Under the Tearful Sky

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“And as we lay her down to her final rest, it shall never be forgotten the love and joy she brought to those who she knew throughout her long life. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust”. The preacher said the final words, as the rain continued to drizzle down. You could not ask for any more of a stereotypical moment for a funeral then this. The mouners were all there, not a very large crowd at that, but they had all been touched by her kindness and the warmth she had shared with them. To someone as simple as the man who ran the small pet store on Lacross avenue to her son, who had now lost both of the parents who had raised him with care. His wife stood by his side, trying to give silent comfort to her husband, who while he held a stony and silent gaze, she knew that he was breaking inside. She looked to the two little girls who held onto each of her hands. She wasn’t sure that they fully understood what was happening but she had the sense that somehow they had an inkling of the tragedy which had occurred. As a peel of thunder rolled, one of the girls tore away from her mother’s hand and ran away into the graveyard.

“Mattie! Wait!” she tried to call out to her child, but the building storm was loud enough to cover up the sound of her voice. The four year old darted through the graveyard as fast as her little legs could carry her. She didn’t understand. Where was grandma? Why was she gone? Why couldn’t she hear her sing anymore? She wanted her grandma back! She couldn’t see anything. It was so dark and scary and she was crying and confused and everything wasn’t right, why wasn’t anything right!? Her running suddenly came to a dead stop as she hit something. Tumbling backwards onto her butt into a puddle, she finally began to cry.

“Are you hurt, little one?” Mattie blinked in between sobs and looked up. She was a very tall lady but very pretty. Her long blond hair was partially hidden by the black hat she wore and though she kept it low over her face, Mattie could see two soft blue eyes staring down at her. The man next to her was just as tall but kept himself protected by the umbrella he held, so much so that she could not see a single feature on him. The woman bent over and helped the little girl up, gently brushing at the dress she wore. “You shouldn’t get mud on such a pretty dress, now should you”. Mattie sniffled and began to snob.

“Gamma..sh…she…” Tears began to run down the little girl’s cheeks, causing her to rub her face messily with her sleeves. The woman smiled to Mattie and gently took out a small kerchief, wiping at the little girl’s face.

“I’m sure your grandma would not want to see you cry. She loved you very much and no matter what, she wouldn’t want you to be sad” This seemed to make the little girl pause for a moment. “She would want you to be a very brave girl right now and I’m sure wherever she is right now, she’s watching you. Now you should go back to your mommy and daddy, alright?” Mattie nodded slowly, sniffing but smiling. The woman smiled back and pat the child on the head. Turning, Mattie ran back along the graveyard, to where her parents and sister were waiting, worried.

“Those two girls. You know there is the possibility that they may have as much spirit power as she did..if we could…” The woman frowned and looked over to the man next to her.

“This is neither the time nor the place for this, Sunnyside” she said, adjusting her hat. “They’re just children and they have just lost someone very dear to them. We are not going to treat them like some sort of weapon.” Sunnyside smiled sadly to the woman, meeting her own gaze.

“You’re right, Ratchet. This is not the time for that.” As they watched the mourners pile into their cars and drive off, the two walked side by side towards the grave marker. They looked at it the inscription, staring at it for a long time.

DIANA SMITHSON 1909 – 1982 BELOVED WIFE, MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER

Carefully, Sunnyside bent over and laid a bouquet of flowers upon the grave, Ratchet leaning against him. She was a strong natured woman, with a great deal of will but even now she could feel it wavering just a bit. With silence the two walked away, back to the black car which had brought them there and drove off under the dark tearful sky.