Erika Seetzen-Woods

Nostalgia

I wish that I had asked you many more questions about your life. I would have loved to partake in the wisdom of your years. Suddenly it was too late, when you closed your eyes for ever.
I still feel he sadness of that day, when I accompanied you in the taxi on the way to hospital, asking the driver to drive slowly through the streets. You would not be seeing your town again, because the diagnosis of terminal throat cancer would mean the end of your long life.
I had arrived in my hometown and you told me that you were ready to die, now that you had seen me once more. You had resigned yourself having to enter hospital, knowing that I would accompany you on that last journey through the town.
You told me that you had lived a long,
satisfied life and after your retirement
the garden had become your hobby. Now it was time to leave all that behind.
I look back at my childhood, when you were a beloved Granddad, Father Christmas and friend.
I can see you in your large garden with your wheelbarrow, spade and rake. Apple, pear and plum trees laden with luscious fruit were there for the taking. Appetising strawberries, raspberries and gooseberries, which I was allowed to sample and enjoy, made my childhood very happy.
We harvested many vegetables for our good health. The lovely flowers, which I helped to gather for our vases and the large pumpkins you grew, all of this has never left my memory.
I used to walk along the garden path with my little wooden trolly, which you had constructed for me, and collect the fallen apples, which were made into special cider for us.
You used to sing little songs for me and made me laugh. One Christmas you constructed a doll`s house with beautiful furniture and small, framed pictures of film stars on the walls.The tiny table lamps with orange shades lit up with the aid of batteries. You had even fitted a real carpet on the doll`s house floor, which was a leftover sample piece from your velvet sofa. I was absolutely delighted with my doll`s house.
At nine years old I was proud of my bicycle with special `silver` mudguards, fitted by you, riding around in the vicinity on my little excursions. If I ever had a deflated tyre, you would not hear of me having a go at it, but you, the complete gentleman, repaired my tyre and gave me that freedom again of peddling away!
I can see you feeding the birds in our garden with pork rinds and bread with lard in the winter. There you stood, an elderly man, in the icy wind and freezing snow, slapping your arms criss-cross fashion across your chest, while your warm breath was visibly clashing with the cold air. My lovely Grandmother came outside with a warm scarf, lovingly wrapping it around your neck and fastening your jacket.
You were a grand old man and I am happy to have known you.
I thank you for my lovely childhood.


Erika Seetzen-Woods

 

All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Erika Seetzen-Woods.
Published on e-Stories.org on 29.04.2004.

 

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