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One Quiet Whisper
Author's note: This story is based on the life of my wonderful grandmother, and amazing grandfather. May he rest in peace. And thank you to the most amazing teacher, and friend, a writer could ever want, Ms. Ruggiano. Thank you Ms. R! :)
Mama! Mama! Are we there yet?” Fransiska asked. She was bounding along side her parents, while holding hands with her older brother, Reinhardt, and her grandmother.
“We’ll be there soon, just a few more blocks.”
“Rhiny, come help your mother and I with this trunk.” Fransiska’s father demanded.
“Yes father,” Reinhardt said as he released his sister’s hand and raced over to help his mother and father with their last processions’ that they were taking with them to their new home in America.
“All aboard!” a crew member yelled from aboard the retired war vessel. All the hustle and bustle of the Swiss rushing about, made Fransiska a little nervous, but mostly excited.
“Mama! Mama! How long will it take us to get to America?” she asked, while tugging on her mother’s shirt.
“About 12-14 days, dear,” she answered.
“Now come along, and say goodbye to your father. He is going to be spending the voyage on the upper section of the ship with the other men,” Mother informed her two children.
“But--- but---no! Papa! I want you to stay!” Fransiska cried. He crouched down to her level.
“I’m sorry darling, but I will see you again soon. I’ll see you in America!” he told her. Fransiska buried her tiny head in the crook of his neck, her long, wavy cocoa hair tickling his cheek.
“Bye, papa.” She whispered between sniffles, and tears.
“It’ll be okay sweetie. Don’t you worry. Now, put on that beautiful smile of yours and wipe away those tears.” He smiled sadly. “Cheer up,” he lifter her chin with his finger so she was forced to look him in the eyes. “We’re going to America.”
Fransiska drew her sleeve up to wipe her nose. “Okay,” she said, “Bye.” Her dad then turned to Reinhardt.
“You take good care of these three women young man,” he told Rhiny.
“Yes sir,” he said, but didn’t look up.
“Well this is quite dreary.” Grandma stated, as she walked with her daughter and two grandchildren into the Women and children’s’ dormitory. It was fairly small and there were a ton of women and children.
“Don’t worry mom. We’ll get to our dorm, and I’m sure that’ll be nicer.”
The room was anything but nice. The four of them had to share the room with another family of three, and there were only four hard, small beds, in the tiny, dull, gray room.
“You’re right dear, this is so much better,” Grandma said. Her daughter just rolled her eyes and went over to greet the family they would be sharing the room with.
“Hello, I’m Betty. This is my mother we call her Grandma and my two children, Fransiska and Reinhardt.”
“Pleased to meet you. I’m Elizabeth, and these are my two kids, Caroline and Sheria,” Elizabeth spoke indicating towards two small girls beside her. Caroline looked about three or four, Fransiska’s age. And Sheria looked about ten, a few years older than Rhiny.
“I WANT MY PAPA!” Fransiska cried. She was lying across her tiny bed, flailing her arms and legs about. “PAPA!” she screamed a high pitched shrill as she banged her fists against the flimsy mattress.
“Now, child, you need to stop screaming,” Grandma spoke sternly. “The crew will think I’m beating you!” This only made Fransiska scream louder.
“BUT I WANT MY PAPA RIGHT NOW!”
“If you don’t stop now, I may have to beat you.” Fransiska stifled a scream when her grandmother brought her hand up in a threatening position.
“O---okay gran---grandma.” She spoke between quiet hiccupping sobs.
Three days into the voyage, the refrigeration stopped working, and they were forced to resort to canned food, milk and warm water.
“Come on sweetie, drink your milk,” Betty enticed Fransiska.
“No! It’s not real!”
“Yes it is! Now do as your mother says!” Grandma demanded.
“But it’s not REAL!” Fransiska insisted.
“It’s really not that bad sis,” Rhiny said.
“YES IT IS!”
“You haven’t even tried it,” he said.
“SO! I STILL KNOW IT’S YUCKY!” Fransiska spoke matter-of-factly.
“Do you want your teeth to fall out and your bones break with every step you take?” Grandma asked. Fransiska stared at her in horror. “Well? Do you?” Fransiska shook her head vigorously. “Then drink your damn milk!”
“MOM!” Betty warned. “Not around the children!”
“That girl needs some sense knocked into her.”
“Why don’t you let me be the mom to my children, and you just stay out of it?!”
