He sat alone on an old weathered wood bench in the park. His face was age-worn, and his clothes were slightly tattered from years of neglect. The old man had lived alone for many years after his wife of fifty years passed away nearly five years ago. His eighty-five years of life showed on his hands. Hard-working hands during his lifetime. And many nights in front of a fire holding his wife.
Now his life was only filled with memories of her, and his kids who no longer visited him during the twilight of his life. He sat with visions of the past. Of the first day he met his future wife. Her smile is what caught his eye. She looked at him, and in an instant, he was in love with her. He would spend a month asking her out, but only received rejection. Then he tried a new tactic. He told her that she was going to be his wife because he saw it in a dream. He remembers her laughter as she smiled, and from that day on, they were inseparable. She was his life and his soul. The day she left him is when she took his heart to heaven.
He thought of his kids and how they loved when he would take them to the zoo and the parks, when he would make toys for them and help them with their homework. How they hugged him when he came home from a hard day at the factory. And when his son hit home runs playing baseball made him so proud to be a dad. The memory of his newborn grandchild and how his son told him, “He looks like you, Dad.” How that made him so happy.
He had not seen his kids or his grandkids since the funeral of his wife. The sadness that filled his heart choked him. He wore his sadness like a neon sign. The days he would spend in the park feeding peanuts to his only friends was the only happiness he now knew. The squirrels miss him when he goes home for the day. And they will be the only ones to see him the next day.
The old man sat back on the bench and looked out over the vast emptiness of the park. The green grass looked inviting to the old man. He thought of the times that he would take his young kids to the park and let them run barefoot through the grass. He would laugh as they rolled around and laughed. They would shout and yell at him, “Dad, take your shoes off! The grass is so cool, feels great!”
He would remove his shoes and run on the grass as his kids ordered. And it did feel good on his feet. And now, after all the years alone, he could hear his kids again. He could smell the grass and feel the coolness on the bottom of his feet. He took off his shoes.
A few people who walked on the sidewalk watched as an old man suddenly ran across the grass and was laughing wildly. They watched as the old man fell on the ground and rolled on his back, laughing and shouting, “Yes, son! It feels great!”
The people who watched the old man turned away, and when they turned around to watch him again, they were startled to see that the old man was no longer there. He had vanished. But they still heard the laughter and the shouting. They heard, “Dad! Okay, take off your shoes! It feels so cool!”
What they saw was a barefoot child of twelve rolling on the grass and laughing loudly. A child laughing where a moment ago was an old man.
Love life, love the memories that stay with you forever. The years that take you will be a blessing in disguise. Life can be fun, make it that way.- Total nr. of readings: 270 Copyright © The author  All Rights Reserved. This story may not be reproduced without the express written permission of the author except for personal use.
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