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A Hero's Farewell


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The sun began to set on the horizon, casting brilliant shades of red and yellow across the marsh grass as it blew like a wave in the cool breeze. In the distance a tall sailboat faded away as it crossed into the deeper waters of the ocean, leaving the beautiful city behind as the chilling night crept slowly over the sky. The sun continued to sink beneath the waterline as Thomas watched silently. Strange, he thought, how he could sit enjoying the view time and time again but in seconds it would dip out of sight leaving him alone beneath the lonely night. However, no matter how marvelous the sunset was, he never fully appreciated it until it had gone away forever. Perhaps that was how all things were in life.
Thomas wiped a tear from his eye and turned to face the grave of his father, placing fresh flowers at the headstone. He read the words embedded in it over and over in his head: “Beloved Husband, Father, and Hero.” He couldn’t believe that after such an amazing life they could summarize it all into just five words. To Thomas he had been so much more than just a father and a hero. There was not a single person he loved more in the world, his dad had been everything.
Only days before had he looked Thomas in the eyes at graduation, telling him how incredibly proud he was and how he couldn’t wait to see the rest of the accomplishments to come. Now, three days later, he was gone. No longer would he look his father in the eye and smile. His life ended just as Thomas’s was beginning. In a heartbeat his world had changed forever, with no warning; no farewell.
As the sun finally dropped out of view Thomas stood, walking towards the dirt road. He didn’t look back towards the graves, the lives buried, finalized, beneath five word summaries. He simply walked forward, praying that he too would be a beloved Husband, Father, and Hero.



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