Wednesday, September 24, 2008

what's left behind

the prayers

One of my Flickr friends Billy G. is a great writer. He started posting his writings along with his photos on his Flickr photostream. Here's one of his stories I could relate to the most. It didn't take long for me to have teary eyes.

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what's left behind by billy gomez.

"what happens when people die? the boy asked his mother. she looked down at him and stared for a few moments... never ceasing to be amazed by the boy's inquiries.
"well honey, when people die, they sort of... they sort of leave things behind."
"like what?"
"like... everyone they knew and loved."
"and what else?"
she reached into her purse and pulled something from it to wipe the boy's nose and mouth.
"well... they also leave behind everything they did."
"everything they did?"
"yeah, some of these things are good, and some of them are bad. hopefully more good things are left behind when someone dies."
"what kind of things are good?"
"the good things would be things like the people they loved, their family and friends... and it could also be the things they left in their work."
"work?"
"yeah work... like say for example the person who died was a writer. a writer leaves behind everything he or she wrote."
"and the bad things?"
"the bad things could be things like... things... things like..."
her bottom lip was punctuating the words in a way she was unable to control... the boy stared up at her and waited patiently.
he reached for her hand and squeezed it. the bus shook and rattled... but the boy never let go.
"am i a good thing or a bad thing that dad left behind?" he asked her.
the woman closed her eyes and squeezed... everything she was holding back, came running down her face. the boy looked down at the hand he was holding. his eyes became more glossy.
she reached up and wiped hers, then reached down and did the same for him.
she took a deep breath and spoke.
"you are not a thing, my love... you are a gift. you were a gift to him, to me, and to everyone who lays eyes on you."
the boy thought about her words for a moment. the answer didn't seem good enough.
"do you think dad knew that?"
"of course he did."
his gloomy expression made way for a smile.
the mother reached down and wiped was left around his eyes. she squeezed his hands and looked towards the window.
the bus continued to shake and rattle. they had a ways to go.

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