Thank you to Priceless Joy for hosting this challenge in memory of Barbara Beacham, who passed away recently. Barbara was so sweet to host the Monday’s Finish the Story Challenge that I loved being a part of each week.
“You know, that was grandma’s favorite flower,” Dad said, pointing to the spray of yellow roses covering the white casket.
“Really?” Lucy asked, still profoundly confused. They’d flown here in the middle of the night a few days ago. All mom and dad would tell her was that grandma didn’t feel well. When Lucy didn’t feel well she had to swallow some yucky cough medicine, drink orange juice and stay in bed watching cartoons all day. “Are we going to bring her some medicine?” Lucy inquired of her parents as they boarded the plane. They just looked at each other, saying nothing.
When they’d gone to the hospital, a giant of a woman had stood in the doorway of grandma’s room and said that Lucy was not to be allowed in under any circumstances. Mom and Dad had taken turns keeping her company in the waiting room for the rest of the night and following day, until finally one of her aunts had run in and yelled that grandma was, “gone.” Gone where? Dad had tried to gently explain that grandma had died, and when people die, it’s like they’ve fallen asleep. It’s very peaceful and she’s not in any pain.
“Well, then wake her up!” Lucy had demanded. She wanted to tell her goodbye.
Her dad wiped his eyes. “We can’t, honey.”
Her five-year-old brain was so scrambled.
“Wait!” Lucy yelled at the men who were about to lower the casket into the earth. She looked at her confused father. “I want some of grandma’s flowers.” She plucked a perfect yellow rose from the display on the casket. All of her young cousins, ten in total, ranging in age from four to twelve, followed suit.
The children danced and laughed in the bright afternoon sunshine, clutching the yellow flowers in their small hands, not noticing as the casket was finally lowered into the ground. Their parents stood silently, taking each other’s hands as they watched the children play.