Vision On The Hill
"There he is again Daddy. I told you it wasn't a dream!" High above our Chalet we both could see the man on the horse, waving his hat, and riding in circles. My Father had thought I had been imagining things but every day as I left to do my chores I saw him there. Yet, when I'd go and find my Father to see - he would be gone.
My father asked if he had ever ridden down to me or just what did he do other than ride in circles and wave his hat. I told him that was all he ever did except on my Mother's birthday and on the day she left us. "What did he do on those days?" asked Daddy.
"Well", I said. "he waved his hat and then rode back and forth and would make the horse rear up several times:. "Is that all he did?" asked Father. His face was so stern and his voice was shaky as he asked me that question. "No, Daddy, he , he , he (I was nervous to tell him this part) he looked as those he was glowing, the sun seemed to zone in on him as if he was an Angel and, and, well, er, I FELT his smile! I know I couldn't SEE it but I KNOW I FELT it!"
My Father took me into his arms and could feel me shaking ....."are you afraid"...."no Daddy, not even once did I ever feel fear"...."but Daddy who is he....why does he come to the hill?"
My Father sighed and told me that he wasn't sure why he came or who he was but that my Mother used to tell him of a dream she had as a little girl. It was always the same dream....a dream of a man on a horse who rode in circles. That's why he thought I was dreaming!
"Do you think Mama ever really saw him like me?" I felt my Father's body shudder and his eyes filled with tears. He looked back up at the man on the horse, and as he held me tightly, he said "Oh Carrie........................................
I had never seen my father like this before. He was always the " Rock Of Gibralter"! He wasn't a hard man, but rather a strong dependable one. Seeing the tears in his eyes frightened me somehow.
My father never spoke about my mother's sudden dissapearance. I never saw him shed one tear in my entire life,in fact.
He never spoke harshly of my mother. father always answered whatever questions I asked about her in an honest forthright way, except for one.
" Daddy?", I had asked, once when I was 7 years of age, "why did she leave us? didn't she love us?"
"Carrie," he answered evenly, " all I can and will ever say on this subject I will say only once, and say now. your mother was not from here. she arrived, we fell deeply in love and had you. she would never speak of her past. I loved and respected her too much to pry. after she left, I found a locket hidden in some things in the bottom drawer of her dresser. I had never seen her wear it, yet knew it must be hers. Her initial B for Bernadette was engraved. inside a picture of a woman who looked much like your mother. the back of the locket was engraved with one word, "forever". I will not show it to you now. I will give it to you on your 18th birhday. do not ask anymore of me about this until then."
Tomorrow is my birthday. tomorrow was the much anticipated "locket day". yet tonight I knew my father was about to give me more answers ...
Carrie was deep in thought.....so many questions and mysteries surrounding her life.
Her memories of her mother, however, were good ones. She remembers flaming red, curly, long hair.....so soft to the touch.....Carrie remembers clearly running her fingers through it and playing with it....much to her Mother's delight.
And her all too frequent laugh.....a contagious laugh...an honest one......one that made you feel wonderful...just hearing it. It went along with that broad smile.....that made Carrie feel loved.
While she was picturing her Mother, a memory popped in her head! The locket! Her Mother -was- wearing it....and Carrie was infatuated with it.....but Bernadette was careful not to let little Carrie break it. 'No..No'...she would say....'that belonged to Grandmother Briel...and shall someday be yours!' Grandmother Briel was named after Saint Gabriel....the messenger of good news!
"Come on, Daddy! What difference could a few hours make? I'll be 18 in just 4 hours....and I've waited long enough for some answers....if I don't get them soon.....I'm sure I'll just DIE!'.
Her father grinned at the impatience of his young beautiful daughter. "Ok Carrie....I guess you're right.....a few hours won't make much difference."
"But first, start packing a few things.....we are leaving soon to climb the hill......and meet the man on the horse......we'll need some blankets, and food, and a change of clothes, and.....well, you know what to pack. We'll talk on the way up".
Carrie jumped for joy! This was truly too good to be true.....to spend such time with her Father...and to finally meet the man on the horse! So many of her questions will be answered!
She ran to start packing.......while her Father........