“That is no way to speak to your mother!” Grandma countered, shooting her daughter an angry glare, then quietly added to herself, “Now I see where Fransiska gets her attitude from,” as she stood up and left to return to their dorm.
“Do I still have to drink it?” Fransiska asked in a small, quiet voice.
“I would prefer you to, but no, I will not make you drink it.”
After gazing at the white liquid for quite some time, Fransiska picked up the cup and took a small sip.
Eleven days into the trip, and all of the children, and adults, were jittery, and anxious. Everybody wanted to run around, and stretch out their legs. All the passengers and crew wanted fresh food, and comfortable space.
“Just a few more days,” the crew kept saying. Just a few more days . . .
“Mama! Look! Isn’t she beautiful?” Rhiny exclaimed. Along the horizon, they could see the beautiful statue of the woman symbolizing freedom for her country, and its citizens. She stood erect, her head held high and proud. Lady Liberty.
The sun glinted off the ocean surrounding the island on which she stood. The view was breath-taking. Only a few hundred feet and they would be on free land. All the people on board knew it. It felt like every person on the ship had stopped blinking, and breathing, as though if they took their eyes off of the statue of liberty for one second, she would disappear under the waves. Or if they let out a single breath, she might blow away in the breeze.
“She is, darling.” Betty whispered in awe. “She is even more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.”
“RUF FAMILY” was scrawled across the handmade sign a man was holding.
“Mama? Do we get to see papa now?” Fransiska asked anxiously.
“See that family up there?” Betty asked pointing up ahead toward the man and his family holding the sign with their name written in black, bold, letters. “Grandma, you, your brother, and I are going to wait with them and Papa will meet us there.”
“Why do we have to wait with them?” Fransiska asked.
“Because they are our sponsor family. It’s because of them that we are able to be here in America,” Betty informed her daughter.
“Oh!” with that she raced over to their sponsor family and gave the man a big hug.
“Oh my! I am so sorry.” Betty yelled as she raced to join her daughter, Rhiny and Grandma trailing along behind.
“It’s fine. You must be the Ruf family.”
“Yes, well, almost, we’re just waiting for my husband to join us.”
“Oh, okay. I’m Jacob by the way,” the man, Jacob, told Betty.
Pushing through the crowd came a tall man, with close cropped midnight black hair.
“Betty! Rhiny! Fransiska!” the man called.
“PAPA!” Fransiska raced up and flung her tiny, little arms around her father.
“Hello dear. How do you like America?”
“Great! But I didn’t like the big boat we had to ride on for a billion days.”
“Yeah, it was kind of a long ride,” he agreed.
“Yeah! And I don’t like fake milk!” Her father laughed and ruffled Fransiska’s hair.
“Welcome to your new home!” Jacob announced, opening a door leading into the small one story home.
“Thank you again so much for letting us stay with you for a while, until we get a place of our own,” Betty said
“You’re welcome. After our son went on his mission to Switzerland, we felt it was our duty to help anyone there we could.”
“Well, thank you.”
The Ruf family stayed at their sponsors home for only a few months. Both the mother and father were able to earn enough money to buy a tiny little home in Utah. They wanted to be near the mountains and snow like their homeland, Switzerland. The Ruf family was always very poor. In moving to America, they hoped they would be able to start a new life, and become a bit wealthier so they could finally get their children birthday presents, a warm bed, and a roof above their heads. They were off to a pretty good start.
“Reinhardt! Fransiska!” Betty called down the hall to her children.
“Coming!” they answered back.
“Would you like to tell them?” Betty asked her husband. “Or shall I?”
“You can my dear.” He was grinning from ear to ear.
“Tell us what?” Rhiny asked impatiently. A thin smile appeared across Betty’s face, her deep, dark blue eyes were sparkling with joy.
“You two are going to have a new baby sibling!” she announced, practically bursting with excitement. She was giddy all over.
“Yay!” Fransiska yelled as she skipped around the room
“Is it going to be a boy or a girl?” Rhiny asked, then, quietly whispering to himself, he added, “Please be a boy! Please be a boy!”
“We’ll find out in a few months,” was all Betty said in response.
A few months later Betty gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Everyone was ecstatic (Even Rhiny). They decided to name her Betty Jewel, after her two grandmothers. She had light blue eyes that shone like tiny stars, like her father, and tufts of dark brown hair like her mom.
Over the next twelve years, the family grew and flourished.
“Duane LaMar Meacham,” the military captain read.
