The Old Bench



    It’s been a long time since visiting this old house. Maybe the memories are too many; maybe the sadness of the departure is too much, I don’t know.

    We used to walk for hours talking about so many things; I holding his hand and jumping from time to time, hanging from the strong arm of the old man. Listening to the stories that came every time we walked down this path, to finally without fault, end up the trip in the old bench under the trees, to listen more amazing stories about every little object and creature that could be seen around.

    Fall was the time to go visit for I don’t remember what reason. A child running over the accumulated leaves on the ground, and the smile of the old man intently watching, perhaps immersed in memories of his own childhood, gone long time ago.

    The wind blowing leaves sometimes, and the cold air coming in everyday with more intensity, as fall made its grand entrance to the stage of life in that remote corner of the world.

    Years later, coming back on my own, just to make a short visit to the old man and have a little chat close to the fireplace inside his home.

    I remember the time I came with a big smile and a heart full of hopes, after receiving the white paper with golden letters that certified my graduation to the profession that should be the beginning of an exciting life ahead. I remember the serious look in his eyes while reading the piece of paper, then the hand shaking with some emotional eyes that reflected pride and support.

    Standing from the big chair and walking to a closet at the other end of the room, to grab an old bottle of wine reserved for some special occasion. A drink by the fireplace, the feeling of being supported, the continuation of himself through the ways of the little one that wasn’t a child anymore, and could be considered another adult, worth of having a glass of wine with.

    Then, years later, driving the old road to the old house, to introduce to the old man the new one, the fourth in line, the one just born a couple of months before. His tired hands holding the baby and looking at him with serious eyes, as analyzing the veracity of his existence, or perhaps the pride of seeing how life gave him another step in his long road, I don’t know.

    By the time of the next visit strangers where there, violating the space and the property that used to be the old man’s life. Learning then that he was no more, that he was gone, to the eternal trip to become part of the universe, the whole; leaving a feeling of emptiness in those who remained behind.

    Today I came back, to the house of a stranger, to walk the trails with tall trees giving the leaves away to cover the ground one more time before winter takes place. Walking the same path done so many times in the past, recalling so many memories of the time spent with the old man.

    The bench is still there, but showing signs of not being used anymore, perhaps for a long time now, but standing strong as a monument to the memories that will never die. The place where the old man and I sat for hours to talk, creating that strong relationship that cannot be explained with words…

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8 Responses to The Old Bench

  1. Carol says:

    Great photo and lovely prose. Thank you for posting it.

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Carol,

    Thank you for your kind words. That photo is beautiful indeed; and the story came out as free writing by looking at the scene presented…an experiment I like to do from time to time :)

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..The Old Bench

  2. Sara says:


    What a touching story. I thought it was true until I read your comment. I loved the play of emotions that tracked through the story.

    It has so much of real “life” in and reminds me of the people who are important as we move through our lives. They are our “staying stitches” and make us stronger…even after they leave us. Thanks for this powerful writing…I love it when you share this type of creative writing with us:~)

    BTW You’re a winner! You won my 2011 calendar. When you get a chance, drop by my site and leave the info so I can send it to you:~)
    Sara´s last post ..Story Photo- Share a Memory

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Sara,

    Thank you for the comment. Yes, there’s always someone we remember and that has played an important role in our lives. Not in this specific case since I almost didn’t know my grandfather, but I guess somehow deep in my mind I wish it could have been something like this :)

    Thank you for being selected as one of your calendar winner; it’ll look awesome in my living room…I’m on my way to send you the info :)

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..The Old Bench

  3. Lori says:

    Hi Raul,
    A gem, this is a gem with multiple reflections from a beautifuly cut stone. I adore that you explored your feelings about a grandfather you never knew. This must have been a beautiful exploration for you, and I have a feeling it helped you in ways you never anticipated.

    Thanks for sharing your prose, Raul. I enjoyed traveling with you on your journey. ;)
    Lori´s last post ..A Life With Purpose

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Lori,

    I’m glad you liked the exploration trip; as you said, we never know what we might find in the process about ourselves and our own feelings. Not only it is very interesting to do this kind of exercise, but it’s also a lot of fun :)

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..The Old Bench

  4. Nacho says:

    A very beautiful prose, thanks for sharing. I also thought it was a true story.

    These funny coincidences of life: my grandmother passed away last Summer, and I’ve been writing a small diary about her, as a way to elaborate the loss. Today was the day when I was going to re-read the whole thing, and here I found your post! Well, I guess in these days we all think a bit more about our loved ones, the passing of time, the people who is no longer here…
    Nacho´s last post ..Perfectionism kills habits

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Nacho,

    Thank you, I’m glad you liked it :)

    The coincidence you mention; maybe that’s what some people call becoming in synch when we open our minds and hearts to our surroundings and the people in it, I don’t know; but there are times when I’ve also felt coincidence in the things I do and think with what’s happening around at the moment.

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..The Old Bench

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