One last embrace of fond memories and it was time to let the past go.
|Writers Cramp daily win prompt: bolded words
Time was no problem. Emily sat in her father’s old rocker. The place looked much the same as it always had. She had split her childhood between here and her mother’s penthouse suite in New York.
The divorce between her parents had been no inconsequential matter. It had shaped her life while destroying theirs like a wildfire burning out of control. The lawyers got everything by the time it was through. Everything but his cabin and her mom’s tenth-floor valkyrie hideaway. Now, these were in more lawyer’s hands deciding their fate.
Mom’s end came suddenly in the form of a drunk driver’s careless road trip ending with taking her out two blocks from her retreat. Dad had succumbed to a more leisurely dance with death fighting cancer to the bitter end.
Emily felt the dull stir of autumn rustle through nearby trees. One red leaf floated before her eyes, landed in her lap, and settled. “All things must end,” she told it.
Her car was almost filled with the boxes of things her father left behind. She would sort them out later. There were a lot of old memories stored in the nick-nacks he liked. Emily smiled at the sight of the row of painted pet rocks she had made and gifted him with each of his birthdays.
“Didn’t take much to please you, dad.”
With her mom it had been different. There was never any pleasing her. "Why don’t you go to a decent college, dear. Your grades are good enough. You could become a lawyer. You could make something of yourself and be worth something. God knows it is about time for luck to turn our way.”
Mom didn’t see anyone’s good fortune without wanting to shape it for her own. She had collected husbands the way dad collected pretty rocks. The accidental death on her insurance policy had buried her with plenty of glitz. Emily hadn’t wanted anything for herself.
The send-off sent shockwaves off into the lives of greedy relatives on her mom’s side of the family. Emily had given them copies of the will showing how little was left or they’d be after her still.
It hadn't been that way at first, dad had said. Their marriage dates consisted of garage sale dates collecting things to make their first home, here in the cabin, a shared and comfy one. Mom had outgrown that, he said, and wanted more.
No-one knew or probably would have cared if they did find out that her dad’s DNA had given her a last gift. They thought they had caught the cancer soon enough. A full recovery was expected.
Emily stopped rocking and thinking about the past. Roger would be waiting for her back in the city wondering why she had taken so long.
“He is a lot like you, dad. He is a good man.”
Emily had to move a fence in disrepair away from the road and twist it back again while leaving. It was the last closing touch in tribute to the greatest gift her father had left her with. "Thanks, dad. You taught me how to love."