“Well, I guess I should be going now,” Duane said. “Bye mom. Bye dad.” His mom stood up wiping away her tears and wrapped her son in a tight hug and whispered in his ear.
“Bye Duane, come home safe,” she said. He returned her hug and then turned to his dad.
“Ummm, bye dad.”
“I’m proud of you.” Then he couldn’t contain himself anymore, and hugged his son.
“I love you, son. You know that, right?” he asked.
“Yes, dad, of coarse I know that.”
“Don’t you ever forget it.”
“I won’t I promise. I love you too father.”\
“Alright,” Duane’s dad held him at arms length, his hands resting on Duane’s shoulders, his eyes sweeping over him. “You’ll do well out there Duane. Goodbye.”
“Bye dad,” he looked over his dad’s shoulder and met his moms blue eyes, shimmering with tears. “Bye mom, I love you.” With that, Duane turned to join the rest of the people he would be working with in repairing all the battle equipment for the marines in the Korean War.
Duane worked in the maintenance force for about two years, and then finally returned home, only to head off to college.
“Fransiska,” the principle spoke in a serious tone. “Since your grades here are so high, we have no more to offer you here, thus, the administration and I have come to the conclusion that you are going to skip your senior year of high school next year, and go straight to college.” Fransiska beamed with joy.
“Thank you! Thank you so much!”
Fransiska rushed through the college hallway, her books pressed up against her chest, and her head bent down. She turned a corner and ran right into the most handsome boy she had ever seen. Her books clattered to the ground, bringing her back to sanity.
“S---sorry,” she stuttered. She was lost in his beautiful sea green eyes. As he bent down to pick up Fransiska’s books, his wavy, dark brown hair fell over his eyes, casting a shadow across his angled face.
“It’s my fault. I should have been watching where I was going,” the boy said. He looked like he was in his twenties. “Name’s Duane, by the way.” He extended his hand out to Fransiska, she shook it. His hands were rough and callused, like someone who did a lot of fixing.
“Fransiska,” she replied. Duane held onto Fransiska’s small delicate hand, a second longer than necessary, then turned and rushed off down the hall.
Fransiska walked into the dining hall, sat at her favorite seat tucked away in a corner by the window, and pulled out her homework. A few minutes later she was interrupted by a familiar, deep, male voice. His voice made her feel like she was laying on a warm sandy beach, soaking up the sun, and letting the ocean trickle over her fingers.
“Can I sit here?” he asked, she looked up and saw the angled face that complimented his soothing voice. Duane.
“Oh, yeah. Ummm, sure, yeah of course,” she blurted out. He smiled. Oh, if she thought his voice could light up the room, his smile melted her soul.
From that day on Duane always sat there with her for lunch.
One day while Duane was eating, and Fransiska was studying, Duane asked her this, “So, ummmm, are you---I was wondering---If you don’t want to, wow, I’m bad at this. Ummm.” He reached up and stretched out his collar. “Do you want to go out to a ball, I got these two tickets to it? If you don’t want to I can give them to someone else,” he quickly finished. Fransiska’s heart leapt, she could feel the blood rise up into her cheeks, she hoped he wouldn’t notice.
“YES! Yes, yes, of course!” she was practically exploding with joy, Duane instantly relaxed. She was going to a ball!
“Okay, sounds good. I’ll pick you up around 6 tomorrow?”
“Okay.” Fransiska could barley contain herself.
“Okay.” At that, Duane got up and left, Fransiska sat there giddy with a feeling of warmth, a feeling she had never felt so strong before. She felt a new longing.
Elise was studying Fransiska’s hair, deep in thought. Then suddenly her face lit up. “I’ve got it!” she exclaimed. Elise was Fransiska’s roommate, and her best friend. She started putting Fransiska’s long dark hair up into hot rollers.
“I can’t believe he asked me out, Elise!” Fransiska was squirming with joy.
“Yeah, now quit moving,” she demanded. “While the hot rollers are doing their work, I’m going to busy myself with your make up.” She applied dark eyeliner and fussed over which shade of eye shadow to use, she decided on a soft blueish silver, to bring out the silver gray, in Fransiska’s eyes. Then she finished with a rosy lipstick and began to remove the rollers. When they were out, Fransiskas hair fell down her back and shoulders in tumbling curls. Then taking a silver and gold barrette, she took a loose piece of Fransiska’s bangs, and clipped them back into place.
