as a sister, died not a year before him.
I cannot tell you of the horror and pain I felt that day. I would rather remember all the things I loved about him. My mother when she learned of Billy's death hinged on the verge of death herself. I have never been so frightened in all my life. It seemed she would never stop crying those bitter love inspired teardrops. I was affected in the same way. Nothing it seemed could help me through those desperate days and nights to follow.
My father though visibly upset once again held back and tried to be our strength. He was not in the best of health so the day of Billy's funeral he remained at home by himself. I felt as if some type of curse had befallen our family. Charles was only forty-two when he died and Billy was forty-four. A phobia of sorts crept into my brain and I asked myself, who would be next. I feared it would be my mother, her health was not the greatest, nor was my father's.
At the cemetery during Billy's gravesite service I had the oddest feeling something was not right. I excused myself and drove as quickly as I could back to my parents' house. When I entered the house there was an eerie silence that made my skin crawl.
"Hello! Dad is everything okay?" I called as I walked down the hall to his room.
My heart raced and then stopped. A fear gripped my heart as I walked a little faster down the hall. Nothing prepared me for the sight as I opened his bedroom door. There was my father sitting on the edge of his bed crying like a lost child. My heart broke and I held him close to me. I knew he needed the release of all the pain and loss he had bottled up inside of him. It is not easy to be the comforter of those who comfort but a sense of relief swept over me. I had been so hypercritical of my father for his coldness regarding my brothers, but now I understood how hard it had been for him. They were his children, his sons and the pain had been there all the while waiting to overtake him.
It was not easy when my father passed away. I had always thought him to be a rock and the backbone of our family. At his funeral it was not the soldier he had been I thought about, but rather the man who for a moment had cried on my shoulder because he lost the children he loved.
For my Daddy:
It was your tears that I remember
that heartache you held inside
all your sadness
all your sorrow
all your pain
falling from your eyes. Oh, precious rain!
It was your tears that I remember
that tenderness I had never seen
all your sadness
all your sorrow
all your fear
falling down your check. Oh, precious tear!


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