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  • Mary Jensen

Sometimes a Hero Cries



It was a cold, sunny Saturday in January.  She sat in her room, nestled in her favorite chair.  From her bedroom window, she watched the glistening snowflakes touch the ground. 

In the next room, her brothers and sisters played hide and seak, laughing and squealing when caught.

Piercing through the commotion she heard the chime-like ring from the yellow phone that hung on the kitchen wall.  It rang twice before her father picked up the handset from the cradle. 


She watched him as he listened, his ear pressed against the handset.  She noticed the long cord stretch thin as he walked to the other side of the kitchen. 

For a moment she wondered who he was talking to, and then her gaze went back to the window, preferring to watch the flurries cover the ground like a plush white carpet.

The younger kids now excited to play in the snow, 

argued over who would get the sled first. 


She looked up to see her father standing behind her, his large hand weighing on her shoulder.  She smiled as she looked up at him, and noticed his unfamiliar expression.  Her father's arms hung heavy, drawing his broad shoulders down making his six foot two frame look smaller.   His big blue eyes that sparkled bright in the light were dull and filled with water. She tried to make sense of this and wondered why are his eyes wet?

He stood over her, searching for the right words, “I have something to tell you.”

She was still trying to figure out why he looked so sad.  Sad, that's it, he looked sad.  She had never seen her father sad before.

“Your grandfather passed away.”

“What?” not sure she understood him. 

“Your grandfather had a heart attack…”

The rest of his words were a blur.  She stared at him as he explained what happened to his father.  His words drifted past her.  It occurred to her this was the first time she saw him cry.  Not sure what to do or say, she hugged her father.  For a moment, they cried together. 


He released her from his embrace and kissed her forehead.  He turned and walked towards her bedroom door.  His feet dragged as he walked out of her room and towards her brothers and sisters. 

She saw the faces of the younger children.  They were no longer laughing.  They were crying too.  He held them as he explained that their grandfather had passed.  She noticed his tenderness for the young children and his own sorrow entwined. 

She realized he was more than her father and her hero.  He was someone’s son.  He was a son who would no longer hug his dad like she had just hugged her dad.  His sorrow became her sorrow.  She knew one day she too would feel the grief of losing a parent.  Her heart ached for him.  Sometimes a hero cries.

Copyright 2018, My Marvelous Journey

#life #death #hero

 
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