This is submitted for Tuesday Track
Tuesday Track is a Weekly Music Prompts series. If you’d like to participate just let the music prompt a story (fiction or non-fiction), inspire a photograph, an edit, a drawing, a poem, whatever gets your heart going today. Post the result by Friday. At the link above “Tuesday Track”, post your link in the comments.
This weeks song is Don’t Let Me Go by Raign and I recommend clicking on the link below and having a listen. The artist has a deep voice which is haunting but it fits the song. Since my blog is basically a history site, I decided to select some themes from the song such our memories, being separated from the ones we love and loss as the basis for my post. I am sharing a short story that I wrote previously. It is one of my favorites and I think it fits the themes. In this story we meet Gracie who experienced a great loss many year ago and all she has is her memories.
She sank into the depths of her memories. Gracie listened as her granddaughter leaned forward to peer in the display case and read the description on the photographs.
“Grandma, it says that the children of Liverpool were evacuated during the war and that they had gas masks,” exclaimed Sara. “Do you think we’ll see a gas mask today?”
When she received no response from her grandma, Sara turned around to see if she had wandered off. “What’s the matter granny, you look like you are about to faint,” said Sara.
“I’ll be fine. Help me over to that bench and let me sit awhile,“ gasped Gracie.
After she was seated, she looked around the museum and then back at her granddaughter. “Sara, I don’t want to spoil your visit to the museum. You are old enough to look around on your own. I’ll sit here and when you finish this floor come back and fetch me,” said Gracie.
“Are you sure? I can sit with you if you want Granny,” said Sara.
“I am sure. I’ll just sit here with my memories,” said Gracie.
After Sara left her side, Gracie went back to look at the exhibit on World War II evacuations. The memories all came flooding back.
She had been six years old when she and her brother James, aged ten had been evacuated to Canada because of the impending German bombs. Of course she hadn’t understood at the time but she could remember it like a vivid picture in her mind today. The tears streaming down her mother’s face, the paper nametag tied to the button of her coat, the little box containing a gas mask she held by a strap and her mother waving goodbye as she and her brother boarded a train which would take them to their ship. That was the last time she ever saw her mother. That loss was her only regret from her long life but since she had lost her brother last year, all she had left were her memories.
A little while later, Sara returned all full with excitement over all that she had seen. “Grandma I saw a photograph of jelly fish. It was very colorful. I had seen real ones last year on our school trip to the aquarium,” said Sara.
Gracie and Sara continued with the last exhibit floor and then returned to Gracie’s home in the late afternoon. While Sara watched television, Gracie went into her bedroom. With her memories still floating around in her head, she opened her closet and took down a wooden keepsake chest from the top shelf. Gracie brought the box to her bed and began to look through the contents.
At the very top was the letter from Mrs. Ward. She had been their neighbor before the war changed everything. Gracie didn’t really remember her since it was so long ago. The letter arrived at the farm in Canada many years after it was posted. The letter told of her mother’s death when the bombs hit their home during the blitz. Gracie’s mother only survived six months after she put her children on that train. Reading the letter again, brought tears to Gracie’s green eyes as Mrs. Ward wrote about Maureen Taylor’s last months and Gracie could continue to remember her mother through the letter.
The next item in the box was a faded photograph of her mother and her father on their wedding day. Gracie never knew her father. He had died in a bus accident before she was born. Gracie’s brother James spoke of their father often. After the war, James was the only family she had until she married and had her own. Even though the Clarke family in Canada became her family, James was her real brother.
The last item that Gracie took out of the box was an Irish linen handkerchief that had been her mothers.
The scent of Maureen’s perfume has long since faded but Gracie could remember that whenever she was experiencing sadness in her childhood, she would take out the handkerchief and with that floral scent, Gracie was transported to her mother’s embrace. Even without the floral scent, she never forgot her mother. Gracie knew that it wouldn’t be many more years before she was gone too. Of course she would then be reunited with her husband, mother, brother and the father she never knew but until then she has her memories.