25 comments

Creative Nonfiction

“To the Boock Family:

           I met Gloria through Serving Seniors and Telespond. She always had a great smile and a big hug! May your happy memories of her console you now and in the days ahead. Angel Gloria will be watching over all of us now.

With heartfelt condolences,

           Sylvia Kolosinsky.”




I was five years old.


The morning started with crisp snow and glassy ice,

With holiday carols and twinkling lights,

With elves on shelves and snowball fights.

I loved Christmas because it meant you.


I would sprint down the halls of Lutherwood to your room.

“Run, run, run! Faster!”

You would stand outside your door at the end of the corridor,

Your arms were wide open, ready to hold me.

I would leap into your embrace.

It felt like a relay I always won. The prize was you.


Scrambled eggs.

Mugs of orange juice.

You were so quick to replenish cleared plates.

There was always just as much to consume with our eyes in your living room

As there was to consume with our mouths in your kitchen.

Bamboo plants.

Origami birds.

The Maneki Neko.

It was a beautiful kind of busy.

I could spend hours taking it all in.

I could spend hours with you.


Somehow, Santa Claus always knew to make a stop at your apartment, too.

There would be dolls or picture books under your caparisoned tree.

You must have told him all about me.


When mom and dad said it was time to go

Because they wanted to beat the snow,

You made sure to pack me a bag of your homemade cookies.

Sugar.

Chocolate chip.

Cherry bonbons.

All were delectable, but none as sweet as you.


I love you, I love you, I love you.




I was seven years old.


Trick or treat, trick or treat! Give us something good to eat!

My brother and I knew you would.

Instead of going door to door,

We drove to your apartment.

It was more fun there, anyways.


I would sprint down the halls of Lutherwood to your room.

“Careful, careful! Don’t trip on your pretty costume!”

You would stand outside your door at the end of the corridor,

Your arms were wide open, ready to hold me.

I’m sure if I had clicked my sparkly, red heels three times

I wouldn’t have left your grasp.

It was home.


How excited you were

To get a visit from Dorothy Gale and Darth Vader.

We were excited to see you, too.


You had candy for me

Reese’s Cups.

Snickers.

Butterscotch.

And candy for my brother

Starbursts.

Jolly Ranchers.

Lollipops.

Of course, you also had an abundance of cookies for us to share.


We took lots of pictures, laughed, and smiled

But we could only stay for a while.

My brother and I devoured lots of sugar that night,

But visiting you was our real Halloween treat.


I love you, I love you, I love you.




I was nine years old.


Well, almost ten. My birthday was coming up soon.

You invited us over for dinner.

I couldn’t wait.

It was rainy April

And you were sunshine incarnate.

Your hugs were warm

And your smile was brilliant.


I would sprint down the halls of Lutherwood to your room.

“Slow down, you’re almost as tall as me!”

You would stand outside your door at the end of the corridor,

Your arms were wide open, ready to hold me.

Even if I suddenly towered over you,

I’d never outgrow you.


Baked chicken.

Tossed salad.

Steamed corn.

You thought I was insane when I turned down your gravy.

I didn’t like to try new things.

That was a big difference between us.

You were up for anything.

Quad rides.

Late nights at the Casino.

Traveling.

You did it all.


For my birthday, you let me pick out any piece of jewelry from your vast collection.

Sophisticated pins and brooches.

Pulchritudinous necklaces.

Elegant bracelets.

Lustrous earrings.

Chic rings.

I chose a pearl bracelet.

Did you know

Less than one in every ten thousand wild oysters contain pearls?

They’re a rarity and a treasure,

Just like you.


After another one of your astonishing desserts,

It was time to leave.

Hugs and kisses.


I love you, I love you, I love you.




I was ten years old.


My dad got a job offering 1,200.6 miles away.

He was going to take it.

I was ready for a new beginning,

But I wished I could pack you in the U-Haul and take you with me.


The time came for a visit that was both

A quick hello

And goodbye for now.


I would sprint down the halls of Lutherwood to your room.

“There’s my girl!”

You would stand outside your door at the end of the corridor,

Your arms were wide open, ready to hold me.

This time, I truly never wanted to let go.


That day,

I spent time memorizing you.

Studying your bonhomous eyes.

Your laugh lines.

Your curl pattern.

I was never going to forget one single detail

Because every part of you mattered to me.


Before I knew it, it was time to head back to my house.

We had a lot of packing to do.

Until we meet again,


I love you, I love you, I love you.




I am eleven years old.


We flew up for your funeral today.

