It's time for our last challenge of 2019 - the subject as above is FOOTPRINTS
Here is my contribution:
Sitting on the bench Albert watched the horizon. His rheumy eyes sometimes found it difficult to focus further out or even in, these days. The glasses helped; he was amazed that they turned dark at the least sign of bright sunshine. The things they could do these days, he knew there was a name for it trans something – oh no, that was something else – yes, photogenic. No, that wasn't right either. Shaking his head, he relaxed his mind, maybe the word he was searching for would come to him in time. Time was something he had a lot of these days, although maybe not as much as he wanted.
Sitting on the memorial bench dedicated in memory of his lovely wife, Eileen, his mind opened like a trailer for a film. Snapshots of his life, their life together and now this third transition, his life on his own.
Did he leave enough of a mark for generations to come to remember him? He didn’t live through a war. He didn’t invent a life-saving medical drug. He didn’t make lots of money, although he earned a decent enough living throughout his life by working hard and diligently. His family didn’t go without, they didn’t live in the lap of luxury but they were happy. He didn’t write a book, direct a film or become a big film star. He didn’t paint, sculpt or do anything artistic.
What he did do was love his life, his family and help anybody whenever he could. He was lucky to be surrounded by family when so many families became scattered, dysfunctional or just too busy.
The seagulls squawked their raucous calls, as he looked up at them whirling around in the blue sky above he gave thanks to – well he wasn’t sure who he could give thanks to or even if there was someone/something out there but that was another thought for another day and another time, probably with the help of a glass of whisky or two. He laughed quietly to himself, he did enjoy a tipple of an evening.
Oh yes, photochromatic, that’s what his spectacles had – they changed into sunglasses all by themselves. Amazing.
He heard the clock tower strike eleven, she was late again but then when was she ever early? That would be her legacy in life, always rushing but never on time rather like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland – “I’m late, I’m late! For a very important date!” She had a heart of gold but time-keeping wasn't in her make-up.
Albert looked out over his favourite scene. There he was. His precious godson or as he liked to think of him, his precious grandson. Not by blood, not by birth but by bonding. This little boy was the light of his life and he was so grateful Harry and Louise had come in to his life when they had. They had enveloped him in their love, in their family and made his days not as lonely any more.
That was their legacy, their footprint in time. They might not aspire or achieve great or notable things in the world but they would pass on their kindness, love, fortitude, morals and downright human decency. Albert nodded to himself, you didn’t have to be famous, have your name known by all and sundry, so long as those people who were in your life let you love them and they loved you in return.
Harry was making his bid for freedom. Look at him go. Those sturdy little legs carrying him far away (always in sight of his mother though) – he was full of life and Albert hoped that would never fade.
The sky met the sea, the sea met the shingle and Harry’s footprints left a faint mark which would be washed away by the later tide, borne who knows where, perhaps to lands far away, perhaps to the depths of the earth. Albert waved at Louise who beamed back at him, beckoning him to join them on the beach for a cuppa. She’d also have something delicious to treat him with, perhaps a chocolate muffin if he was lucky.
Yes, he did feel lucky. So lucky. He watched Harry gaze in wonder at the vista beyond his young eyes. Albert gazed also in wonder at the scene as he slowly, stiffly, rose from the bench, blowing a kiss to his love as he moved forward with his life.
Generations come and go
Leaving footprints in the snow
In the sand
Through the land
Legacies that live on through others
The sisters and mothers
The fathers and brothers
Nephews and nieces
Cousins and sundries
Assorted, blended families
Lay behind love and loyalty
Hidden depths take pride of place
As people move in and out of the human race
No more classes
A Utopian dream
Perhaps never seen
Maybe won’t ever exist
Word count: 817