I stole some time off my work to make a small and quick attempt to trace the story behind the message in the book.
She carefully chose the things which she was going to paste in the book. Scott is far now, and probably looking smart and brave in the army uniform. She was so small then, clinging to him and crying all the time, until he got into the van and said good bye. Then she waved back at him till her arms ached and could no longer see him.
Over the years, she has collected so many things to give him when he comes back. Where ever she went, she never forgot to bring back something special for him. Because he was special. People told her she was stupid to wait for him. That he was dead. That he was not coming back. But she went on collecting curios, books and things which he would have liked. No one could deter her from it. How could he not come back, he promised that he will. And he was the kind of man who always honored his promise.
Her grand daughter volunteered to help her with the collage. The little girl was excited as much as her. So together they cut out the letters and words and pictures. And stuck it carefully and made a card and kept it in the book. She had kept the book all these years safely. In memory of their childhood, the youth un-lived, the echoes of laughter and songs and everything a brother could give to the little sister; she treasured the “Where the Sidewalk Ends” like her own life. She knew her wait was going to get over soon and she was going to walk over the horizon and meet him finally. His birthday was coming and as a last gift to him, she wanted to do this and leave the book to her children and grand children. Like the legacy he left for her.
It had taught her to laugh when life was sour. It had taught her that life had more angles, colors and voices than what you know. And now she wanted to pass it on and remind them to live life to its fullest, to keep the kid alive in the hearts, to always share a laugh, to see beyond fear and malice.
It was already late by the time she finished the collage. She still read a few poems to her granddaughter and the little girl laughed till her belly ached. That night, she slept and did not wake up to greet the sun. Finally, she was on the long awaited journey to meet her brother. She had many stories to tell him. A lifetime full of stories…