A Thousand Words by Jazelyn
Suddenly, a tall, adult brunette came in. Her shoes clacked as she quickly walked over to me. "Mommy? I came as quickly as I could. Are you okay?" she asked, laying down her coat on my bed.
I gave a small chuckle, despite the pain. Even though I know it's not right, she was always my favorite child. She was caring and quite different from all the other kids from the neighborhood. "I'm okay," I replied.
"Is there anything I can get you?" she asked.
I thought for a bit and said, "Can you fetch me the family book? It's in the--"
"Oh! I know where it is," my daughter said. "I'll go get it now. Please hang in there while I get it. Please." She grabbed her coat and rushed out.
It wasn't long until my daughter came back. She scurried back to the bed and handed me a big, dark burgundy book.
"Everyone, please, crowd around," I said. Everyone stood and did so. I brushed some of the dust off the book and started, "This is a photo album from long ago. My mother began this story from my birth." I opened the book to the first page. It had a picture of me as a small baby. I kept flipping the pages, telling a story as I went. "When I was 9, I messed up my lines in a play. Oh, and when I was 13, my first boyfriend broke up with me. In this photo, we moved from Utah to New York." I continued and came across a photo set in a white room. "Here, my mother is in the hospital. She showed me this exact book. I remember those times crystal clear. . ."
"You know, Rosie," the old lady whispered, "I made this book for a reason."
The daughter, a grown woman, stood next to her. Her lips quivering, she asked, "Why, Mom? Why is it full of sad stories instead of happy ones?"
The elder looked at her inferior and answered, "See, when you look back at these photos, you'll remember all those nasty, horrible things that happened in the past. But, when you reflect on your life right now, you realize how lucky you are to live. How lucky you are to live your life. Your wonderful life. When you're down, promise me you'll look back at this book and never lose hope."
"Come here," I called to my daughter. We went through the whole album, and everyone sat back down. It was bittersweet as I said the same words my mother said to me. "When you're down, promise me you'll look back at this book and never lose hope." I squeezed her hand as she nodded. "Wow, I'm tired," I said quietly. I slowly fluttered my eyes close. When I opened them back up, I saw my mother.
"Hello, Rosie. Did you. . . look back to that book?" she asked.
I just laughed.