“Perfect.” She said, as she let Fransiska turn to look at herself in the mirror. Fransiska was speechless.
“I know, I’m a genius. You didn’t know you could look this hot did you?” Fransiska had to admit, she really did look good.
“You are amazing,” Fransiska whispered.
“Go on, I know you’re dying to get into that blue dress I bought you.”
“Thank you so much!” With that Fransiska hopped off her chair and raced over to the closet pulling out a long sparkly blue dress, it was sleeveless, with a silver jacket to be worn over it. Fransiska undressed and slipped the dress over her head, careful not to mess up Elise’s art, and twirled in a circle, her head tilted backward and her arms out to the sides. Then there was a knock at the door, Fransiska opened it, grinning. Duane’s reaction was perfect. His jaw dropped, then he just smiled and held out his arm to her. Man, if she thought Duane was stunning in jeans, and a T-shirt, Duane in a tux, made her go weak in the knees. She linked arms with him, glancing over her shoulder to Elise, Elise gave her a thumbs up and shut the door.
“You look amazing,” he said.
They walked into the ball room. There were big chandeliers hanging from the high ceiling---they looked like they were crying crystals--- and people dancing on the dark, wood floor. Fransiska and Duane went to join them. Duane put Fransiska’s hands around his neck and placed his hands on the small of Fransiska’s back. She carefully laid her head against his chest, it was ripped with hard muscles, and Duane put his chin on the top of her head. They stayed there swaying to the slow music for a few hours, but to the two of them it seemed only a few minutes. After a while, Fransiska broke apart, and grabbed his hand firmly and guided him outside.
“Where are we going?” he asked, a small smile hinting at the corners of his mouth.
“It was getting hot in there, let’s just go for a walk.”
“Okay.” He laced his fingers through hers and they walked away from the building, and down a path. There were trees along the edges of the path leading to a small white bridge crossing a river, the moon reflected off the water, casting a glow across the bridge. They stopped on top of the bridge and gazed over the side into the dark water.
“This is so pretty,” Fransiska noted.
“Yes. Now, don’t make fun of me for saying this, because I may lose any of my masculine credit by saying this, but I don’t know how tonight could get any better,” Duane said.
“I do,” Fransiska said. And with that she pressed her lips firmly against his. He kissed her back, his lips melting into hers. He was kissing her so deeply that she felt her heart fill with light, and her knees turn to rubber.
“Wow,” Duane murmured without taking his mouth off hers.
“Mmm,” Fransiska answered. Finally she broke the kiss but kept her face only inches apart from his. She had her hand on his chest, and she could feel his heart racing. He was breathing deeply. “I’m sorry,” she apologized.
“Don’t be.” Then they were no inches apart, and they were kissing again.
After one magical year of twitter pated love, Duane and Fransiska were taking a stroll through a nearby park. Duane reached his hand into the pocket of his jacket---making sure Fransiska didn’t see---and produced a small velvet box. He then casually reached down to hold Fransiska’s hand, like he had done hundreds of times before. Fransiska felt the tiny box encased in her boyfriends hand. She looked down and saw it. Then her gaze slowly tilted upward to meet his eyes. When their eyes locked, Duane saw pure astonishment on Fransiska’s face, he smiled.
“I was wondering, if you weren’t to busy, if you wanted to marry me?” He asked, full of confidence. Fransiska let out a small shriek of excitement, tears of happiness blurring her vision. She opened the box. Sitting in it was a blue crystal on top of a silver band. Duane pulled it out and knelt on one knee, and then taking Fransiska’s left hand, he slid the ring on her finger. It fit perfectly.
“Yes! Yes, yes, of course!” she cried.
“Great! Next month?”
“The sooner the better.” She pulled him off his knee, wrapped her arms around his neck, and gave him a passionate, tender kiss.
The wedding bells rang throughout the city. Inside, Fransiska and Duane were getting ready for one of the happiest days in there young lives. Elise sat their helping Fransiska get ready.
“I’m so excited!” Fransiska cried.
“I, know, me too! Now, quit moving.” She was doing her make up. Yet again fussing over the eye shadow. She finally selected a goldy rose shade.
“Oh, sorry.” Elise put Fransika’s hair up into an elaborate bun, and put a golden rose clip into it. Then placed the veil over her head. After helping her into her wedding dress, she stepped back, folded her arms, and examined Fransiska.
