Sunday, February 14, 2016

Lasting Love (creative non-fiction)

Happy Valentine's Day! This short story is dedicated to my parents. Even though it is short, it took many years to write. One reason may be that it was so close to my heart. I was with my mom for a month and a half before she died. I always knew my parents had a strong love, but I didn't know how strong until I witnessed the scene that inspired this story. My parents were private people, but I know think hope they won't mind me sharing this with you.


(My parents on their wedding day circa 1940s.)



Defenseless, I lay in this cage of sheets and blankets as cancer prowls, leaps, sinks its teeth into my flesh and devours me--piece by piece. I struggle for life; all I gain is courage.

My husband stands straight, tall, so close to my bed. He is all I see. He is my life. His long, thin, weathered fingers stroke my brow. My life is in his touch.

Our love has endured so much--worry, anger, misunderstanding, longing, pain. Will it endure this?

Others think he is strong but I see his damp eyes, his Adam's apple quiver, his erratic breathing. I know his fragility. My strongest desire is to keep him safe from sadness, from grief, from loss, from what is happening to me. I want to hold him and I want to tell him that we've won, that we will be together forever.

But though I fight, I am leaving him--slipping away.

He must withstand this. He must be strong. I will give him strength. I sneer up at him. Don't let it win. Have faith. Our love is stronger. I tell him with my eyes.

"May I kiss you?" He is always a gentleman.

"If you dare." I grin. He's used to my teasing.

Our lips--our hearts touch.

"Was it worth it?" I ask. "Was it worth your life?"

"Oh." He breathes. "Oh, yes." He forces a smile.

Then I know; I know we've won; I know our love will never die.

My mom passed away in April 1998; my dad was by her side until her very last breathe.

(My parents at my wedding circa 1990s.)

Next post: Writing the Story -- I reflect on my writing process.
An apology...
Okay, I don't know how this happened but part of this post was published on Google +. I'm trying not to lose sleep over it. I know it's minor. But I know how I feel when I find a post I want to read and only half of it is there. Frustrating. So please accept my apology. I hope you find that it was worth the wait. 

Sharing my author journey...
I was growing nervous. In fact, I was even preparing excuses. You 

know, I was going to write in this space on Feb. 29, it's not like I haven't been working. It may look like that. I mean my submission numbers are down and...
But I don't have to prepare excuses because at 6 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 12th inspiration struck and I began to write a picture book manuscript. As you may recall, I began to write another picture book manuscript last Wednesday (Feb. 3rd) at 4 a.m. . 
What's my secret? How am I creating these early morning writing sprees? 
I have no idea. But won't it be neat if they continued. 
And so no need for excuses. I can prove I was working this month--I now have 15 picture book manuscripts.
Oh, yes, and I'm still re-writing that novel.


4 comments:

Darlene said...

A wonderful love story about your parents. My mom sat with my dad for many days before he passed away, after 59 years of marriage. You don't often see that dedication. We have both been blessed to see it for real.

Leanne Dyck said...

I couldn't agree more, Darlene. It is a rich inheritance.

Laurie Buchanan said...

Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful—simply beautiful—story.

Leanne Dyck said...

Thank you for your endless support, Laurie.