Umber: Afterword (Sibyl’s Story)
November 5, 2012 § 3 Comments
Rummaging through the attic, I blew the dust off of a box and lifted the lid. It contained a pile of papers. On the top was a familiar picture. “I miss you, Grandma,” I said to the face in the photograph. I read the lettering on the back; it said “Marla, at the lake, 2021.”
Beneath the photo was a manuscript. I read the words, “I first saw her at an estate sale.”
Sitting in the dim light of the dusty attic, I read the entire story Grandma wrote about someone named Vera. That’s a nice fantasy, I thought. I didn’t know Grandma dabbled in fiction. I checked the first page for a title, but found none. Maybe, I thought, it should be called, “How Dogma Carried to Extremes Almost Ruined Four Generations of the Birdsall Family.” Or, “Lofty Principles Should Be Balanced with Common Sense.” It was nice that Vera had people who loved her enough to want her to be happy. Grandma made her sound like a wonderful woman.
Funny how Vera’s father was redeemed when he abandoned his principles and welcomed his daughter back home, but Vera could only maintain her integrity by being true to her promise never to remarry. Were they both right?
At any rate, in the end they could each respect what they saw in the mirror. That’s even better than going to Picardy.