Saturday, June 12, 2010

The gift.

It had been simply a matter of time. Over the past few weeks she had become weaker and weaker by the day. Such a devoted couple, they’d become a single soul in two frail bodies. When his flame went out like a candle in a breeze, she was left in the darkness, alone, so alone.

It had been a silly argument some thirty years ago. A row over nothing, a boyfriend they’d thought unsuitable for their daughter. Boyfriend became husband, but they weren’t there to share their happy day. They heard about the birth of their granddaughter through a friend, but despite their daughter’s pleadings, they refused to see her. The longer it went on the more difficult it became for a reconciliation to take place.

So there she sat. The nurse swept came in to get her ready for the day, but when he dragged back the curtains with a cheery good morning, he found her sitting in her chair, on her lap a partly unwrapped package. He recognised it as the gift that had been left at the reception the previous afternoon by a little girl and her mother. They hadn’t asked to deliver it personally. Her eyes were closed, and there was hint of a smile on her face, a face that seemed younger than it had yesterday. It was moment or two before he realised she had gone. Gone to be with her beloved husband.

He stood there looking at her for several minutes, then suddenly the package fell to the floor with a clatter. He picked it up, removed the pink sparkly paper and held in his hand a silver frame. And in the frame he saw a  photograph of a little girl and her mother.

Sitting there in her chair she looked so peaceful, so content.

Written for Writers Island


  1. oh Keith.. this is so sad and so beautiful. Too many hurt feeling can really destroy relationships. So needless so so wasteful and heart-aching. (can u tell I've been there?)

  2. Obstinate pride takes so long to heal once it is hurt.

  3. Somehow those little things aren't so important. Family is important, no time for the small things to intrude and destroy what is important.

    Great write Keith.

  4. A strong story, Keith. If only the relationship had healed, what might have been....

  5. We all think there is still time, and then there is not. Thank you for reminding all of us that we only have now.


  6. Well done, Keith! You remind us to cherish each other while we are here.

  7. Keith, a beautiful lesson and an inspired reaction to the prompt. How many years do we waste holding grudges? How many families are estranged by simply failing to understand that people are people and their choices are their own? This extends to LGBT folks rejected by their families as well.

    Thanks for the reminder that time is indeed too short. Lovely. Amy

  8. ~What a touching piece of micro-fiction. A powerful story with an inbuilt moral, told with economy and beauty.

  9. I want to cry. Simple and beautiful.



Dear WORDPRESS friends. If you are having difficulty posting please 'Comment as' either:-

a) Name/URL
b) Anonymous with your name included in your comment.

Thank you!