Another Story

There are somethings you don't forget in life. Things you want to hold on to or, are too sad to let go of. My father died of lung cancer when I was eight. I never really got over it. I don't think I would want to either. There are memories I have of him that are some of the things I don't want to forget. Yes, they are sad, but they are of him in his good days. They creep up on me at the oddest of times. My father can never and will never be replaced. But, there are more of these things I wouldn't want to forget. This is one of them.


3. The Surprizes

Jamie looked tired but happy. She wasn't the same girl that left four years ago. She looked the same and all, but she acted differently. She had an air of maturity to her - at least that's what I think it was. She was no longer the grown up child I've known since she turned eighteen. She actually acted like a grown up now. She had a slim tanned face. Her hair looked as if it had been ironed, it was so straight. I was a light brown color, more like caramel then brown. She had perfectly full crimson colored lips and a beautiful set of straight white teeth underneath. Her almond shaped eyes were a hazel green. She was tall - about five-foot-seven - and slim with a great figure - about a size six (US). But her forehead was crinkled in stress. For sisters, we weren't very alike. I was five-foot-six - just a bit smaller than her - and a size six also, but you wouldn't know we were related. Her hair is straight, mine is curly. She was a brunette, I was a dirty blonde. Her hair reached half way down her upper arm while mine reached just past my shoulders. her eyes were hazel, mine were a chestnut-brown color. She was like Dad, I was like Mom.

I looked around when she stopped the car.

"No! No way, Jamie! I'm not getting out!

We were at the beach where we'd buried Dad. Well he was buried on the grass part. We bought the piece of land where we buried him. There was a wall around him.

"Rosie, he died eight years ago. . . and you still haven't accepted it."

"Of course I've accepted it, Jamie! How couldn't I? He's gone! It's been eight years and it hasn't gotten better! You think I want to think about how he'll never run with Hamster on the beach again? Or how I'll never see him go out to work with his cup of coffee in the morning again? Or how we'll never have him to stock the fire in the winter because Mom hates it? Or how he'll never be in the kitchen, taking credit for Mom's cooking again, or how no matter how much I wish that he's just gone out for ice-cream, it'll never come true!? I've accepted it, Jamie, I just don't stop thinking about it and it's hard to concentrate on being nice and conversational when I am. I may have been young when he died, but I relied on him, and i miss him every day."

I turned away from her, crying.

"Hey, I'm sorry . . . listen, you're not on your own. I think like that too. I don't want to believe that he's in front of us, rotting under the wet clay with his best suit on. But if you look up a bit more every day, then you'll see that people - friends - can help. Not sympathy, but friendship, and even a simple conversation. you have to remember that me and Mom understand, more than anyone. When I moved away, it gave me a fresh start, but Mom . . . a woman who'd just lost her husband and her twelve year old daughter didn't talk to her . . . imagine how it felt to her? When was the last time you told her you loved her, not counting any of your birthdays?"

I didn't answer.

"Exactly. Instead of taking one step forward, you've taken two steps back. This is the step you have to take, it won't be hard. It's just his name, not his spirit. do it for me, Rosie, and if you won't . . . do it for Dad, Rosa."

My Dad liked to call me Rosa and I never heard anyone else call me that. My hand, to my amazement, was moving toward my buckle. One click. Then the door. A tug and a push. I was outside and even though we were the same height, Jamie cradled me like I was small again. Like I was eight. Together we walked over to the tombstone.

"See, it's not that hard . . ." she smiled softly at me, slightly raising her eyebrows.

I nodded in response. After a while, we walked farther down the beach, to the icy water. We took off our shoes and socks and walked in the shallow sea. After a few minutes of listening to the waves, Jamie spoke again:

"I'm marrying Harry . . ."

Jamie and Harry met four years before at Jamie's first college party. They'd been inseparable since.


"Oh my Gosh! Congratulations!!!"

"Thanks, he proposed last week!"

She said this with a big smile on her face. She was positively glowing.

"I wanted to tell you first, here."

I understand why. This was Dad's favorite place. It would feel like she's telling him too.

"Will you be my maid of honor? Emma and Mae would be the other bridesmaids . . ."

"Oh, Jamie!!!!" I practically jumped on her, I couldn't hug her fast enough, " Of course I will!! Will Mom be walking you down the aisle?"

"Hopefully, I'll have to ask her first," she said looking out on the horizon, "come on then, let's go tell her I'm home. . ."

"She doesn't know you're home?!"

She just shook her head.  We walked towards the jeep, her arm around me.
 Once we got in, she spoke again;

"Do you mind if I stay for an extra couple of weeks? It's just that we're getting married over here," she said all this with a smile.

I was speechless.


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