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Hearts Pictures for Words (standard:romance, 1358 words)
Author: SnowAdded: Jan 28 2001Views/Reads: 5094/1837Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Their love spanned half a century, collected in his journal. "Heart's pictures for words," he always said. On the day of his death, she finds the secret of his love for her, which is nothing short of magical. Swans mate for life, and souls, far

Hearts Pictures for Words 

It had been a long, exhausting day for Virginia. The grandchildren all
came over to help in clearing out Grandpa's belongings from the garage. 
The girls wanted to help Gram with his clothes, but Ginny (as her 
beloved had always called her) wanted to do that alone. 

That evening, after the children left, she headed for the bedroom that
her and Charlie had shared for 52 years. Turning on the beside light, 
she sat down on his side of the bed. Funny how she could still feel his 
warmth. Her hand slid across his nightstand, fingers brushing his pipe 
as it lay there...waiting, as she still does. 

Leaning down she opened the table drawer. Until this moment Ginny had
always left Charlie's night table alone. It was his space, where he 
kept mementos from the war, and the journal that she could still see 
him writing so diligently in every night. Closing her eyes for a 
moment, as she touched the soft tan leather of the journal, he was 
there at the desk by the window, hunched over. Deep in thought he was, 
his pipe burning away at its dottle in the ashtray next to him. His pen 
flew across the pages, as if he had to hurry before forgetting all that 
he wanted to remember. "Heart's pictures for words" he would often tell 
her. Heart's pictures for words, Ginny could hear herself repeating 

Plumping up the pillows on the bed, Ginny sat back. Putting her reading
glasses on, she breathed deeply and prepared to plunge into these 
heart's pictures that her dear husband had treasured. Carefully sealed 
onto that first page was the first letter that Ginny had written to a 
much younger Charlie, when he had to leave because of the war, telling 
him that she would always wait for him to return. Ginny smiled at the 
young girl's handwriting, and at the little hearts that had been drawn 
in such a hurry. She had been so very afraid that she would miss his 
bus, and never be able to tell him how she felt. 

On the following pages were his accounts of the days when he was gone,
and how his thoughts were only of the beautiful red head, with a smile 
that could make any mortal man fly. Her eyes filled with tears a few 
times, and she often thought that maybe she should put the journal away 
for now, that it was too soon after sending him home... and yet... 
Ginny knew this was something that she had to do. 

Then, there were three letters. All basically the same, all written to
her, with scribbles, and words crossed out and added -- drafts of the 
one that Ginny herself kept safe in her own journal.. The letter that 
had accompanied a very special gift. The day that had she received the 
parcel will forever be etched in her mind. 

...Sitting on the stoop, waiting for the she did every day
since Charlie left...Ginny was more than eager when the postman handed 
her the brown wrapped package. Ripping the paper off, inside she found 
a little cedar box, and inside that box was the most exquisite pin she 
had seen. A black onyx swan, with a diamond for an eye. Along with the 
pin, there was a note that read... 

My Dearest Ginny, Did you know that a swan will mate for life? Upon my
return from this war, I would like it very much, if you would do me the 
honor of becoming my swan, my mate...for life? 

With Much Love, Yours, Charlie 

A tear escaped, at the memory. 

Through the rest of the journal, there were accounts of their life
together, their 3 children ... and 7 grandchildren. But, what stood out 
most clearly in the pages, were the occasional mentions of the 
beautiful black swans at the lake at Iris Gardens. Charlie wrote of 
them often...especially of the one that was alone. He felt a great 
sadness for this swan, without a mate. He wondered why... Had this 
beautiful creature just not met her yet, or had he already had that 
great once in a lifetime love, and she was now gone.. passed on? 

At these words, Ginny's heart tightened, feeling a great sadness... and
she realized that her hand had moved to the left side of her chest. She 
was caressing her pin, the swan that she had worn every day of her life 

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