HOPE

This short story was written and submitted for a competition last month.I didn’t win but I think it was good for me to write.
Guide lines were:
The story had to begin with the words “A long time ago”
The story had to include the words “star”, “war” and “force” (or a plural of those words).
The story had to feature something that flies.

pexels-photo-208189

A long time ago when I was only 23 my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy. She had treatments and after 5 years we all thought she would recover. But it returned and this time in her lung lining.

Mum lost her war against this dreaded disease and died in 1987. That is over 30 years ago. But her spirit often surrounds me and pops into my mind. Sometimes so vividly I can see her clearly; other times it gets harder to remember. But I know she is with me. Such is the force of parental love. It is too strong to ever totally leave.

Tonight my mum’s spirit again popped into my life. I was attending the annual Relay For Life; a charity event held at Cronulla along the sand dunes and the azure blue ocean. A perfect backdrop for the huge crowd of people in their purple and yellow T-shirts doing their 24 hour walk raising money for Cancer Council. A day where both young and old, families and friends gather to support each other and enjoy some fun entertainment and great musical talents, both local and interstate stars. It’s an enjoyable social event with a serious undertone. You see it in the frightened eyes of the sick and in the grateful faces of the recovered. An event of both celebration, positivity, empathy, grief and support.

Each year people organise the candle bags in memory of people who have passed, and just after sunset everyone quietly join the lone bagpipe player who leads the walk along the track flanked by the candle bags lighting the edge. It is a sombre quiet walk where emotions are raw and tears flow easily. Many walk holding hands or in a supportive embrace. It’s a heartwarming experience where the human spirit is truly witnessed by all.

I was walking along quietly with friends on the track tonight nearing Hope hill; where the only light comes from the huge lit up word HOPE. That’s when I sensed mum’s presence. Her spirit soared alongside us like a beautiful bird; her love warming my heart and filling me with contentment, love and gratitude.

I am by no means a child any longer; my emerging wrinkles and grey hair proves that, but deep down there is still a young girl that takes comfort in knowing that her mum’s love is ever lasting inside her.

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