Sunday, January 21, 2007

Three Kings' Gifts part III

My birds, Lilo and Stitch! Guess which is which?
Cyd, hope you can view the picture.

Last story!


There was once an elderly couple, Mr. and Mrs. Harth, almost ready to retire, living in blissful peace. Forty years of marriage, they had been blessed with wonderful children, and sweet grandchildren. Mr. and Mrs. Harth lived in a cozy home, just right for the both of them. Yet life is not without it's imperfections, for soon Mrs. Harth had a stroke. Relatives and friends flocked to the hospital. Mrs. Harth survived, but couldn't speak or move, though she would get better eventually. Mr. Harth was utterly distraught. As he stayed at her side, countless questions arose in his mind. What would happen to his wife, what would happen to him? His wife had done all the chores at home. Who would clean the house, wash the clothes, who would cook the food? The first question was easily answered by everyone else. Put Mrs. Harth in a care home. Mr. Harth downright refused. She was his wife for better or worse. No care home, he would take care of her he decided then and there. Relatives and friends shook their heads in exasperation, but Mr. Harth nodded his in determination.

So Mr. Harth retired, and brought his wife home. All poor Mrs. Harth could do was sit in her chair, staring at anything that happened to be in front of her. Mr. Harth made sure she was comfortable, turned on the TV for her, then headed for the kitchen. He stood in the middle of the smooth tiled floor, trying to remember what Mrs. Harth did before preparing a meal. A bowl! That's what he needed. Now where were the bowls? It was some minuets before he located the bowl, eggs, sugar, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and butter. Cinnamon cookies were Mrs. Harth's favorite, what better way to help her get better? Four hours later, Mr. Harth walked to his wife, a proud grin on his face. He was tired, hot, sticky, and holding a plate of a variety of cookies. Some were hard, some suspiciously soft, some burnt, some thickly covered in cinnamon, and some perfect.

The next day, Mr. Harth did what he did best. He fixed up the yard as he thought of the previous day's dinner, the morning's breakfast, and lunch. They had been...interesting, but not bad for first attempts. He planned the rest of the week's chores. He would wash the clothes tomorrow, then clean the house the next. Yes, he chuckled to himself, it would be an interesting Friday and Saturday...

His attempt to wash the clothes, bed sheets, and curtains, had somehow gone askew. The sheets were still damp when he took them out of the washer. The curtains creased from neglect when he prepared the day's meals. Most confusing of all, where had his white shirt gone, and where did he get that pink one? It looked oddly familiar. Cleaning the house was slightly better, though the detergent he used on the walls smelled like his wife's perfume for some reason. Though he did all these chores, Mrs. Harth became more and more depressed. Everyone kept trying to change Mr. Harth's mind, but Mr. Harth was firm in his resolve. He would not give up. He couldn't understand why Mrs. Harth was depressed, but he would not give up. Perhaps some fresh air would cheer her up. He'd have to fix her up presentably of course...

Mr. Harth took a lipstick from Mrs. Harth's make up bag, and smeared it on her lips. Next, he took eyeliner, and drew a line atop her eyebrows. He had seen her apply makeup so many times, but never paid much attention as to how she did it. Now he wished he had been more observant. He picked up a round container full of what looked like dust. He had seen Mrs. Hath dab her cheeks with the dust so he did just that. He fixed up her hair and stepped back with a grin to admire his work. He kept his grin frozen on his face, and walked out of the room so Mrs. Harth couldn't see his reaction. Once out of the room, he closed the door and laughed as softly as he could. She had looked like a clown! Her hair was too curly, and her makeup was applied terribly! Mr. Harth sighed, composed himself, fetched a wet towel from the bathroom, and went to wash the makeup off Mrs. Harth's face.

Mr. Harth took a deep breath of cool autumn air as he pushed his wife's wheelchair around the park. He had finally - after a few days and various attempts - applied the right amount of makeup to his wife's face. Her hair was nicely combed, and her clothes were the same color as they were before he had washed them. Their house smelled of fresh oranges, and his meals were better than last week's. But he could tell that his wife wasn't happy. He was trying his best, not every meal he cooked wasn't black in color. Not all of the clothed he washed ended up a different color. Mr. Harth sighed. He needed a break, but he couldn't give up. He raised his eyes toward heaven for the millionth time, and pled with all his heart for the grace to complete the task he had taken upon himself.

Days went by, and Mr. Harth was having a terrible day. He was at a loss as to how turkey was cooked. The water for the soup was overflowing, resembling a bubbling mass of lava. The apple pie was starting to get a little too brown at the top, and who knew what had become of the mashed potatoes! He turned everything off and hid in his room. He saw his wife beckoning him over to her. With difficulty she spoke for the first time in a long while, but her words were far from comforting. In fact they were upset and demanding. "Why are you doing this to me? I'm supposed to take care of you, you're not supposed to take care of me!" Mr. Harth could take no more. All the pent up frustration he had pushed away in the past weeks burst. He ran out of the house into the cold air as tears fell.

A couple of rounds around the park calmed him down. Composed and reserved, he marched purposefully back to his house and to his wife. "You want to know why I'm doing this, it's because you do it every day for me. You wash, cook, clean, and so much more. Can't I do the same for you?" Mollified, Mrs. Harth sorrowfully apologized and hugged Mr. Harth.

There might be more to that story, I'm not sure, that's all Father told us. Hope you enjoyed the stories!


Cydney - Who else? :P said...

I am now. Viewing the picture, I mean. Geez, it's amazing what pulls up when you type in your name and search it! :D

Cy said...

Wow, this came up when you were searching your name? Lol, well, I'm glad you got to see the picture! =D

Cydney said...

me too :)