Alice picked old books off the bookshelf disturbing a layer of dust. No one will want them after I’m gone. What a shame, all those beautiful words forgotten. Each novel title brought a memory of the story to her mind. Favorite books of her youth, heavy tomes of the masters mixed with light reading, purchased when she had little time to read when the children were young. She could chart her life by these books. When the children left to pursue their own lives she had re-visited many of the stories, charmed by their characters.
For the past four months, Alice had gradually cleared out cupboards and drawers. Can’t leave it all to the children to do when I’m gone. A chance remark in the town’s second hand bookstore had Alice relieved at her collections future. The owner was happy to take any books she might have. Once she began listing some of the titles he was even more interested. He even offered Alice some money for them. I can treat myself to a cream tea and maybe a new scarf.
As Alice picked up another four books one fell onto the floor spilling pressed flowers all over the carpet. Now where are they from? She bent over slowly and picked a couple up. Oh, my, now I remember. It was the tractor ride with Henry after harvest supper. We were so young then. I made fun of him for wanting to walk back instead of taking the trailer. He picked these flowers for me. A day to remember, the day he proposed.
With great care Alice picked up the remaining flowers and placed them back into the book’s pages. Maybe I should keep this one. She turned the book over to read the title. It was Edgar Allan Poe poems, which seemed a fitting place to put her flowers, now and then. It was certainly an occasion to remember.
“Hello, any one in?”
“In the study, darling.”
“What are you doing, Mum?”
“Just a little tiding, Madeline. What brings you over mid week?”
“I wanted to share my news but first we need a cup of tea. I’ll make it you go and sit down.”
Alice did as her daughter wished, anticipation stirring. With a cup of tea in her hand and a couple of biscuits in the saucer, Alice looked at her Madeline in anticipation.
“I’m getting married, Mother. I’m just so excited. Tom proposed last night and I had to come round as soon as I could.”
“Madeline, that is such wonderful news. Congratulations. Tom is such a kind, gentle man, I’m sure he will make you very happy.”
“I have so much to organize and I was hoping you could help.”
“Whatever I can do, of course. Do you have an idea of a wedding date?”
“I want a summer wedding and hopefully in the grounds of the old manor. It would be perfect.”
Alice smiled at her youngest daughter. All of them settled now. My heart is content. A summer wedding will be a sublime memory. We’ll be all together. One last occasion, Henry then I’ll come to you, promise.