Thursday, 10 February 2011

Magpie Tales #52 In memoriam

Thanks go to Willow who organises and hosts this meme. To read more Magpies please click here.

In memoriam

They had painted the house the year their son joined the army – he had helped them during his final leave before embarkation. The colour was not quite what they had intended and they had wanted to repaint immediately but he had persuaded them to postpone. ‘We’ll do it next time I’m home,’ he’d said and they had agreed. Instead, they tied yellow ribbons round the trees in the front garden, constant reminders, if ever they needed them, of his absence.

The day they were told that he was missing in action, believed killed, they had gone out and tied fresh ribbons to the trees.  Until they had a body to bury they would not believe their boy was gone. And so, when the ribbons tattered and frayed into fine filaments, they replaced them proudly and with loving care.

Years passed and they began reluctantly to accept that their son might never return. The fabric of the building was deteriorating and it appeared that it waited, heartsore like them, for the young man’s return. To refurbish it would feel like a betrayal and somehow it seemed fitting that the house should shrink into itself, just as they were doing.

Quietly, uncomplainingly, they advanced into old age and as the paintwork peeled so did their eyes grow dim until one day, peacefully, they closed for the final time and saw no more. The house crumbled into disrepair but the trees remained, remnants of yellow satin grown into their bark, a permanent memorial to a young life lost and to undiminished love and hope.

25 comments:

  1. So poingant ... and beautifully written.

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  2. This really tugs at the heartstrings Janice. I agree, beautifully written.

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  3. Very beautiful, extremely heartbreaking, that kind of story hits in at my core.

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  4. I have tears in my eyes, Janice!

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  5. My God... this really made my eyes well up...
    Beautifully written, my dear... Touched my heart..

    Their love will indeed live on...

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  6. I can't believe that this picure cold evoke such sadness in almost all of this week's magpies!

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  7. Awwww, such a sad story, but beautiful xx

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  8. A very moving story. The house does look sad.

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  9. So, so sad .... a tear-jerker!

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  10. I like the part about the ribbon growing into the tree's bark. very sad but nice story.

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  11. Heart-reaching and breath-holding, this story is alive even as the occupants pass. Beautifully done.

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  12. Beautifully written story... so sad.

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  13. What a sad and touching story !

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  14. A very sad piece but I really liked how you used the house to symbolise their emotional detoriation.

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  15. This was so sad, your story held me..

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  16. Moving and sad, the yellow ribbons a perceptive idea.

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  17. Well I just have to repeat the same phrase... So sad and touching story.

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  18. Loving story how we endure such losses. Well done.

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  19. Very evocative, Janice, and sensitively written.

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  20. What a heartbreaking story, beautifully told.

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  21. Incredibly told story and perfect photo.

    Darryl and Ruth : )

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  22. I wondered if anyone would notice the yellow ribbons on the trees in the background. Beautiful write.

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