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The Mourning Window
By Kimberley A Sher
Friday, July 03, 2009
Not rated by the Author.
Every experience in life helps us become the people we are, making memories are true st and most healing companions. The Mourning Window is a tribute to our cherished memories as some things in life are best not be forgotten.
The Mourning Window
I distinctly remember when I first returned home. The gripping sense of long awaited familiarity was almost overwhelming. The trees, cracks in the sidewalk, the creepy sound of the fence, the smell of baking, Downey scent from the dryer, and the laughter. The laughter came from the kids playing street hockey. I used to be one of those kids. We both were, me and my brother Nathan.
I began to remember how I raced Nathan to the old church. I always beat him. I’d rush up to the bell tower window and watch him staggering behind, laughing his fool heart out. I remember his laughter so vividly. So infectious, I would giggle as I watched.
He’d run up the hill, up the stairs, giggling and stumbling and he would call to me,
“I’m saving it just for you, David!”
I could hear him, foot heavy on the top few stairs.
I would be hiding in the usual spot.
“It’s a big one! I’m gonn’a find you and when I do, boy!”
Of course as our ritual would have it. He’d find me. He would lean over, bum towards me, and fart. He’d fart the biggest, loudest, smelly fart he could muster! This was how Nathan explained never winning the race.
“I can’t run fast while I’m saving farts.”
Like yesterday, his scream rips through my heart as it sounded so clearly in my mind.
“I got you!” he had gloated only moment s before.
The snapping of wood, brittle and dry, bearing promise of foreshadowing as the old floor gave way.
“Nathan!” I screamed at the inevitable as I helplessly watched. For he lay broken, awkward, a smiling ragdoll, fifty feet below. Smiling and dead. My brother was dead! Over and over again I said these words to myself but it would never become real to me.
I remember not having to go to the funeral. Instead, I raced to the church pretending Nathan was just behind, and he was…
They carried him to his lifeless cold little grave as I watched from the church. I now watched from the mourning window.
Thirty-five years later, and still, whenever I visited my mother, I’d always race to the church. Year after year, I searched for Nathan to appear on the other side of that damn window. A rational man, yet I truly longed and secretly hoped by some miracle this would happen.
Upon one of our visits, while I searched relentlessly out the morning window, I watched my son run up the hill to find me. He was giggling and stumbling.
“I found you!” he shouted up to me.
And I smiled deeply moved. I saw Nathan returned to me through the mourning window I had prayed at for most of my life.
“Dad?” he called to me while I stood in the fantasy of a dear memory.
“Dad!” How I missed my little brother.
“Dad! C’mon! I’ll race you!”
My face lit up.
“Give me a head start, o.k.?”
“Just till I see you out the window,” I answered in a weakened voice.
“Deal!” he agreed and the giggling began.
I watched my son running down the hill. He stumbled as he turned to me, laughing as he waved.
“Good-bye Nathan,” I whispered in a tearful chopped breath. “I promise to remember you and love you always, little brother.”
And I ran after my son for the rest of my life because I loved him dearly. I vowed to teach my son all of life’s most important lessons.
Farting was only the beginning…
By Alex Sher
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