Quickly Fading

Posted: November 23, 2014 in Prose
Tags: , , , ,

Old Grandpa sat on his rocking chair. He was staring at the flower garden again. Last spring, the flowers were all blooming. The lilies were glowing so white. The roses, so red. The orchids were all blooming. I couldn’t help but fall in love with these creatures, especially with the pink roses. But this week, they started to wither. Autumn had come, and the flowers’ beauty began to fade away.

“Grandpa,” I said as I approached him. As a six year old girl, I always loved to talk and spend time with my Grandpa. He seemed so wise, so understanding, so loving.

“Well hello, Lizzie. Come here, girl,” Grandpa smiled. His warm greeting was like the sun to me. And it warmed my heart, as it always did before.

I sat on Grandpa’s lap. I noticed he was still gazing at the flowers. So I asked him, “Grandpa, why do you always stare at the flowers?”

“Don’t you want to stare at them too, Lizzie?”

“Not when they’re withering. There’s nothing much to see.”

Grandpa chuckled. “Flowers are the forgotten meaning of beauty, dear child. They tell us something when they are in bloom; that is true. They are the living that proves the beauty of simplicity. But they tell much more when they wither. They remind us of the brevity of life and beauty. And they are so much like humans.”

“Like us, Grandpa? How?” I inquired, and he began to tell me his story.

Grandpa was a sturdy and dominant young man. He was successful both in politics and in business. He was known throughout the country, and he enjoyed the privileges of being the “favored one” of the society. He was handsome, strong, and rich. Like a gorgeous flower, he was blooming.

He was all settled, and he could have made it to the list of United States’ most prominent men. But then autumn came in his life, and his blooming figure began to wither.

The first petal to fall was his fame. He got involved in some political issue. It was rumored that he manipulated the ballots during one election. Though it was never proved, this rumor dethroned him as the people’s apple of the eye. Thus he left the world of politics.

And then a year later, he fell into a severe sickness, myositis by name, which damaged his muscle coordination permanently. Thus his strength, the second petal, fell.

Because of his damaged reputation and inability to work, his business greatly tumbled down. Investors withdrew their shares because of my Grandpa’s damaged reputation. He was at the very edge of bankruptcy. As his business fell, so did his wealth. The third petal has fallen. The heart of autumn had arrived, and my Grandpa started to wither—socially, mentally, and physically.

The once apple of the eye of the society became a plague for them. The loved and favored one, in such a short span of a time, transformed into an object of the people’s hatred. The winds have changed. The weather altered. Spring had come to an end, and days of cold and painful winter started to reign in his life.

He lost properties. He lost friends. He lost his money. He was left with nothing but his family, an old, almost-tumbled-down house, and barely enough money from his pension after retirement. From a great figure, he became an old man in a rocking chair.

“It has been such a short period of blooming, Lizzie,” concluded Grandpa. “Days of glory has been short, and followed by long periods of pain and misfortune,” he sighed. “Oh well, like what that old Chinese proverb said, man cannot be always fortunate; flowers don’t last forever.”

“But Grandpa, why do we have to wither, like these flowers in our garden? It’s so sad.” I frowned.

“It might be a sad thing. But you see, Lizzie girl, old flowers have to die. It is only in this way that new flowers, like you, can grow and bloom. Such is the reality and cycle of life. The death of one marks the birth of another. Flowers that wither and die give way for new ones to sprout up and have their chance to live and enjoy life.

Have you ever wondered why people who died for their nation are called heroes? It is because they offered up their lives for the hope of the future generation. They died, so others, so that the young ones, can live. So you, Lizzie, you are one for whom our fore fathers died. Make sure they did not die in vain. Live your life to the fullest. Use the days of your youth wisely. And make the most of your spring time. Always remember, flowers don’t last forever.”

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