memories from a stranger.

February 12, 2009
By Preston Smith BRONZE, Flower Mound, Texas
Preston Smith BRONZE, Flower Mound, Texas
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

memories from a stranger. In the event of my grandfather?s tragic death, I was emotionally crushed
at the time. Because it happened when I was at a young age, it didn't affect me as much as it could
have. My mother took it the worst of everyone there, so when the funeral was over, my family was
still saddened by her reaction. I thought that nothing would ever come of his death; however,
something did come in a brown package from my grandmother for my 13th birthday.

Within the a small black book was revealed.
Rubbing over the golden crest imprinted on the cover, I knew it must have been a journal. On the
inside was a small black line that had, 'Fredrick L...,' signed to it. I instantly knew
that this was my grandfather's journal, or diary of some kind. I was very excited about finding the
journal, because I personally had not known him like the others in my family.

The table of contents was labeled with just five chapters,
3.The War

Then I noticed an epilogue written in almost illegible cursive. 'This novel
is not just a book for amusement; it is a book to help you improve your life. This book will help
you most, in your search for god. This book will hopefully, help all those who need it. -Fred
L...' As I started to read the first chapter, I thought that is would be somewhat foggy memories
from his childhood. After the first paragraph, I was aghast at the clear and fluent memories.
'Today, my father left to join the army. I wish he would stay, but he said it was something he
needed to do. I'm praying that he will return soon, but I realize the terrible possibilities,' I
read quietly off the page. 'Today, we received news in the mail. We all knew it could happen, but we
never thought he would die in service,' which socked me, because I never had any relationship with
my own father. Thankfully it was because of divorce, and not death. It was then that I realized that
I was never told any thing about my great grandparents. When I read the chapter list in the front,
my prime, seemed like the title for when he was in his middle fifties; strangely, it was about his
life when he was 20 or so. The most shocking excerpt was from the night that he proposed to my
grandmother. 'Tonight, I am going to ask Jean to marry me. I'm now sure of your intentions, and my
own. Please give me the courage to ask her.' I knew he must have been very serious, because he spent
all of his money on a two karat ring. I bet he never told my grandmother, but I know it's not the
price that matters. This showed me who I received my poetic side from. His chapter on the war was
worse than any depressing movie I could ever see. 'Today is something I will never talk about. I
fear that the punishment I will receive from the death of the enemy is something I will never be
able to avoid. I continue to pray, but I'm afraid that a response will never come.' At that point I
had to stop reading, from the emotions that were influencing me. It made me think of all the other
people who have suffered this terrible feeling. His love for his family was the strongest emotion
that I've received, ever, from a book. 'I'm so happy, because today my second daughter was born. I'm
glad, because she looks like her mother; I hope she would act like her too. I think this is the life
that god wanted for me, and I thank him for him.' This was why his family wouldn't talk about him,
ever. They must have loved him so much, that he was perfect in his eyes. Now I understood why it
almost killed my mother and grandmother; they loved him probably more than anything else. I hoped I
would have a family like that, but never have to leave them like that.

'Obviously this couldn't be about my actual death, but of the perception of death. I myself have
always followed god, but I know that some do not. Because of my belief I have never feared death, so
thoughts of my end have never affected me. Those who read this I hope will follow god, because you
will be able to follow him without objection or regret. For those of you who fear death, it should
be viewed as an invitation to join him. So my only advice is to follow, and live by that
commitment.' The words I read in the last chapter were the most influential I've ever read. I'll
always regret not knowing him, but I will always be thankful for the memories I read. I will never
forget him.

The author's comments:
This story was extremely hard for me to write, because of the delicate matter of the story. i

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