A New Normal #FridayFictioneers

Friday Fictioneer
Photo @Jennifer Pendergast

A New Normal

“Dad wanted to be buried at sea?” you asked as we wrestled the mahogany canoe to the shore and waited for high tide to carry us out. I couldn’t find my voice, but nodded in reply.

“Did he really carve this boat?”

Choking on my grief, I answered, “He made it for you.”

“We waved goodbye to his ship from here.”

“I’m sorry Mom,” you laid your head on my shoulder, “I don’t remember.” Together we tossed the MIA bracelet and let our sorrow sink, drifting into a new normal.

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49 Comments Add yours

  1. All they had to bury (at sea) is a MIA bracelet. So sad. Wonderful story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, just a bracelet with his name. I wore an MIA bracelet in high school. The name on my bracelet was Maj. Robert Stackhouse. I probably still have it somewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope Maj. Robert Stackhouse has been found and is or were, hopefully, alive and well.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Really touching Tracey.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh this was touching. Buried at sea.. I think our stories went similar ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Bjorn. I think your character would rather have been buried at sea than live in his damaged body. There’s worse things than dying in a war.

      Like

  4. Dear Tracey,

    A very touching story that sinks deep into the heart.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked it.
      Thank you Rochelle.

      Like

  5. Joy Pixley says:

    Very touching. The part about the child not remembering the last goodbye was especially moving.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Joy,
      I envisioned the boy being 10-12 years old in this piece, having been an infant when his Dad left for Vietnam.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Joy Pixley says:

        For some reason I pictured the child (wasn’t sure if it was a boy or girl) as older, like a teen or young adult. But it works well at whatever age, really.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Sandra says:

    So very sad, and well executed. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sandy,
      Merci for commenting from the waterways of France.
      Tracey

      Like

  7. ceayr says:

    Very well written, powerfully poignant tale,
    Excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I treasure your praise.
      Tracey

      Like

  8. Dale says:

    Goes to my gut as we just sent my husband’s ashes into the river…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Dale, I’m sorry for your loss. I just buried my sister so grieve has been on my mind.
      Take care,
      Tracey

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dale says:

        Thank you, Tracey. xo

        Like

      2. Dale says:

        I hit send before finishing! So sorry for your loss as well. I cannot imagine losing one of my sisters.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. ansumani says:

    Each line reveals a layer of grief so exquisitely. If only sorrows can be sunk .the river bed would be full of it….Sorry for the loss of your sister. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Very touching piece. Picturing the dad years ago carving the boat really brings it home.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You etched the story of loss so exquisitely. Condolences for the loss of your sister.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. My family is trying to find a new normal. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  12. rgayer55 says:

    A very emotional piece. The lack of closure on the MIAs is tough. How do you let go of that hope, never really knowing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Russell,
      That lack of closure would be so tough.

      Like

  13. draliman says:

    Very sad. I loved “drifting into a new normal”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ali,
      Grief feels like drifting to me.

      Like

  14. Very touching, Tracey, and a reminder of a long ago war that still has the power to hurt.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Amy Reese says:

    Touching and poignant piece, Tracey, on many different levels, past and present. You captured a lot here. Well done. I’m so sorry about your sister. Wishing you peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. gahlearner says:

    Very touching and sad story, and so well told. I’m sorry for your loss, drifting through grief to a new normal–that describes that state of being ‘out of it’ perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Margaret says:

    I can’t imagine losing someone like that – just to be told that they’re missing, and never knowing what happened. Heartbreaking. Your story captures the grief and impact of losing a loved one really powerfully. Condolences for the loss of your sister. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. erinleary says:

    So sad and heartfelt. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. plaridel says:

    sometimes that’s the best thing to do. just let go.

    Like

    1. True and glad to see you back Paridel.
      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Shadows of Viet Nam still haunt us.

    Like

    1. Every war haunts us doesn’t it and yet we can’t seem to stop repeating history.
      Thanks Dawn.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. this is so sad and beautifully told, well done

    Like

    1. Thanks for reclining by and for your kind comment.
      Tracey

      Liked by 1 person

  22. elmowrites says:

    A sad story. Personally, I found the 2nd person pov confusing, especially coming on top of the mum’s confusion and grief -which I liked.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jennifer. I think the second person POV works well here even though I hadn’t done it on purpose. *sigh
      I learn something new every week at FF.
      Tracey

      Like

  23. wildbilbo says:

    Great exploration of grief here – ‘settling into a new normal’ is a powerful insight.
    Nice work.

    Liked by 1 person

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