Back … forth … back … forth … she sits in her creaky rocking chair pleasantly reminiscing about her lost childhood as she crochets a warm fuzzy quilt for her granddaughter. Out of nowhere her desire to finish the quilt before noon fades and she find her attention drifting towards the window and looking at a giant maple tree bejeweled in sparkling frost. The tree is old and withered, it has aged immensely; it is somewhat like the old woman … even the texture of the bark is likened to the wrinkles on her face and body. Beyond the bark there is a history of both painful wounds and happy memories, each and every one just as vivid as the next.Order now
It is astounding how this tree, such an ordinary and natural commodity can bring back so many fond and colorful memories. One of the lower branches of the tree appears to be mangled and frayed. She remembers it when it was in perfect condition, housing a handmade, wooden swing hanging from a brand new strand of coarse rope. Over the years the rope had turned from a brilliant golden-yellow to an almost brownish-amber. She would come home each day and was always comforted by that same tree and that same swing, though she never understood why because to everyone else, it was just a tree, but to her, it was as comforting as a warm fuzzy blanket.
She remembered attending her first day of school when she was a young child. Everything was so unfamiliar to her; new faces, new voices, a whole new world she could then discover on her own, without her mother holding her hand. Unfortunately the fun she expected to have did not go as she could have hoped. It was a seldom occurrence for anyone to ask her to play with them. She spent most of the school day in seclusion quietly playing in the corner with an array of plastic blocks.
At certain points she just wanted to cry or go back home to the warm, loving arms of her mother; that is where she felt safe and shielded from the evil of the world. Somehow, no matter how bad her day had gone, her mother could always make it all go away with a soft kiss to the cheek and a gentle pat on the bum. She would always pack a nutritious lunch for her to take to school. There was something about the way a mother makes a sandwich that makes it taste so much better than when you try to make it yourself, maybe it’s because it’s made with love.
She would always enjoy fresh-baked cookies with milk after she arrived home from school. They were the best cookies she had ever tasted: soft and oozing with chocolate chips that melted on her fingertips. After her snack she would play in the yard until dinnertime. She would swing back and forth, back and forth on the swing with the wind tousling her golden hair. Her day-to-day schedule had almost become a routine for the next few years, until she became an adolescent that is. By the tender age of about twelve or thirteen, her mother’s company was no longer a comfort but rather a nuisance.
She would always be asked questions about school and boys but seldom felt comfortable confiding in her mother, especially about details of the opposite sex. She didn’t want anyone to know that she was blossoming from that little girl that thought boys had “cooties”, to someone who was beginning to have somewhat interest in them. Then came the biggest time in her life. They day she changed from a sweet, little girl into a mature young woman. Her mother could barely contain her excitement when she was told the news. They talked all evening about the details and any questions she had were answered with care.
A few summers later, she fell in love for the very first time and this young man sure was a sight; six feet tall, dark, handsome, and very charming. His name was Ingo, he had recently moved to Canada from Sweden and happened to be in her art class. The first time she laid eyes on him she knew it was love at first sight. They spoke of many things together … family, the arts, cuisine … for 16 year olds, their tastes were fairly developed and intellectual. Shortly, she and Ingo had developed a very close relationship, almost a bond of some sort.
They had the capability of reading each other’s thoughts, and each was comforted by the others company. They proceeded to grow together and leaped into adulthood hand in hand and as much in love as the day they met. A few years later, Ingo surprised her with a wedding proposal. It went the way she had always dreamed. A sly Ingo had slipped a beautiful, diamond engagement ring into her champagne glass at a luxuriously planned dinner at an elegant and classy restaurant. She had nearly choked on it but was genuinely thrilled at both the offer and the beauty of the ring he had selected.
It was a band of brilliant white gold with a precisely carved diamond on the top. Around the inside of the ring, the words “I will love you forever” were embossed. It took her all but half a second to give him her response to the magnificent question she had been waiting for almost all her life. They celebrated the following evening by having dinner with both of their parents. Neither of them had any complaints of the couple’s decision to join together in matrimony. One year later she found herself walking down the isle with Ingo eagerly waiting in front of the minister.
She carefully sauntered down the isle, paying close attention to each step so that she wouldn’t damage her exquisite silk dress. The wedding went be smoothly and the subsequent reception was definitely a feast. There was singing, dancing and much merriment. When they danced for the first time as husband and wife, she felt almost as if she was Cinderella, it was magical and Ingo surely fit the characteristics of her prince charming. Their life together after that point was nearly perfect. They were inseparable and only one step away from being the absolute perfect married couple.
That was soon accomplished because 10 months later she found herself giving birth to two of the most beautiful twin boys ever born. Over the years the four of them grew together as a family, growing closer together each day. They often went to the beach on Sundays and packed a delightful picnic lunch of sandwiches, salads and other tasty treats. The boys would often run around the beach with their adorable, diapered bottoms bouncing behind them. After swimming in the lake, Ingo would wrap a gigantic towel around both of them, it would engulf them like a warm hug.
They would also feed whatever was leftover from lunch to the seagulls that soared above. At this point both she and Ingo had began to age rapidly. They found themselves becoming less and less active and enjoying more serene activities than they did in previous years. Ingo began experiencing some sort of mid-life crisis and made a dramatic decision to buy a brand new motorcycle. That must have brought back some youthful memories and maybe even quenched his thirst for life, but as for her, she still felt like an old and boring grandma.
Later on that year, the worst happened. She was diagnosed with cancer, the same kind her mother had died from just a few years back. The bad news hit her like a ton of bricks. Ingo attempted to ease her pain by taking her out and doing all sorts of fun activities, but she found herself getting even more depressed and frustrated every time they went out. To her, it was just a reminder of the bad news and what was yet to come. Her condition began to worsen each and every day. It was unbearable for the family to watch, and as painful as it was to do, they began to avoid her.
Anytime they tried to comfort her, she would only snap at them, even though she knew they were only trying to help and had her best interests at heart. Here she sits, rocking in her rocking chair, back … forth … back … forth … with her quilt nearly finished now. Her rocking chair creaks with each subtle movement and eventually the creaking diminishes to a faint sound and finally no sound at all. She had left the world in peace quicker than she had entered it but still much too soon. I guess it’s true what they say about your life flashing before your eyes just before you die.