Picture It & Write: A Memoir


“You can’t learn from the dead.” He said.
“Why not papa?” The young boy asked his father, who was standing up against the table cutting up fresh fish that he caught that morning.
“Because you have to learn how to do things your own way, that’s how you tell wrong from right and wrong, and how to be your own person. You can’t be like anybody else” His father told his young son.
“Can you leave a legacy behind?” He asked him with a little sense of wonder and glimmer in his eyes.
“I suppose you could, but nobody here has ever done that before.” He said as he placed the diced fish in a steel pan.
“Does it have to be a happy story?” The young boy asked.
“Well, yes. Why would you leave behind a story of hardships and thoughts that nobody would understand? I would want to read something great and full of journey. Wouldn’t you, son?” He said as he cleaned his hands with a damp towel and grabbing his son up to his chest.
“Well, I’d want the truth and hear everything they saw outside these large trees. I’d want a real story. Don’t you papa?” The boy looked up at his father and cradled his head into his father’s chest to hear his heart beat softly.
His father thought nobody bothered to share a legacy with him as a young boy, so how did his son want to know of this?
He was a young man who never had anything to live for or ever dreamed of creating a story of his life for his children, until now.
That night as he laid his son and daughters down for the night.

His son’s words echoed in the small wooden house, he sat in the carefully crafted chair his father made as a wedding present for him and his wife.
When their first child was born, his father made her a lovely rocking chair to put in the nursery.
As she gave birth to two more children, his father craved smaller chairs for them and a beautiful dinner table.
He sat at the table, that still smelled of dead fish, the candle still burns brightly, he sees a scrap piece of paper from when his wife used to write out her letters to her family, and grabbed a feather and opened the ink bottle, dab the end of the feather into the ink and began to tell his story of his humble beginnings and as the night kept going, the words kept flowing out of him and there was no stopping him of letting go of the life that this young man has lived.

Caring for his three children on his own, as his wife died of illness, the same illness that killed his parents.
The fire that almost destroyed half the town.
Meeting of a new woman of the name of Abigail, his familiar feelings of being in love still fresh in his mind but sadly illness took her away as well.
The pain of losing his jobs as a mountain man and finding his youngest daughter being ill with a different sickness, leaving her on the edge of death, she made it through but not without losing her leg though.
The young father scraped and saved every piece of money he could to invest in the newest invention, a crutch that she can use to still walk around, but the able to run like every other five-year old became a challenge.
Somedays there was barely enough food and water for the four of them, there was no presents at Christmastime either.
He had begun to lose interest in his faith and no longer took any help from the community, as he noticed they looked at him differently now.
He wasn’t bitter nor upset at the world and at how the heavens have left him to be all alone.
He was only being who he was, he learned it all on his own.
Like, he hoped that his children would do in the future too.
He hoped that they wouldn’t give up or look among themselves as worthless, they were going to make something of themselves one day.
And not have to look back in disgust but on how they can survive any ordeal.


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