The Final Resting Place

daisy may

Β© Mike Vore

“I know you’ve seen better days, old girl.”

78-year-old Frank Parker patted the rusting hood of the ’49 Chevy.

Replacing the faded American flag hanging from the passenger-side door with a fresh one, he remembered.

“I was just your age when my Pa first bought the Daisy May. Saved up for over a year to buy her.”

“Why do you keep her, Gramps? She’s all broken down.”

“Reminds me of better days, Timmy, when everything made sense. As long as I live, she’ll always have a home here on the back forty.”

He looked down at his great-grandson. “You sure you want to do this, boy?”

Timmy hugged the old man. “I’m sure Gramps. I promise to bring a new flag every month. I’ll watch over her for you.”

Old Frank had the same cancer that took his Pa so many years ago. He was going to Heaven to be with Pa, Ma, and his wife Sarah. The life he lived was his inheritance to his children and their children’s children.

I wrote this in response to theΒ FFfAW Challenge-Week of February 7, 2017. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story in around between 100 and 175 words, with 150 being optimal, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit InLinkz.com.

I know that America has never been a perfect nation nor is it now. And while I’m about a decade-and-a-half shy of being 78, my childhood was full of joys my grandchildren will never experience. If I can give them at least some small sense of history and a world without smartphones, X-boxes, or the Internet, when children played outside all day with their friends, and yes, we rode our bikes without wearing helmets and didn’t die, then perhaps that past won’t die with me (no, I don’t have cancer. I feel fine).

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24 thoughts on “The Final Resting Place

  1. I hear you James, strange thinking even my kids will have a very different life to my own childhood. Impossible to try and keep them away from modern technology though. Lovely nostalgic take.

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  2. A wonderful sweet story James! It has such a bittersweet feel to it and sorry to hear that he is dying from cancer. I think it is sweet that his grandson wants to bring a flag every month for the old truck. Wonderful story! I know what you mean about the children these days not knowing how to play outside with friends and use their imaginations to have fun. We use to put a can in the middle of the street at night under the street lights and play “kick the can.” Such fun memories!

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  3. This is so bitter sweet. I don’t know how to feel and that is good writing to me right there. Can I be one of your grand kids πŸ™‚ You sound like an amazing grandpa

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  4. I’m relieved my sons, while they are tech savvy, share my love for simple, what might be considered old-fashioned, things. One of them has saved each game console he’s owned and intends to allow his kids in some considered way only the simplest, most child/family-friendly one first (but not early in life), then another significantly later. That might not seem very old-fashioned, while it might actually be (relatively speaking). But he has also kept all the wooden train track toys he could, and so on. He’s one of my youngest, and not having kids soon.

    My oldest has moved into a neighborhood where there are sometimes concerns that kids on various wheels (bikes, skateboard, rollerblades, scooters) and throwing things around might scratch a car or just look strange (which could affect property value) when they do things like have a session of kicking a trash can in the front yard. πŸ˜€ But he won’t complain or worry, because he’s happy that the kids (he doesn’t have any yet) are outside and putting a sense of life into the air. So, happily, my sons have a sense of nostalgia (and comradery, thank God).

    Your mention of not wearing a helmet brought back memories. Unless one lives by a highway or something, I wouldn’t want to insist on helmets. My second son once, however, somehow was steering off our neighborhood street and rolled under a tree in our front yard. The tree had a bit of a cut-off branch sticking out, which scraped my son’s head; he had something like twenty-two stitches (and he’s fine). I had told my husband when he had trimmed the tree that he needed to cut that branch off smoothly, so there wasn’t something sticking out.

    His response was that he could get to it some other time (very common attitude on his part). Did he trim it off even after this incident? No, but the tree got struck by lightning in such a way that it had to be completely removed. (Did I make the kids wear helmets after that? No. There’s a balance between childhood freedom and parental responsibility and sense. I also let them run around barefoot. Some things seem like rights that shouldn’t be denied to little boys [or girls]. And I still like to go barefoot. I do wear helmet and shoes on the road.)

    My oldest son once owned a motorcycle. Oi-yoi-yoi. I bought him all the best — jacket, helmet, boots, gloves. He wore them, but hadn’t paid attention to the need for strapping the jacket down to your pants. He was out riding with a friend one night and made an impatient move, then found himself at the end of a lane and crashing. He skidded across the road and got all scraped up. At the emergency room, doctors were amazed he was basically okay. [A friend and I had prayed for him recently.] We bandaged him herbally. His wife likes his scar.

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  5. Modern technology is where it’s at, my friend. πŸ˜› Just kidding (somewhat). My childhood was mostly riding bikes and making slushie concoctions at 7-Elevens. But … if you think about, every generation seems to have something to shake their heads about when it comes to the “next” generation. Lol. Times are changing, and that’s very bitter sweet. Thanks for the nostalgic feels you left us with!

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  6. I had such freedom as a child, but I [do] wonder – if I was a child today, how different would I be – I suspect very… I am concerned that so many kids today don’t want to or can’t play outside. However I loved the story for the grandad reflects my view on life.

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