Originally published at: https://paulnicholson.com/watching-over-us/
Watching Over us
A small boy sits at his kitchen table. Paul is 10 and sits quietly eating toast, drinking milk and swinging his feet happily. “Ok mum I’ll do it” he says. There’s no sign of his mum in the room, Paul is talking to himself. He gets up, walks across the kitchen and puts the empty milk carton in the bin. He takes his empty plate and washes it in the sink and puts it back on the side. There’s the sound of a TV in the distance. Paul looks in that direction but decides to turn in the opposite direction and go into his playroom. He opens a toy box and gets out a large box of building blocks and empties it on the floor. He sits and begins to build. Once 3 houses are created he opens another box containing action figures and takes them out.
In front of the largest house he sits a soldier and begins to talk to him. “Hey Rodney what’s cooking?” Paul asks the soldier. After a pause he continues “Oh Shepherds pie that’s my favourite my mum used to make it me all the time” Another pause as Paul listens. “She’s gone now, she got sick and left us but I see her all the time. She’s a face in my head always watching me. Can you see her?” Paul smiles “You can! She’s pretty right? Is she in black and white to you too? She looks sad” he continues to play only stopping to quickly wipe a tear from his cheek.
A short time later Paul looks over at Rodney as if he’s been asked a question “what’s that Rodney?” he asks. “Oh my grandparents are gone too. They are down at the bottom of the garden playing near the greenhouse. Patsy my dog is down there with them too. They were all old when they died but now look young again.” There’s a pause and the boy smiles. “Yes they are all having fun and waiting for me. The sun is always shining down there it looks beautiful, they are always laughing” Paul doesn’t look sad he’s happily playing with his toys.
An hour later Paul stands up and walks to the door. He stops as he gets to the door as if he is listening to someone. “Ok mum I’ll do it” he says and with this he goes back to all his toys and packs them away neatly.
Paul keeps Rodney out though and carries him out of the room and walks in the direction of the TV sound. He walks into the room where his dad is sat watching TV and sits on the sofa with him. The boy doesn’t care what the program is he’s happy to be sat with his dad on the same sofa. The boy’s father puts a big strong arm around him and smiles.
An hour later the boy’s father is asleep and he is rubbing his eyes. He looks around for Rodney and picks him up. “Ok mum I’m going to bed” The boy stands up gives his sleeping father a kiss and heads up stairs to his room.
“Yes mum I’m going to brush my teeth” Paul walks back out of his room and into the bathroom. He places Rodney on the basin whilst he washes his face and brushes his teeth.
Walking sleepily into his room Paul puts Rodney on the pillow and then gets into bed. He turns the night-light off and shuffles to get comfortable.
“Night mum, love you” he says as he begins to drift to sleep.
“Night Rodney” he pats the small soldier on the head.
There’s a pause and then the boy opens one sleepy eye.
“Ok Rodney 1 question what is it?” he asks barely awake.
Paul listens to the question and begins to smile.
“That’s a good question, I don’t know why” he smiles and rolls over.
Before he falls to sleep Paul says quietly “Mum you don’t need to watch over me you can go down to the garden and play with Grandma, Granddad and Patsy, I’ll come and visit you soon. It looks much more colorful and fun down there for you, love you”
Written by Paul Nicholson
A quick story I wrote to hopefully help anyone dealing with loss or grief. I am Paul, I wasn’t 10 years old I was 38 when I decided to let my mum go. Rodney was my inner voice. My elderly grandparents and dog (yes called Patsy) were real and people I had come to terms with leaving. My mum died from a brain tumour at the age of 57 in 2006, way too young to go and the illness only lasted 3 months. I live with my dad who watches TV in the other room.