Some Light Housekeeping Before I Go
A Short Story based on true events
Grandma wrapped the cord around the vacuum cleaner and returned it to the closet. Feather duster in hand, she headed for the hallway where the family pictures hung. All were within various decorative wooden and metal frames. They served as fond memories of their frequent camping trips and visits during Christmas.
The first photo she dusted was of her and her husband who passed away 20 years ago. They were wearing matching square dancing outfits as they often participated in dances and competitions.
The next photo she dusted was of herself, her late husband, and their daughter. It was taken less than sixty years ago when their daughter was around eighteen years old.
Quite large, the next photo consisted of their daughter and her six children, three girls and three boys. All the children, except the youngest sitting on her mother’s lap, were standing in birth order around their mother who sat in a chair in the center of the group.
Grandma always wondered how her daughter found the energy to raise six children but she raised her to be a loving and strong and strong person. Also, her daughter was highly energetic. She was a skillful horseback rider and barrel racer as a teenager.
As she dusted the photo of her oldest grandson and his longtime girlfriend, she hoped they would get married soon. Grandma knew firsthand life doesn’t always work out the way you plan. However, his single status didn’t seem to bother him. He had his own business that he inherited from her husband, several hobbies, and was a talented drummer in a band that played in local bars on weekends.
In contrast, her oldest granddaughter’s photo displayed her beside her husband and surrounded by four children, two girls and two boys who grew up participating in various after-school activities with their mother’s encouragement and assistance. One son went overseas and bravely served our country. All four of these great-grandchildren have children of their own, giving Grandma five great-great-grandchildren, with another one on the way.
The middle granddaughter’s photo also displayed her beside her husband and surrounded by four children, three girls and one boy. Grandma smiled as she thought of her great-grandson and his dad surely feeling outnumbered, especially since one great-granddaughter has a daughter and another great-granddaughter has two daughters, giving Grandma three more great-great-grandchildren.
The next photo showed her middle grandson and his wife with several of their rescue dogs. They didn’t have human children; theirs had paws and fur. Most, but not all, had tails. Over the years, they adopted many dogs that were old, sick, unwanted, and on death row. Some of their furry family members lived for several years while others passed too soon.
The next photo was a split frame of her youngest grandson showing him with his wife on one side and him with his daughter from a previous relationship on the other side. Constantly interested in learning new things, his career varied widely from pizza delivery to paleontology. He also spent time overseas setting up hydroponic systems for the Peace Corps. Quite the extrovert, he has many friends all over the world with a busy social life.
Her youngest granddaughter’s photo showed her standing between her longtime boyfriend and her son. Grandma worried about her a lot during the times her great-grandson was overseas risking his life fighting for our country, just like his cousin. His mother cherished each time he visited on leave. Though she is proud of his courage, she is enormously thankful he has now returned home for good.
The last photo dusted clean, Grandma glanced down both sides of the hall at the pictures of her beautiful family. She loved them all dearly and was proud of each one of them. She also contemplated the irony of such a large family resulting from her and her husband having only one child.
One daughter gave her six grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, and eight great-great-grandchildren with another one on the way. Her furry grandchildren were probably double the number of stray cats she and her daughter took care of over the years.
Suddenly, she felt dizzy and everything looked blurry before it all went black. Then a white fog appeared. As it cleared, she saw her husband who had passed away twenty years ago. Thinking she was having a stroke, she leaned against the wall, closed her eyes and shook her head.
When she opened her eyes, Grandpa was still standing there, clear as day. He smiled and took her hands in his.
“I’ve been waiting a long time for you, dear. May I have this dance?”
This story is based on true events. Grandma was a loving and wonderful woman, the kind of grandmother everyone would like to have. She worked hard at and retired from the kitchen in a local school. Her family always came first. The author is happy and grateful to be married to her middle grandson and appreciates her treating me like part of the family.
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My husband and I began rescuing dogs over 20 years ago. They are our furry family and we do everything we can to help fill their lives with love, health, and happiness. We rescue the old, sick, unwanted, damaged, and on death row. Each special soul we save changes us and remains in our hearts long after they’re gone. We have a Go Fund Me campaign (https://www.gofundme.com/tr796d-dog-haven?member=1560512 ) open in hopes of raising money to help pay for their veterinarian expenses. I am also an aspiring indie author.