One year ago…
The air whirled around her, circling the hunched frame of the figure as she high kneeled in front of the washed out grey tombstone. Autumn was in full swing and all the leaves were in dresses of warm golds, russet browns and blushing orange.
Everything felt paradoxical. No matter how enthusiastic nature was being about the season’s festivities, Melrose’s heart was currently as washed out as the tombstone before her, as cold and real as reality.
In the empty silence of the sunrise, warm tears ran as Melrose remained still as though she was still in a vigil, though it had been a year past.
Grandma had been a source of inspiration, and Melrose was determined to walk in her footsteps, doing her grandma proud by similarly leading and living her life impactfully as an example.
It was just a shame that Grandma didn’t get to witness her marriage before she was called back to be reunited with her Creator.
Melrose had been raised up by her grandmother, guided through her tumultuous teenagehood by her alone. In her heart, Melrose knew that Grandma would be beaming, grinning from ear to ear from the realm above.
She made no secret of the fact that she adored Kevin. In her eyes, he was a young capable man who had risen above the disadvantageous circumstances life had meted out to him. He’s someone who could earn and manage his own money, Melrose remembered her saying, her voice as clear as a bell, despite her frail health then.
In a way, Melrose and her now-husband were kindred spirits, which Melrose thought as one of the reasons they were attracted to each other. Despite being born into a stable family, Kevin had to grow up fast. His father never remarried after being widowed two years after the birth of his son. He had raised Kevin single-handedly along with some occasional help from his grandmother, until her time came when Kevin was seven. Finally, when his father departed when he was merely seventeen, Kevin kicked in his self-sufficiency gear and started working while still somehow managing to finish his high school education.
This was when Melrose’s grandma reached out to Kevin, having been moved by Kevin’s personal predicament. She invited Kevin over for a meal once every week, after knowing he was too tired to cook for himself most times.
Then one night after Kevin had went back home and Melrose was helping her with the stack of dishes needed washing, Grandma turned to her and said, “You know, sweetheart, Kevin may be quiet and reserved but he’s got backbone and a strong heart. If you ever are looking for a life companion, he’d be a good fit.”
Melrose hadn’t taken those words to heart. She and Kevin had seen each other grow, having known each other throughout their teens and they were strong best friends. It was quite funny to think of Kevin in that particular manner at that time. Though Grandma’s words held no weight on her free will, her words had proved prophetic and Grandma had been over the moon when Melrose announced one day that she had decided to give Kevin a chance at dating her.
Fast forward one year later and they had tied the knot, announcing and celebrating their union with a simple no-frills garden party in her Grandma’s backyard.
Melrose smiled wistfully at the fond memories of her Grandma, the cozy nostalgia warming up her insides despite the cold air. She sighed, reaching into her bag and pulling out the small spray of calla lilies and lavender, placing it at the foot of Grandma’s resting place. As she did so, the tiny gems of the band on her ring finger glimmered, a contrast from the pale dried hues of the flowers.
“The flowers aren’t the best, Grandma, but we tried to keep them alive as long as we could. We used them in our wedding reception.”