Uncle Nate spoke at the service.

He said,

“I never thought that someone with so much fire could ever burn out.”

I don’t think you ever really burned out.

I like to imagine you’re burning even brighter somewhere else.

Somewhere better. Somewhere more peaceful. Somewhere heavenly.

I’m just missing you here.


My papa

Your son

Called and asked if I wanted any of your things.

To be candid with you,

I didn’t.

I wanted you.

But this was as close as I could get right now.


I didn’t sprint down the halls of Lutherwood to your room.

Silence.

You weren’t standing outside your door at the end of the corridor.

You weren’t there.


Papa let me in.

Your apartment was congested with belongings

But it still felt void.


I ended up bringing home a teddy bear, a frog bracelet, a ring, and a watch.

The teddy bear – to comfort.

The frog bracelet – to symbolize change and transformation.

The ring – to keep you with me, always.

And the watch – to remind me that when it’s my time to go, you’ll be the first one there to greet me.


I left your apartment for the last time.

You weren’t standing outside your door at the end of the corridor.

You were

The verdant ground beneath me,

The cerulean sky above me,

The glowing sun beaming down on me.

I heard your voice in the wind.

I saw your reflection in the lake.

I smelled your scent in the flowers.

You were everywhere now.


I love you, I love you, I love you.

July 08, 2021 18:02

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25 comments

A Dead Poet .
12:30 Jul 16, 2021

Wow! This was so elegant and beautiful. Great Job!

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Riley Boock
12:42 Jul 16, 2021

Thank you very much <3

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Everett Silvers
22:41 Jul 15, 2021

Also- I love your bio

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Riley Boock
00:56 Jul 16, 2021

Omg...I was just thinking about telling you how much I love yours!! I think we have a lot in common:)

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Everett Silvers
13:41 Jul 16, 2021

Hahah, thank you! I think we do :)

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Everett Silvers
22:40 Jul 15, 2021

Woah. . . this story is beautiful. Very well written and both happy and sad at the same time. You did a fantastic job, good work :)

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Riley Boock
00:55 Jul 16, 2021

Thank you! That means the world to me<3

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Mellanie Crouell
11:53 Jul 13, 2021

Sad but great story! Made me think of my grandmother.

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Riley Boock
14:55 Jul 13, 2021

Thank you, I’m so glad you enjoyed it :) It was a bittersweet topic to write about.

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Michael Martin
17:35 Jul 12, 2021

Wonderful imagery... you told the tale of loss without having to explicitly state how painful it was. You captured the essence of a loving grandparent, and how a child takes in the wonders and joys of going to their grandparent's house. That set the stage perfectly for the gutpunch that we all knew was coming based on how you opened the story, but because of how you set it up, it was still heartwrenching nonetheless. Excellent work.

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Riley Boock
19:23 Jul 12, 2021

Thank you so much, Michael. I really appreciate it.

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Beth Connor
15:50 Jul 12, 2021

Riley- this was so beautiful. I wish I had more words for you, but you captured the words so eloquently.

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Riley Boock
17:10 Jul 12, 2021

Thank you so much! <3

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Alex Sultan
11:49 Jul 10, 2021

I really like stories written like this, broken into short sentences and all. This reads a lot like poetry, and I like your use of repetition and time skips.

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Riley Boock
15:37 Jul 10, 2021

Thank you, Alex!! That means a lot to me.

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Kendall Defoe
06:42 Jul 10, 2021

Seems we wrote about the same kind of moment. Very well done, Ms. B!

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Riley Boock
15:35 Jul 10, 2021

Thank you!!

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Akshara .
05:22 Jul 09, 2021

Interesting choice of words, and well written! :)

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Riley Boock
15:25 Jul 09, 2021

Thank you, Akshara!! That means a lot to me :)

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Akshara .
18:17 Jul 09, 2021

Of-course! I just gave you a shoutout on my author bio! 😁

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Riley Boock
18:37 Jul 09, 2021

Wow, thank you so much!! That’s so kind of you, you’re awesome.

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Akshara .
18:50 Jul 09, 2021

Always! Let me know when you write more stories! I'd love to read them! <3

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Riley Boock
05:36 Jul 10, 2021

You're the sweetest, thank you!! Same to you:)

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Akshara .
06:53 Oct 29, 2021

Hey Riley. <3 How have you been?

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Riley Boock
16:36 Jan 12, 2022

Hi Akshara! I'm sorry to be responding so late. I have been so incredibly busy. I'm trying to find more time for my writing, but it's difficult. How are you? <3

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