Broken Memories

“On behalf of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 894 and the United States Government, I present you with this flag in honor of James Matthison and his service to his country.”

My tears flowed for the first time during the week long ordeal that culminated in a retired soldier handing a young Air Force pilot a folded American flag. As he stood in his crisp dress uniform and received the symbol of military service, I fell apart. When Taps was played by a lone bugler at the back of the church, I watched my oldest son stand at attention and join the final salute to his father.

The pastor pronounced the final prayer for my ex-husband, and the congregation stood as the family trailed the urn that punctuated the life of a good man.

I stood alone in a pew close to the back of the church and watched my children and their stepmother pass. Debbie, my ex-husband’s estranged wife, held a crumpled tissue close to her dry eyes, careful not to smear her exquisitely applied makeup. She clung to the arm of her dead husband’s younger brother. My son and daughter followed them, holding hands as they had done since they were toddlers, Matthew always taking care of Mindy. My heart was breaking for my children. They were both close to their father, and the unexpected death left unfinished chapters in their lives.


Comments:
 
Henrietta   Henrietta wrote
on 4/21/2010 10:17:08 AM
Thanks, Elton. I'm thinking of using this as an opener for a novel. I have a couple of short stories that I wrote a while back. Should I post them?

Elton4562   Elton4562 wrote
on 4/21/2010 5:24:46 AM
Hey Henrietta, This is much better written than most items posted to Writing Room. When is the rest of it going to appear? Elton

Henrietta
Short Story
Mystery
writing Henrietta
The photo is of my grandkids.
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Synopsis
A vignette from a short story in progress.
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