“Do you Duane LaMar Meacham, Take Fransiska Ruf to be your lawfully wedded wife?” the bishop asked
“I do.” He answered with out taking his eyes off Fransiska.
“And do you Fransiska Ruf, take Duane LaMar Meacham, to be your lawfully wedded husband?”
“Yes! Yes, I do!” The bishop turned to Duane
“You may kiss the bride.” Duane dipped his new wife, putting one hand behind her head and one on the small of her back, and then kissed her. His lips were damp and soft. She heard him growl low in his throat, a hungry and wild sound, that, if he wasn’t holding her up, she would have fallen in a weak effort to contain her excitement.
After an amazing year of happy moments and loving memories, Fransiska found out she was pregnant with one of the most beautiful gift God can bestow, a young infant.
“Duane!” she cried with joy. She burst through the front door of their small, one story apartment. “Duane, Duane, Duane, Duane, Duane!” she practically sang.
“Francy, Francy, Francy, Francy, Francy!” Duane mimicked his wife’s sing-songy, high pitched tone. She shot him a glare, but she couldn’t hold a grudge, she was too excited. Besides, she had to smile every time she heard that cute nickname her wonderful husband made for her.
“Duane. We. Are. Going,” she was dragging out the sentence as long as possible, “To. Be---“
“Yes?” Duane prompted, moving his hand in an outward circular motion. Fransiska picked up her pace.
“We are going to be parents!” she set her black leather purse on the ground, raced over to her husband, and flung her arms around his neck. Duane picked her up, twirling her around in a circle, then setting her back on her feet, only to give her a quick kiss. When Duane broke the kiss, he pressed his forehead against hers, and asked,
“When? When will he---she?---come?”
“Be patient my dear, it will be a few months, you know that.”
“Yes, but I believe I should be the one to tell you to be patient, the way you came
bursting in here, I thought I was going to come out into the hall way and find the door off its hinges.” Fransiska giggled, then she rose on her tip-toes and pulled Duane into a slow, loving kiss.
About nine months later, Fransiska was admitted to the hospital to deliver her first of six children.
“It’s a girl.” The doctor announced as he handed a tiny, crying infant to frail, crying
“Oh! Duane! She’s, she’s beautiful!” Fransiska cried as she carefully put her baby on her chest and softly rubbed her child’s back as she hummed a soft lullaby.
“What do you want to name her?” Duane asked
“I’ve always loved the name Rebecca, Shauna, and Leslie. Ummm, oh! Let’s name her Leslie!” Fransiska said, suddenly extremely excited. “Well, no I picture Leslie with dark hair, this little one’s is to fair. So either Shauna or Rebecca. You choose.”
“I think she looks like a Shauna.” Duane observed.
“Shauna it is!” Fransiska tilted her head to look into the eyes of her baby. “Do you like that, Shauna?” she asked. Baby Shauna had quieted down and her sparkly blue eyes were gradually drifting shut. “We’re parents’ honey,” Fransiska whispered. “Actually parents!” then her own eyelids started to droop shut, she was exhausted after hours of labor.
The nurse came into the small sterile room and removed little Shauna from Fransiska’s grasp, and took her to the nursery to be washed, weighed, and measured.
They stayed in the hospital for a few days, then took their baby girl home. Opening the front door to their apartment, Duane said, ‘Welcome to your new home!”
Fransiska was carrying baby Shauna in a brown car seat. Shauna was dressed in a tiny oink dress and wrapped in a soft purple blanket with little yellow flowers on it. Fransiska brought Shauna into the apartment and took her out of her seat and started rocking her back and forth. When Shauna fell asleep, Fransiska laid her down in her crib. After covering Shauna with the purple blanket, she crept down the hall, and into her bedroom. She was very tired from spending the past few nights in and uncomfortable hospital bed. She couldn’t wait to put on her silk night gown, and climb under the down comforter.
She pulled the covers back, and got into bed. Her head hit the pillow and she felt all her worries slip away, and her tense muscles start to relax.
Duane came into the room, removed his shirt and climbed into bed beside his wife.
“Welcome home sweetie,” he said, giving her a quick kiss.
“Thanks, I’m glad to be home. I missed you.”
“I missed you too. Can you believe, that just behind that wall,” he pointed to the wall across from their bed. “Is our own little angel?”
“Oh, Duane, I, I don’t know what to think, sometimes, I forget, then I remember, ‘oh, wait, I’m a mother.’”
