The rain was coming down in sheets, two rivers ran on either side of the street as the excess searched for a place to go. The force of all the drops created blasts of wind and the rain turned horizontal. Alberta; her name, yes, but she would either ignore, or deliver a scowl at the insistent speaker who called her by her given name . She preferred Bertie. To that she would respond with a smile and sparkling eyes.
Rain soothed Bertie. She stood in front of the large window in her living room and watched as it shifted and changed with each gust of wind. She thought of rain as a giant scrubber that cleansed the air, the streets, and every object in it’s path. She waited anxiously for the clouds to break so she could step out and breath in the world, newly refreshed. Even the birds rejoiced. They announced the end of the tumult with a glorious, joyful noise.
The first five notes of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony startled Bertie out of her reverie. Annoyed at the interruption she grabbed her phone and grumbled,
Rolling her eyes, she crossed her left arm under her right, phone holding arm. “Hi Mom.”
“Isn’t the rain wonderful? I know how much you love it and I always think of you the instant a drop falls.”
She relaxed and answered as a smile tipped the edges of her mouth.
“It is Mom. I love it. I can’t wait to get outside. I’m tempted to go now but I’m afraid I’ll end up in the next county with this wind.”
Her mothers musical laugh lilted through the line.
“Well, you probably should wait a bit. It really is blowing right now.”
So sweetie, how are you? Are you doing OK? I hope the rain is helping.
It’s time honey.”
She clenched her prickling eyes shut as her mouth tightened and fought the too familiar tears. She didn’t want to go to Pine Hills. The ache of the cold and the needles of the sleet as Father Jack said the final blessing and we each placed a single yellow rose on his casket, were still vividly etched in her mind. Whenever she closed her eyes, it was there.
“I know it is. It just hurts too bad Mom. I haven’t been there since we said good-bye. It was so cold and I can’t imagine it without feeling that frigid wind last Winter.”
“Bertie, I was there yesterday. His flowers are blooming. I can’t tell you how beautiful it is. I have never seen a bush so loaded with blooms.”
The tension she’d built in her shoulders released when she released the single deep breath she held. Then she opened her eyes. Her mother patiently waited through the silence for her daughter to find her voice.
“OK. As soon as it stops raining I’ll head up there.”
“Do you want me to go with you?”
“No. No, I need to do this alone. I’ll take a box of Kleenex and have a chat with Caleb. I’m still mad at him for leaving. Maybe I can let go of some of the anger. I don’t know.”
The line became quiet and Bertie heard a soft sniffle. After a moment her mom finally spoke, tears had altered her musical voice to a subdued muffled tone.
“Bertie. While you’re there….. See if you can find some of your happiness….. Take some time…. to smell the roses.”
Writing for Scriptic Prompt exchange for February, 10-14 and I came up with this stand alone piece about mourning and moving on. Mumford and Son’s song is the perfect song to go with this piece.
For the Scriptic.org prompt exchange this week, SAM gave me this prompt: Take time to smell the roses.
I gave Barb Black this prompt: Singing with words no one could understand, she carefully packed the box.