A couple sat holding hands that were wrinkled, spotted, and painted with age. They sat upon a baby blue blanket, the one their infant son, Joseph, had clutched with every breath of his short life. He had toddled around with it and now they did, some sixty years later. The sadness had been used up, but the emptiness stayed even after the joy of raising seven other children. When the wife’s dementia flared and she left the blanket behind, her husband stuffed it into the back pocket of his work pants.
Each day, they took their rest near the wide river that flows through their farmland. They dropped their canes and let themselves be propped by the two single trees they had planted on the first day of their marriage. The branches had so grown together that a traveling squirrel couldn’t determine to which tree they belonged. Their shared root system absorbed the life-sustaining waters, like the waters of baptism had blessed the couple so many years ago. To the waters would they return every evening to give thanks.
They had met at a dance and seen stars. They were married at the Catholic Church and their love had led to a family of more than one hundred living souls. They had fought the good fight, finished the course, and kept the faith. At the end, they sat on the river bank, eyes closed and heads filled with singing birds and lapping waters, waiting to be called home. Together.
This was my entry into a Flash Fiction content on IndiesUnlimited.com submitted on August 27, 2017. Photo by K.S. Brooks.