Thursday, January 5, 2012

An Epitaph

This post was prompted by Write on Edge. We were challenged to write an epitaph (A short text honoring the deceased, often found etched on tombstones. )It can be the epitaph itself or part of a longer story.

Photo Credit: via pinterest
“Ugh, where are my gloves? “ She stumbled through her messy apartment; put her coat on wrapped her favorite coral scarf around her neck. She tossed through blankets, threw pillows off the couch. “Where are those gloves?”

Finally stepping away from his computer he said, “Honey, take a deep breath. Where did you last see your gloves?”

“Do you think if I knew the answer to that I’d still be searching? Ugh, I’ve got to go.”

“Hon, do you need me to go with you?” He knew to be patient with her; it was after all October 24th.

His ever calm demeanor annoyed her, she quickly said, “I’m going on my own, you know I always go on my own.”

 She slammed the door, stepped into her Camry, turned the keys, immediately Melissa Etheridge came blasting through the speakers.  Just loud enough to ignore the guilt she felt for continually displacing her anger onto her husband.

Alice dug around the glove compartment finally stumbled upon her sunglasses. She debated buying flowers, no today she would give him her time and her thoughts.  It was her father’s birthday; she always visited his grave on his birthday.  

She stepped out of her car, and away from the noise, as she walked to his grave the leaves crunched under her feet. She loved this time of year; she thought the combination of the vibrant leaves and the cool air may have been a gift to her from him.

She looked down at the cement monument.             

Conrad Elliot
October 24, 1927-January 19, 2010
We loved you
We listened to you
We forgave you
Our hearts are with you now and forever.
The Girls

Tears rolled down her cheeks. She reflected on his life, it had been one of conflict and regret. She was one of the few who knew the real story of his life. With all he had done, she missed him. She wanted to talk to him. Alice put two fingers to her mouth kissed them and softly touched his etched name. “I love you dad.”

She slowly walked away from his graveside, away from the words that could have never said it all. Her head tilted towards the sky, the clouds began to break a glimmer of sunshine crept through, and Alice knew she was going to be just fine. She knew she had given him the ultimate gift, the gift of forgiveness. Not everyone could have done this, but Alice, she was special.


  1. Wonderful. You're experience with your father sounds similar to mine. So,glad we connected through write on edge.

  2. Perfect.. I didn't have to think up the image, I just read it. I love the "gift to her from him" line.. that is very sweet.

    So fascinated by your insane creativeness. Obsessed much...yes.

  3. Forgiveness is not alway easy to give. It seems Alice was in tumult until she was ready to give it.

  4. This piece really made me want to learn more about the dad. What did he do? I imagine this is a complex and deep relationship.

    I do have one piece of constructive criticism. There are quite a few grammatical errors that seem to not be just stylistic in nature. They were a bit distracting for me and I wouldn't want anything to take away from your story telling!

  5. I really enjoyed how all the tension in the beginning melted into something as timeless and beautiful as a message of forgiveness. Nice job!

  6. You say such a lot in such a short space! Wonderful snatch of story, Lindy: I longed to read on...

  7. This piece could be so much stronger if you cut most of the beginning with her looking for the gloves. I found it took away from the core of the story.

    I'd love to see a bit more of a hint of why he needed her forgiveness. It's a beautiful little story. Father daughter relationships can be magical :)

  8. This left me questions, but in a good way. The message about how forgiveness was powerful. When we do forgive; we are released as well. It sounds like that is what happened with Alice...and it allowed her love her dad again.

    I like the way you write and how you led me to the gravestone and the message of forgiveness.


  9. You handle strong emotions realistically -- a whole range in a short piece. It made evocative reading, thank-you. :)

  10. Very tactile in that I felt like I could touch the objects you use to set the scene. Felt like I was there.

  11. Thanks to all of your kind comments and helpful critiques. I have so much to learn.