The wave receeded, rushing back to rejoin the clear blue water on this side of the reef. Tom watched it flow, listened to the gentle sounds of the next wave preparing to replace it. The relaxing cadence sending him into a trancelike state. It was late evening, the sun hanging low above the horizon.
The silouhette of a sailboat passing before the golden yellow sky reminded Tom of the times he and his friends raced little boats in the stream which ran behind his childhood school. His mind drifted further into the memory, the sound of the waves easing the journey. The scene of a particular race came crisply into view as if he were a spectator standing there watching the event now. Excited voices sprang from the boys dashing along the stream bank. They raced to keep up with the boats, calling out each time their prized boat took the lead over the others. It was a truly joyous day.
A bright blue boat with red trim and white sails was currently in the lead. Tom remembered the boat fondly as it had been his. Circles painted along the side were made to look like portholes. Complete with a miniature captain at the helm, guiding the boat safely through the treacherous waters of the stream. He loved that boat. That day victory had found him as that glorious boat was first to the finish.
He wanted to stay in that memory a bit longer, relish the joy he had felt that day, but was jolted back by the sound of his name.
“Tom!”, came the voice of his in home nurse, Debbie, “Tom, someone is here to see you.”
Just as well, he supposed, the boat was lost to the depths of time. Passed on to his son so many years ago and forgotten apparently, just like him.
“Who is it?”, he replied grumbly, he hadn’t been expecting anyone that day. No one had been to visit in days.
“I think you should come see.”, came the nurse’s reply.
Muttering to himself, Tom turned his wheelchair and started across the deck, stealing a last glance at the sailboat lingering on the horizon. Just as he entered the house there came a loud and very excited young voice.
“GRANDPA! Grandpa! I won! I won! You shoulda saw it!”
Tom’s eyes lit up and his mood improved instantly upon hearing his grandson, Tyler’s, excited voice. His eyes found the boy who was bouncing up and down holding a small blue sailboat in his outstretched arms, his blue sailboat. He looked up into his son’s knowing eyes, the father of the young boy standing just there behind him, and saw him wink.
“Slow down now Tyler, give your grandpa a moment to get settled.”, Robert said. “Then you can tell him all about the boat race today.”
Tyler began to cover all the details of the day, showing his grandpa how the boat had tossed and turned on its way down the stream. He talked all about each of the other boats in the race that day and the kids who brought them. It was one of the best visits he could remember ever having with his grandson.
Sitting there with his son and grandson, hearing how the little sailboat had brought so much joy to Tyler, as it had to himself, and was bringing to him now, he decided that today was a joyous day too.
© 2018 – James Sponseller – mindescapes.net
As part of suicide prevention awareness month and all throughout the year try to make time to visit an elderly shut-in from your community circle or better yet make friends with some! They are often lonely and depressed and long for someone to brighten their day and you may be surprised how they brighten your day too!
Special thanks to:
- nifares69 for the sailboat at sunset image
- MemoryCatcher for the toy sailboat image