Herald Flicks

December 2, 2010
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Herald Flicks, in his mid 70’s, right here in Cornell Park, on a late spring early afternoon, it happened; a miracle. Herald sat on the bench that was midway along the first path to take, out of the several, in Cornell Park. Sore, tired, and simply confused he leaned forward with his head in his hands. He looked forward simply gazing at the wooden bench right across from him. It resembled the bench he was sitting on, just the same, brown and wooden. He sighed, truly baffled, he looked up into the sky, not knowing why, or what was making him react in such an optimistic, peculiar way. But why is the question? Why did Herald Flicks sit on that bench, on that day, in that park, what was there that he truly didn’t see but was looking for?
The story lays where not even Herald knows, in the back of his memories; the memories that are slowly being erased, and forgotten due to Alzheimer’s. His memories flickered before his eyes if he rested; Herald closed his eyes and let the warm, comforting spring breeze bring back his childhood. Images flashed in his mind, of kids playing in the park. And he could almost hear them laughing, and kicking a ball around, he smiled at the thought that was now coming back to him. He concentrated, because something was telling him that there was something he had to see! He tried relaxing again, and the memories of that day kept coming back, which was odd because right where he sat now, were the memories of when he sat there, then. Again, he could picture the kids playing, and smell the crisp fresh air that was just recently washed down by the rain. He swallowed hard and his heart swelled, panting with pain, he held his chest, as he relived the memory. A woman’s voice came to him, almost angelic he wanted to cry when he heard it. It spoke to him, “Harry, this is just lovely.” He heard the woman giggle, and from that he recognized her. With tears swelling up in his tilted head staring at the sky, with his eyes closed, it was Maria. His love from when he was a young man. But he wanted Maria, and he could feel her caress his skin as she normally would. And the wind that was now passing by was like the kisses that she planted on his shoulders. He knew what he was missing, his love Maria. She was calling him because he was lost. Herald didn’t understand who he was at this point of his sickness, he didn’t know where he was, or who his grandkids were; but he remembered Maria. He believed Maria came to him, to remind him of her, and their love, and hope. Herald knew there was something wrong, and he suddenly didn’t feel so attached to his body. At that point, he could tell how much of his life he had missed, and how much he had forgotten. “Maria” he whispered.
Herald opened his eyes directly looking at the bench that was in front of him, and saw Maria, just as they were years ago, when he proposed to her. So there, Herald Flicks stood trembling, and crawled on his knees to the bench across from him where he saw his Maria, and asked for her hand in marriage, once more. He cried, and people stared, and everything to him was a blur, because Herald was no longer here, he’s with Maria now. So here in Cornell Park, on that same late spring early afternoon Herald came to visit his Maria, so he could leave here peacefully to finally rejoin her. And why? Because love never leaves our hearts, not with sickness nor death; love will conquer all.

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