The Spring Bloom – A Short Story
“It takes four of each of the seasons to heal from the loss of a loved one.”
When I was 12 years old my best friend, moved away. We had been friends from the time we entered pre-school. Her passing devastated me to the deepest core of my existence. No one could reach me. Finally, one autumn afternoon my grandfather came and knocked on my bedroom door and found me grieving the loss of my friend. He asked me to come to his garden. He said he wanted to show me how his grapevines were withering and he said that he wanted to tell me a story. I followed him into the garden and he proceeded to tell the story of how the weather affected his beautiful plants. With tears rolling down my cheeks we sat on a bench in the patio surrounded by the withering grapevines and he began to tell me the story of himself and his best friend.
He explained that he once had a very close friend. This friend was the only person he could talk to. One day his father came to him and told him that their family would be moving to America. My grandfather said he ran from his house clear across the fields to his friend’s house, weeping. He did not want to leave his country but more than that he did not want to leave his friend. Nevertheless, he found himself in America, a friendless foreign land. He explained to me that it took the passing of four of each of the seasons before he was resolved to the loss of his friend.
As he was telling me the story I remember him staring at his grapevines which surrounded the entire patio and garden. He said to me, as he gazed upon the vines. “Even though our friendship withered as a result of my departure the memories of our time together never withered.” “They are always green and the sun shines on their leaves as if always in Spring Bloom.” In some strange way I knew he was there in the essence of my soul. It didn’t make things better; however, I didn’t feel as isolated. And, as I reflect now, it seems to me that, as with my grandfather, it took the passing of four of each of the seasons, to become resolved to the fact that a passing of cerebral intimacy had occurred.
Until this day, I did not understand what he meant by the passing of four of each of the seasons. It has not been since the loss of my friend, that I have experienced such a raw unadulterated feeling. And, now that our separation is near, it weighs heavy on my mind and to the very essence of my soul, that I should again experience the passing of four of each of the seasons before I am resolved to this force of departure.
I know only this. I have grown through this very enlightening time. Life is a wonder isn’t it though. One of its wonders is that, this particular memory I have of the conversation with my grandfather is in full bloom. It is as if he is here with me, whispering to me, telling me that everything is all right. But more important there is a sense of security in knowing that the memories of this time will never wither away they will always and forever be as radiant as the Spring Bloom.
– For Grandfather
Kay Lynn Gabaldon
– June 12, 1992