It had been a long three days for Ed and today was the longest of the three. His son and daughter in law had driven him to his house. His car was parked in the garage just where he had left it four days ago.
As he got out of son’s car he quietly thanked them for the ride and told them how grateful he was for everything that they had done for him. His daughter in law asked him for the umpteenth time if he was sure that he wanted to be by himself so soon. He smiled a sad smile and said, “I thank you for your concern but tonight I need to be by myself, especially tonight. Not by myself really I will be surrounded by memories.”
Ed’s son said, “Well at least let me walk with you to the front door.” Ed winked at his son and said, “I am sixty-seven years old. I am not old enough to be afraid of my own home, or young enough for that matter.” His son said, “I will call when we get home just to be sure everything is OK.” Ed said, Son you are a good boy but don’t call until tomorrow I need tonight to be alone and yes I am sure. Goodnight I will join you for breakfast tomorrow about eight if I may.” His daughter in law said, “We will be counting on you then.”
Ed stood on the curb waving good bye to his son and daughter in law and thought that those are truly good people and I am proud of them. He slowly walked across his yard, up the four steps of his porch took out the key to the front door to go inside. As he did so he noticed one of two rocking chairs slowly rocking back and forth. He knew the wind made it move but why was only one of the two rocking chairs rocking while the other one was not. The rocking chair that was rocking was his wife’s rocking chair. The one that was not was Ed’s.
Ed tried to turn away but he looked at the rocking chair again and saw his wife of forty-five years in her rocking chair right next to his. They were watching a sunrise, something they had done one Saturday a month for forty-five years. They enjoyed seeing a beauty that was so grand that it couldn’t have been made by human hands. However since they were human to make sure that they wouldn’t miss a second of such a glorious display they each had a steaming hot cup of coffee in their right hands. They held hands with their left hands rocking ever so slowly enjoying the wonder and the love that they shared.
That was to be the last sunrise they would ever share together, the last time they ever sat together in rocking chairs holding hands. Just three hours later his wife had a heart attack and died within minutes. She was just sixty-five. He never had a chance to say good bye or to tell her one more time that he loved her.
He looked away and took out his key again. Somehow he felt a need to look back at the rocking chair again. He was disappointed not to see her rocking chair moving but he glanced at his rocking chair and it was rocking back and forth while her chair was stoically still. His eyes opened wide as he saw a little boy sitting on the rocking chair. His legs were barely over the edge. Ed knew who the little boy was, it was Ed and he was six. The house was his grandpa’s and the rocking chair was his Grandpa’s too. The old chair even smelled like his grandpa. He liked everything about the chair. As Ed rocked back and forth the best that he could he saw the prettiest little girl he had ever seen playing some sort of hopping game. He noticed how her curly black hair had a mind of its own bouncing even when she was standing still.
At six Ed didn’t like girls but he knew that if he ever did this girl was one who wouldn’t be so bad. Ed’s Grandma who was rocking next to him said, “That’s a cute little girl there you know. She just moved in the Old Grimley Place. You and her are the same age, bet you could be good friends.” Ed said, “Maybe ceptin I don’t like girls. The Grimley Place is about six doors down the street aint it Grandma?” Grandma chuckled and nodded her head.
End of Part I