“She’s beautiful. She looks a lot like you, you know,” Duane informed Fransiska
“No, she looks like you!” Fransiska countered, lightly smacking him on the chest. He grabbed her hand and held it there. Turning to face Fransiska, Duane lightly kissed her forehead, then her cheek, and finally meeting his lips with hers. The kiss started out slow and light, then grew into something more, something stronger, full of emotion and---
Reality came crashing down upon the two as they were quickly broken apart by the sound of a baby girl’s screams.
“I’ll go help her,” Duane sighed.
Over the next years, they had five more children, three boys, and two more girls. Then after their kids had grown up and had a few kids of their own, Duane fell ill. So ill he was hospitalized.
“I’m sorry, but he may only live a few more weeks.” the nurse told Fransiska. Fransiska broke into hysterical sobs. “His liver is functioning at 5%,” she continued, “he shouldn’t even be alive right now. You aren’t supposed to live if your liver is functioning below 10%. So there is nothing we can do, I’m sorry. We’ll just send him home with you now.”
“WHAT!?!? THERE’S NOTHING YOU CAN DO!?!?”
Fransiska yelled, between her gasping sobs, “This is the 21st century! Of course there is something you can do! I, I’ll pay whatever it costs, just MAKE MY HUSBAND BETTER!” then she quietly added desperately, “Please.”
“Well, there is one thing, but it may have no affect, and he may not live through the procedure,” the nurse hesitated.
“What?! What is it?!” Fransiska demanded
“We could put a filter in his liver. It’s supposed to function as a liver, but he is so frail already, he may not survive the surgery.”
“Please! Anything! Just help him!” she begged. Fransiska had collapsed to the floor, she sat with her legs tucked under her. The nurse squatted down to Fransiska’s level. Now that the nurse was eye to eye with her, Fransiska could make out her features better. The nurse was young, mid-thirties, maybe. She had fair hair braided down to her lower back. Her eyes were a sea-glass green, and full of concern, beautiful.
“We will try everything in our power to make him better, the rest we leave in the hands of God. I promise you.”
“Thank you,” Fransiska whispered.
“Anytime,” The nurse gave Fransiska a sad smile, Fransiska tried to return it, and failed. “You go home and rest now.”
“Okay. Thank you. Goodbye.”
Three weeks later and Duane had a successful surgery, he survived it, and was sent home to rest, and recover. The next two years past and Duane didn’t get any worse, in fact he started to get a little better. All the doctors were stumped, they had no idea why he was still alive, the filter wouldn’t keep him alive very long, only a few extra months, without as much pain. But everyone was rejoicing that he was getting a little better.
Then about six months later, he had a stroke. After that, the following three weeks were horrific. He didn’t remember much, and had trouble breathing. Finally Fransiska accepted the fact that her dear husband was dying. Every night she cried herself to sleep, then one day, she called all of her kids to come up to the house and give her husband a blessing, telling him he could go, that they released him.
At three a.m. the day after they gave him the blessing, Duane called his wife into the room.
“I love you so much Francy.” he was the only one that ever called her that. “You know that right?”
“Yes, of course. I, I love you too.” She was trying her hardest not to cry. This is it, she thought, I’m losing him.
“Don’t you ever forget that.”
“I won’t, I promise.” It was quiet for a few minutes, then Duane spoke again, desperately.
“Where did you go?” he asked, his hand groping through the air around him.
“I’m right here, I’m right beside you.” She grabbed his hand and gave it a gentle squeeze.
“I can’t see you, or anything. Everything is white.” He paused, then quietly added, “Goodbye, my love.” his hand went limp, and his eyes glazed over. Fransiska reached across the bed and carefully shut his eyelids.
The funeral was planed for three days later. It was a rainy day. His casket was trimmed with gold, and there was a huge bouquet of yellow and white flowers layed on top. Wrapped around the stems of the bouquet was a gold ribbon, and on it, written in silver were the words ‘Beloved Father’.
Since he served in the war, he was honored with a 21 gun solute. It was beautiful. As the men shot off their guns, another man stood off to the side playing the trumpet, its music filling the air with sorrow, and peace. Then one of the Marines brought Fransiska the flag they folded in honor of her husband, and the empty bullet shells.
After the Marines left, and everyone was saying there goodbyes, Fransiska went up to the casket and a tear ran down her cheek and landed on the lid encasing her husband.
“Goodbye.” Then she heard one quiet whisper.
“I’m waiting for you, my love. And I am, and always will be, by your side.”