A blog assignment for Writing 101: Point of View
A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene.
Today’s twist: write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.
It could not be a prettier day out, for this years annual fishing exhibition. After the year Alice and I have had, she needs this day to be perfect. In all honestly, I was not sure she would make it today. I am leaning toward the notion that she just wanted to be close to her father, as this was their thing. Each year, from the time she was able to hold a pole, they would attend this event. Just them. Rain or shine, sick or not, they were always in attendance. His cancer did not stop him the last year. He said as long as he was breathing, he would share this last moment with his daughter. They were here at this lake in the park by 4:30 am and stayed until the sun set. He refused to leave before the sun set, even though anyone could tell he was completely and utterly exhausted. The next morning, when Alice went to share all of the photos that had been taken of their day together, he had his hand out for her to come to him. She crawled in the bed with him, covered with his red crochet blanket, and he held her. Within minutes, he was gone. The closeness those two shared was magical. I envied that love. My own father had skipped out on my mother and I when I was just a toddler. I knew who he was, and had even met a few times which made the realization that some fathers, are not meant to be dads, very real.
The most devastating part of Alice losing her dad, was those photos. She knew he didn’t have the strength to look at not even one of them, which saddened her. Alice was so excited to show him those photos due to one very special image. The second picture in the stack was of an ultrasound. We had found out several weeks before, that we were pregnant, but was keeping it to ourselves until we were certain things were going good. She was afraid to hold out any longer, because of the way her dad was feeling the previous day. She made up her mind the night of the fishing exhibition that she was going to slip that ultrasound picture in with the other photos and record his face when he seen it the next morning. She could hardly wait that morning to get to the nursing home and share with him the best news of her life. As soon as she seen him, she knew he had been waiting all night for her to show up, so that he could hold her one last time before he left his body. I keep holding tight to the thought, at least she had that.
Within the months to come, the pregnancy was the only thing that could put a smile on her face. She put all of her focus into the baby things. The name, the coming home outfit, the bed, it all had to be perfect. I remember thinking, this could not have happened at a better time. This is the only thing keeping my wife going. And then it happened……
I received a call at work, from our next door neighbor. She stated that my wife was in critical condition, and I needed to hurry to the hospital. One can only imagine the fear that you develop when hearing those words. The love of my life, my soul mate, was in critical condition. I had no idea what to do with that. As soon as I reached the hospital, they allowed me to go back to be with my wife. . As I was waiting on the doctor to come speak with me, I noticed she was no longer pregnant. Alice was medicated, so she was sleeping peacefully. I patiently waited as the doctor came in, to tell me what I had feared.
Alice had fallen from a ladder while putting border up in our unborn sons room. She landed in a terrible way, that forced her into labor. She had broken her left leg and right wrist in the fall. Our son, had died just shortly after birth. She was holding him against her when she was found by our neighbor, who just happen to be bringing Alice some lunch. That has been almost two years ago, and things are still so hard. Every day I wake up with the feeling that my son is in the shadows. Not like a ghost or anything, but just there. When I am alone, and I weep with sadness, I feel as though a warm blanket is swept around me.
Alice seemed saddened while sitting there just gazing into the lake, so I suggested we take a stroll. Maybe some walking and talking would do some good. As we approached the play-land area of the park, that is when I seen her. Sitting on a bench………
Ryan has pushed me and pushed me to come to this fishing thing. Nothing in me wants to be around these people, and have to muster up a smile for each of them. I have to pretend on a daily basis that this past two years, has not killed me on the inside. I know I told him “not this year“, over a dozen times. Admittedly, him making me feel guilt , has actually brought me to the happiest place of my childhood. Sitting here on this dock, with my dads blanket, floods me with such great memories. I find myself fighting back the tears of happiness, then sadness. This day should be just like every fishing exhibition that my father and I entered. Only better, because Sam should be here too. I just do not see how I will ever bounce back from all of this. Ryan does not deserve to be with me like this. I have told him time and time again that we need to divorce. He deserves so much more.
I often wonder what it would be like. To still have my dad here, and Sam running around at his feet. As I sit here, I find myself daydreaming. Sam falls into the lake, as his Poppy grabs him by his overhaul strap. Sam losing his ball cap in the water, and as it floats away, my dad jumps in to save it, making Sam laugh and laugh. Sometimes I think I am losing it, because I often catch myself with similar scenarios in my head. I can see my son as plain as day. I share these stories that I have conjured up in my mind with Ryan, and he will have great big tears well up in his eyes. He too imagines things being different. He told me this morning that he had the realest of dreams last night. He was still full of smiles as soon as he woke, because he swore he was there.
