Nature's Survival, p.1J.P. Medved
Copyright 2012 David G.
It was a dark night. Dead. The sky resembling black construction paper, not even a breeze could penetrate it. A morgue indeed. All of my father's life seemingly thrown away because of someone, I don't know who. Our government not here to help.
My father's dreams dead, just like the dark night sky
I cannot remember exactly when I started enjoying nature, although it was probably from the crib. I was raised in it. If you did not know me, you would think my blood was green.
From the lush green meadows to the rugged mountaintops there was nowhere better to enjoy this than on the edge of the Holy Cross Wilderness in Colorado and Mount of the Holy Cross. As I looked out my window, as I did every morning as I did soon as I woke up, it was a scene out of a fairy tale. My house, perfectly placed on the top of a hill, had a perfect view of the rocky top of the Mount of the Holy Cross. The white cross, uneven summit, even the occasional mountain goat, made me thankful for the gift my father gave me: a love of nature.
I remember when my father and I tried to climb the mountain, as he liked to call it. This was the one “14er” that my father never climbed as a child. My father wanted to share the moment of reaching the summit of his backyard mountain with his child.
We got to within 200 feet of the summit when the unthinkable happened, I tripped.
Admittedly, with the summit of my first 14er so close, I did pick up my pace as I hurried to the summit. It could have also been the increasingly gray sky. And, unsurprisingly, I tripped. As soon as I fell I knew it was not good. The pain was extraordinary. I could already see a red area forming and swelling starting to form.
I knew just how badly my father wanted to get to that summit, so I told my father to just head up to the summit, and he could come back to get me when he was finished. My stubborn father would have none of that. He told me that he made a pact with his father that he would share this special moment of reaching the summit of his final 14er with his son, and if I was not standing on the summit with him, then he would never let himself live it down.
And that was when I knew that my father was always there for me. Before that I was starting to question him. Wondering if he truly loved me, if he was actually there for me. Well, our time on Holy Cross gave me my answer.
Anyways, it was a cool summer morning at the beginning of June, 2008. It was unusually cold for June. I woke up, and as usual, starred out into the wilderness, it's crazy eyes staring right back into mine.
Those white eyes at the peak of Holy Cross staring back at me, daring me to climb it. Teasing me about that day so long ago. I shook it off and walked downstairs.
I stroll down the stairs just as my father, as always, was putting my cereal with extra milk on the table.
This particular morning my father was in a particularly cheery mood. Now, my father is not what you would call a bundle of joy. Ever since my mother died he had just not been the same. The guy who had given his heart and soul to his wife was torn away by a single virus.
Ah, yes, I remember those two days as if it were yesterday. Those were the worst two days of my life. It was a cold winter morning, about five years before that cool summer morning. Ominous clouds hung in the air, a cool mist beat against the soft ground. The peak of Holy Cross stood above it all.
I came downstairs, just like I did on that cool June morning, and saw my mother sitting there, happy as happy can get, not a sign of despair in her crystal clear, turquoise eyes. I came downstairs, my cereal sitting on it's usual spot in the kitchen, my mother giving me a huge smile.
She said, out of the blue, “David, I want to take you to a Broncos game”.
“Mom, are you crazy, we don't have enough money to clean the car very often, nevermind go to a Broncos game!” I responded.
“Yes, David, everybody in the neighborhood knows that we not the wealthiest bunch”, she started, “but for you, my sweet David, I would give my life to see you happy.”
Little did I know that her life would end in just a single day.
On the day before my mother died, I went to school as normal, but when I came home, no one was there.
I remember the hopeless feeling of walking around the house, calling my parents names. Knowing they weren't home, but calling them anyways, in a faint hope of an answer, knowing something was seriously wrong.
I finally decided to call my father. The conversation I had with him will be implanted in my mind for the rest of my life.
“Hello,” my father said.
“Hey, where are you?”, I responded.
“Your mother is very sick”
“What do you mean, she was fine this morning?”
“I don't know what to tell you, she would not stop throwing up and then she just dropped to the ground, barely having a, look I have to go I don't know when I will be home.” he quickly said before hanging up.
I remember that night so many years ago, with both my parents at the hospital, my mother gravely ill, and I sitting in my living room lifelessly, a world's worth of questions, but not a single answer.
It was on that night that I got into a coughing rage and coughed up blood all over my body. Blood spread all over my body, myself not being able to move.
My father came home at 4:30 AM to come get me, my mother dying, with me lying on the floor, and had to bring me to the hospital for all the wrong reasons.
My mother died the following moment, I did not even get to say any last words to her.
My father let his life slip away the following year until he finally understood that final reminder my mother had spit at him before she died. She told him to allow himself and I to “open yourselves up and let the wind take you.”
It was at that point that our lives started to become normal again, except this time, a darker type of normal.
As I mentioned earlier, on this nippy summer morning, my father was especially happy. I found it a little strange as I had not seen him this way since before my mother's death, but I just continued on with my morning, thinking not much of it.
“Good morning, Dad. You look awfully happy today” I said.
“Well, I am David, as I have thought of a great idea for what we can do this weekend” he responded.
“What is it?”
“It is time.”
“Time for what?”
“Time for us to crush that demon that has haunted since the day it happened. It is time for us to conquer Mount of the Holy Cross.”
And with that all I did was give him a simple nod, a nod of understanding that this meant so much more to him. This was a salute to his father, his wife, his son, and a reminder to himself on just what he can accomplish.
As I ate my cereal that morning, I thought some more about my mother. The times I saw her walking out the door with my father, smiles plastered on both of their faces, nature about to enter their souls. Oh do I wish I could my mother could accompany us on this huge occasion in all of our lives.
Excited, but a little fretful of what was ahead, I decided there was nothing better to prepare for such a hike than taking a nice walk into nature, the purist place on earth.
School could wait, I needed the wild world more than algebra.
My father scurried out of the door, quickly so his boss wouldn’t fire him, and I was on my own.
Nature's Survival by J.P. Medved / Science Fiction have rating 3 out of 5 / Based on15 votes