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The Garden of Remembrance.

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The Garden of Remembrance Emma Thompsell I spent much of my childhood in a tree. Our garden was big and if you ran down the path, avoiding the wolves that lived next door you were very safe, isolated from the outside world by soaring bushes, their leaves cool to the touch. A huge mulberry bush grew by the lawn, its branches making a woven screen. With little difficulty, it was possible to enter a clearing inside the bush, and eat the juicy fruit, the juice running down your chin, and staining indelibly your clothes. On the lawn were rings of mushrooms where the fairies held their council, of which I always dreamed of being a member. Beads of dew formed on the long grass, lanterns the fairies had left behind. To the left of the lawn was a wall, and an archway entrance. It was a deserted castle of which I was the princess. From the top of the wall, you could see the whole garden. It was easy to get up there, by climbing on the hard stone bench and then up the mossy lion. A few apple trees grew on the other side of the stone room near to the crumbling shed. The third tree from the shed was my tree. ...read more.


With my added height, I could watch the men playing bowls with the big heavy balls. It looked easy from far away but the previous time I had come, I had tried and had found that it was not easy at all. We danced all the way home that day. I remember it vividly. I could not have been more happy, or more proud of her. No one else at the park had such a beautiful, agile, and fun-giving parent. But this was the last day that I would have fun with her. When we got back, my father was in my room. He broke all the rules when he told me. I was sitting on my bed tracing the swirls on the ornate wooden bed head. I imagined a chisel whirling round and round, making the courtly curls. My duvet was creased, slightly rumpled and I itched to straighten it. He stood at the door giving no warning of what he was saying. No hints. Just the bare facts. As soon as I realised what he was saying I ran to the garden, bawling in the way very young children do. All my life, I had wanted to be like her, was content in the knowledge that I would grow up to be just like her, but now to find she was nothing but a stepmother. ...read more.


As soon as I stepped out of the car I realised, that this wasn't a park at all, but a large graveyard. My father seemed to know exactly where to go, so I trailed behind him, sadly looking at the small shiny white lozenges. We started to move towards what had to be the older graves. They were no longer glaringly white and the flowers on them were withered, the grass long. It wasn't possible to see the names anymore; a green moss writhed across each headstone. Here and there, there were small bouquets, but the wind quickly blew small petals away. My father stopped on end of the fifteenth row. He beckoned for me and, brushing aside some off the moss, revealed the name. I looked at him blankly. It meant nothing to me, until I realised that this was my mother. I felt no emotion. I was not sad in the least. This was not someone I knew. I began to wonder what was for lunch. I was hungry after missing my breakfast. Then it hit me all of a sudden. I was at my dead mother's grave and I felt nothing. A wave of guilt flew over me. I felt inadequate, an emotional cripple, horrified at the person that I was. I started to cry. Not for my mother. For me. ...read more.

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