Sam looked to have been two in the dream. It was Christmas. The whole park that we were in right now, was covered in white lights. The park smelled like Hot chocolate, popcorn, hot dogs, and everyone was gathered around a large bonfire. Sam kept wanting to run around and around the bonfire, but Ryan insisted he stay close. Ryan said, “that child was a handful”. He would not sit in one spot no matter what he was threatened or bribed with. Ryan said he looked away for a few seconds and Sam was gone. He said in his dream, his stomach felt the exact same way it did when he walked into the hospital room the day of the accident. It was fear; fear that he had lost our son.
After searching for what seemed to be an eternity, Ryan found Sam. He noticed the red sweater he was wearing, right away. Sam was walking with an elderly woman who was concerned with him being lost. When Sam seen his dad, he ran to him, and gave him a big hug. The biggest of hugs. Squeezed him so tight, and said, “Daddy I will never leave you again.” And Ryan woke up. He said he tried desperately to go back to sleep so he could see our son again, but sleep never came.
The way he told the story, it seemed as though he really felt our sons presence. It made me envious of my husband at that moment. I want to fall asleep and dream of Sam too. I want to dream of him each and every night. I want to see exactly what he looks like, without me imagining. As I look out in the distance on this lake, I know one thing is certain. My sweet baby boy, is in a safe place with his Poppy.
As I am staring into the abyss of the lake, Ryan grabs my hand and asked me to take a walk. We did not get 5 yards before Ryan started acting sluggish. His paced had slowed down exceptionally and he was now staring at an old lady in the distance. It looked to be one of the elderly ladies from the church that we once attended. Ryan walked up to the lady, stood in front of her for a moment, held her hand, and started sobbing…….
“The old woman”
Mrs. Harris, a local lady that went to the same church as Ryan and Michelle, was sitting on a park bench, a bit away from the lake. She had not gotten out much in the past few years due to her declining health, but something tugged at her spirit the night before to go to the park, relax and do some knitting. Truth be told, she had a very odd dream, that had stuck with her, even as she woke. It was of a young boy, next to a tree. He was crying, but was leery of the lady. He did not seem very trusting in her at first. She remembered asking him in the dream where his mommy and daddy were. He told her they were lost and sad, and he needed to find them. So they went on a search for his mom and dad. As they were walking along the side walk, weaving in and out of a crowd, Mrs. Harris asked the young man where he was from. The child answered, “Heaven.” ….Even in the dream the old woman was taken back. He was two at the most, and when he said that word, Heaven, he sounded like a grown man. “Heaven did you say?” She asked the child.”Yes Ma’am.” Replied the boy. “If you are from Heaven, then why would you come here?” Mrs. Harris asked. The young boy went on to tell her that she knew his mommy and daddy here on earth and they were in a sad way. They were not recovering well from him leaving, so he needed her to do something for him. He needed her to knit a red sweater, and attend the fishing exhibition. As he said those words, someone in the dream stood in front of them, and thanked her for finding his son. The face on the person, was blurry so she could not see who it was. As soon as the boy and father were united, she woke up.
It is such a lovely day to sit here and knit. I can not believe how little my hands have hurt from all this morning knitting. It is almost done, though I feel extremely silly for carrying out this dream. What are the chances in my dream being a sign from the Heavens? Either way, I am going to finish this red sweater, and see what happens. If it is nothing, then I have to say, I would have rather showed up to a party with a gift, than without.
Within a few moments of putting away all of the knitting things, a couple was approaching from the distance. Normally, there would not be anything odd about it,but the closer they the couple got, the slower they would walk. When they were close enough for me to see their face, I recognized the couple from church, that had not been since…………………………………
I jumped to my feet, as the couple stood before me. This was it. It was really happening. This was the dad in my dream. The child was his little guy they had lost during a falling accident nearly two years ago. Alice and Ryan had not been to church since they had lost Alice’s dad. Then the terrible fall that caused Alice to lose their baby. It is all falling into place now. Sam had found a way to show his mom and dad that he was with them. Not in body, but in spirit.
As soon as Ryan seen the red sweater, he reached for my hand, and began to cry.