Word count: 1,025
It must have looked like rain
When ten thousand angels cried.
As the sun slipped away
The skies turned to grey
(From the song Ten Thousand Angels Cried by Leann Rimes)
This was her favourite place to come; a place that offered her solitude and tranquillity a place in which to reflect. As with the preceding years Teresa O’Brien had come to the place that she had come to love, but this year unlike the others and making her pilgrimage alone she had brought a friend.
“Does it ever get any easier?” she quietly asked and looked across the land to the far-reaching valleys below. She closed her eyes and let her mind drift to happier times. She had been born and raised at Lancer, her mother had left her in the care of her father while she resumed the life that she had once known. Teresa’s father had been shot while he helped Murdoch Lancer protect his land from thieves and she had been left to face the world alone. Afraid and deep in despair she was overjoyed when Murdoch had told her his news. That had been granted legal guardianship of her and she had a home at Lancer for as long as she wanted.
“I don’t really know if it does,” replied her companion. “I guess with time it makes the hurt easier to deal with and lessens the pain.” He looked and smiled as a young deer walked tentatively in the high grass. “He truly loved it here didn’t he?”
Teresa nodded her head in agreement and inhaled deeply through her nose, drawing in the heaven sent aromas of the wild flowers, honey suckle and evergreen pines. “Yes, he did.” Her voice was soft like summer rain, her eyes gentle yet clouded with pain. A picture of what she felt on the inside – a heart that was weary and wept quietly again for the one she had loved so dearly.
The valley that surrounded the pair was rich with greenness and vitality that nature had provided. A small creek, all reeds and mire wound its way through this part of the land, provided nourishment for the land around it. Yet this same creek could rage as a river and roar during the rainy times. Today it flowed mildly as it channelled and slowed, while leaves that fell from the giant oak floated on top of it like unmanned boats. Autumn had begun to arrive in the valley, turning the once green leaves of the Oaks to an arrangement of golden browns, orange and red tonings as if they had each been individually hand-painted by an artist.
As Teresa looked into the branches of the tree above her she saw the many wondrous treasures that it hid. The gossamer webs spun by spiders as they toiled, the squirrels as they scurried with finesse and grace over the branches gathering food for the winter, the woodpeckers that hammered at the trunks in search of their prize. To many people these things would go unnoticed, ignored – but to Teresa each was a gift of nature. “Why does losing someone that we love have to hurt so much?” She asked and held the photo she had brought with her closely to her heart, as if it could feel the empty hole that was there.
“I remember the day of his funeral,” she began, her words catching in her throat as the tears threatened to fall. “The skies were filled with a stillness as they clouded over. Do you remember?”
“Yes. I remember. It was as if the world had stopped to say its final goodbyes to a wonderful and caring man.” Murdoch’s voice was etched with a sorrow that he still carried. He thought back on the times and the joy that they had shared; the plans that they had both made for the ranch and the dreams that they secretly shared.
“Do you miss him?” Teresa asked, her voice heavy with sadness.
“It’s pretty hard not to. When I first met him, he took a bit of getting used to. I guess I was the same for him, not knowing what to expect from each other. Though he probably thought that all I expected from him was to do a job.” Murdoch sighed, put his arm around Teresa’s shoulders and pulled her close to his broad chest. “He definitely turned out a lot different than I had expected. I really hadn’t expected him to stay, to be honest I thought he would leave at the first chance he got.”
From high above them a bird began to sing and sang from his heart. Its voice held its audience of two spellbound, giving them the chance to reflect on the things that they took for granted each day. When he’d finished his joyful song, he flapped his winds then soared up aloft.
“He would’ve liked that.” Murdoch added.
“Out of the choice of places he had to go, he told me that this was his tiny piece of heaven on earth and that here he knew his life had a true worth.” As she spoke the tears began to fall. “Why did he have to get involved in the gun fight?” She asked, her words strangled by heart wrenching sobs; her head now buried in Murdoch’s chest.
Murdoch turned his head away for a brief moment. “To protect me, and to fight to save what he loved so dearly.” He was fast losing his own battle of grief when a lump that refused to stay down found its way to the top and caught in the back of his throat as he spoke.
“He told me once, that he believed in angels, but I think it was only to appease me. A girl with silly ideas and notions. He told me that when it rained it was the tears of ten thousand angels as they cried.”
Teresa pushed herself up and walked towards the small grave. As she knelt down beside it and placed the small floral wreath upon it that she had so lovingly made, she offered a quite prayer. She felt Murdoch beside her and closed her eyes when he clasped her right hand in his. With one final look at the grave she spoke quietly. “I love you daddy and I always will.”
Some say it rained, I don’t know if it’s true.
Well, I can just imagine ten thousand angels cried
That would seem like rain to me and you.
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