Remembering Their Memory
Sarah did not remember her mother’s green eyes, or her smile.
She did not remember how gentle she was or her kindnesses to others
Sarah had only been four when her mother ran off; but Ben remembered. Ben was seven at the time, a big brother, who protected his sister.
Ben remembered that his mother’s hair always smelled like strawberries. Her laugh was unique, unlike any other he had heard in his twenty-five years. He had a photo of their mother wearing her wedding dress. The silk and pearls looked angelic next to her caramel skin.
Her light blue eyes were full of hope and optimism; she was exquisite.
Ben wished he had known his mother when she had looked like this.
He was glad that he had salvaged this photo when Dad began tearing up her things. He did not have much; her wedding ring, and this photo.
Dad said the wedding ring could be turned in for a better one, but Ben liked it. He had never shown it to Sarah, for it felt unfair somehow, since she did not remember. And he did not want to risk losing the ring to his sister, so he kept it quiet. Sarah’s memories came back the year she turned twenty-two; she woke up in the middle of the night hearing a woman's frightened screams.
Ben was next to her in this dream; he looked about six. “It’s okay,” he reassured her. She felt safe, snuggled against him, listening to a loud angry voice and another scream. "Let’s go play some music,” Ben said, but Sarah could not move. She sat paralyzed. The screaming went on for a long time; she knew it was her mommy’s screams.
When the screaming stopped, Ben took her hand and led her upstairs. He tucked her in, and handed her Lambie, her stuffed sheep. She did not fall asleep right away. She heard lots of activity downstairs. Scraping noises, like heavy things were being dragged.
Ben told her to lightly rest her eyes, so it looked like she was asleep.
Her heart was beating fast; she felt fearful but did not know why. Where was Mommy? Daddy peeked in on them. Strange, because he never did that.
This was the night that Mommy left them forever, left them with Daddy.
“She ran away with another man,” Daddy told everyone. Ben and Sarah felt it was a lie, but they were terrified to know the truth. Sarah was not inspired to tell their story for eighteen years. Ben is still in denial, but Sarah thinks she knows what happened.
Sarahj has searched all over the farm for her mother’s body; but so far, she has found nothing. Her father thinks it is humorous that she is digging up his farm. He suspects she knows the truth, but he knows she will never find the body on his farm. It is not where he buried it.
Ben is totally in denial; he cannot fathom losing both parents and he has already lost his mother. A sad story, which is perhaps more common than most of us will ever know.
Copyright © Caren Krutsinger | Year Posted 2021
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