A drowsy fly trembled on the worn wooden window screen. The April breeze was cool and, looking down to the breaking ice on the river below, I wondered how many times both my cancer-stricken parents had stood there, by day and night, contemplating the familiar, yet ever-changing panorama.

Behind me were piled some fifty boxes of packed belongings that represented their now-gone, irrelevant past. My inheritance. Ready for moving day. Lit by the sun from another window in the living room, the brilliant pink hydrangeas I`d bought her the first day I came to stay lived blithely on, without my mother.

The ceiling fan stood still, though a black clock–a gift from the newspaper–ticked monotonously. On the floor, a cooler from long-ago picnics inquired about the possibility of another summer. A cold heating pad sat aimlessly on a chair for her return. In the corner stood the crutches from a fall she never told me about. On the floor a dark braided oval rug my father, weak from chemo, had lain on nine years before, lovingly cleaning it with a tiny vacuum. By the window, the tv screen was clean once more, its nicotine haze now wiped off.

On the wet lawn outside, two deer edged up the bank cautiously–one male, one female, nibbling the grass. Life was, indeed, tough enough though spring had chosen now to return. In the end, there was no choice, you see. I spared the fly and turned away from the window.


Apparently I was meant to revisit the fly and another take on death, more close and personal, a decade later. There is much that is implicit/explicit about time, the past, memory, change, process, time passing, death, and finally life, rebirth, and choices here in this piece. Nature, as always, plays a role in whatever destined moments of being. For my own part, I know the timely deer represented/were the spirits of my parents.

Everything is there to be seen and observed, internalized and finally understood and appreciated. Writing has been my great luck. It embodies who and what I am and whatever truths of life and love experience. And perhaps you`ll agree that we all, like the fly, deserve another chance to live and experience another day and season.

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