Every now and then she would stop and stare, but for the most part it was a quick little glance. The memories were still so fresh and the pain jest. It had been so many years, she thought for sure by now it would be in the past. It should have been, but no the tears would still fall. Flooding like the river every fourth of July.
She is not sure why she chose to stop this Sunday. Maybe it was the early morning sun gleaming off of the dusty glass. Maybe it was the pain in her heart when she woke up. It could have been the sound of his voice whispering in her ear or it could have been that the time was now.
The simple picture looked so odd. The vibrancy of the color had long gone. The dust-covered the frame as much of the glass. Both looked as old as she. With the sun, she should not see the picture. The glare hurt her eyes. Yet, she could see it. Mainly because it was engraved in her mind. Nothing more than a flower. A purple flower against an old wooden fence.
He had taken her there everyday. They would sit against the fence and talk about their dreams. That seemed so cliché, but it was how they would spend their day. That day of the picture was to be no different. She had a picnic lunch, he a purple flower. They walked to the fence. He was so lost in thought. When they finally sat, it was there in his eyes.
They said nothing. They didn’t need to. He took out his camera and snapped a picture. She thought it was of her. They continued to sit in silence until the night came on. Then they slowly walked back to that old farm-house. He stood there on the steps and she on the porch. Their hands held tightly to each other and their eyes met. She knew when he kissed her on the forehead that he would not be coming back. He had no choice.
Next morning when she woke, the envelope was upon her bed. She opened it to find a purple flower pictured in frame. The note he wrote stung her heart and she could still read the words to this very day.
“Remember me when I’m gone. This picture is so you don’t forget. Look at it when you’re sad. Look at it when you need me most. Look at it and remember what it means…my love for you will out live me.”
The next time she would see him would be in uniform blues. The flag would be folded and handed to his dad. She swore never to love another. It seemed unrealistic, but her heart was broken.
It was not a promise she’d keep, but the love was not the same. Now here she stood in the home that she had made. That old farm-house where her soldier knew her first. Her life had been ample, but her heart a little empty. Now she knew her days were limited. She had past her grace. She was not sad. She knew she had seen it all. Living the dreams they had shared all those years ago. It had kept her strong and now she knew on that early morning Sunday that she would seem him soon.
She blinked her eyes. Then smiled one last time. Staring ever so softly at the picture that had faded as much as she.
Montana Rose Photography