Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Sunday, August 14, 2016

silent resignation

 Mother and daughter sat on a bench outside their home on Floyd street. They were talking about the news of the war. The daughter, whose name is Lucy, had received word that her grandson was drafted. Now the grandson lived with her, as her daughter had passed the day after giving birth to him. He had an older brother, already in the war, and now he must go. Her heart was heavy and her Mom was offering consolation. Her grandfather had fought in the civil war, and she had sons that fought in world war one. She knew of war and death. The boys father died on a trip to Florida from a ruptured appendix, that was back in '32. Ten years had passed and now she had to watch the youngest go off to war. Off to California, across the country, to some base called March Field. Something to do with airplanes is all she knew.
 They sat side by side, hands folded in their laps, resigned to whatever fate would bring. They remembered when the house was built back in 1884. It was the dream of a lifetime. A fine two story house on a corner lot. Lucy was just fourteen then and full of hope and dreams. She would get married in that house just four years later. By 1904 she would have three daughters, Sarah, Jesse and Clara. She had married Floyd Parker Lester, an old name and old family. He operated the " Maidstone Taxi " service. It was a struggle to feed and clothe three daughters and care for the horses. It was the beginning of the twentieth century and automobiles were coming into usage. It was that that led to his bankruptcy. Well, at first one horse died and he couldn't afford to replace that, combined with fewer fares it spelled the end. He lost his home and everything he owned. He moved into his in-laws house in shame. The father in law, James, signed the house over to Lucy, his youngest daughter, to have as her sole possession. Floyd was not to have any ability to sell or mortgage that property. He had failed in business and could not be trusted. All that was years ago.
 Now it was 1944 and mother and daughter sit there. Clara, the youngest had passed away in '24 Mother to two boys. Those boys would stay with Lucy, in the big house on the corner lot. Grandfather James, Jim as he was known about town, had passed in 1917. Agnes, wife to James, mother to Lucy, sat in silence. She was thinking about her own father, Abraham Miller King. He was a round the world whaler. A sea going man that rounded the horn three times. She remembered the times, as a child, she waited for PaPa to come back. He passed in 1902, forty two years ago having taken his final voyage. She remembered in 1914 when the first world war broke out, the war to end all wars. Her sons had fought in that war. They had returned, by the grace of God. And now she sat here with no more words to be spoken. They sat in silent resignation to whatever the future may bring.
 I have that picture upon my wall. The picture was probably taken after the war, after my father had returned. I can not be certain of that as there is no one left to tell. Uncle Fred, grandma Lucy's brother, was a photographer and more than likely took the shot. As I look at that picture, having not known either one of them personally, although grandma Lucy once held me I am told, that is what I imagined they might be doing. They both appear resigned to me and I can't really explain why. Perhaps it is more contentment than resignation. I don't know, I just think that we resign ourselves to life and that brings contentment. Resignation is the act of accepting what is undesirable but inevitable. No mother wants to see their children go off to war. No one wants to lose the ones we love.