Just something floating in my head while on a drive as we passed by one these.
The setting is perfect. The sun is shining through the large puffy clouds, the weather is nice and crisp, and there is a light breeze to counter the warmth of the day. The birds are singing and happy couples are giggling. The classic red and white checkered picnic blanket is spread out on the grass. We have ham and cheese sandwiches, juice boxes, bottles of water, and some apples and grapes. For dessert, my homemade chocolate fudge brownies that I know you salivate for. Oh dear, look. Our son has crumbs all over his face. He's snuck a couple of brownies when he thought I wasn't looking. Soon he'll fall asleep from the sugar crash. Never mind, he already has. I suppose I'll just let him rest here for a little while.
The people driving by are giving us strange looks. I suppose they're wondering what we're doing hanging around here like this today of all days. After all, it is February 14, the same day you asked me to be your girlfriend junior year of high school and the day you left. I hate this day, seeing all the happy couples sharing unforgettable memories. However, it's also the day I feel closest to you. Whenever Valentine's Day rolls around I always wonder why you left. Are you happy where you are? What is it like there?
You know, yesterday was our son's birthday. He turned five, which means I'll be registering him for Pre-K this coming September. I keep worrying about him. He is so little, yet so bright. I want our child to make lots of friends and have an enjoyable school life. Do you worry? You probably don't. You always did say that I worried too much. Was I ever overbearing? Sometimes I wonder if things had been different, would you have left. Despite those cruel words I said, I needed you. You were there for me when Blackie died. You were the best and only date I ever had to homecoming and prom. I loved how your eyes lit up during our wedding. You stuck around when I was promoted and we had to move to Boston. I think you cried more than our newborn son did, although you would never admit to having even teared up slightly. Something about preserving male pride. I needed you there when my parents died two years ago. But by then, you had already left and you weren't coming back. Why did you have to go? Why did you leave me here alone? All I have left of you are pictures and memories, though our son reminds me so much of you every single day it hurts.
Oh, look at me. I've ruined my makeup and Tommy is waking up. I guess it's time to go home now. The groundskeeper is closing up. I'll see you later, honey.
With one last glance back towards the love of her life, the woman cleaned up, sliding the basket handle over her arm and carried her son to the car.
In loving memory
James Timothy Anderson
November 23, 1970-February 14, 2010