Eileen stared at the photograph of her two sons, Eric and Eddie. It was taken in the fall of 2005, a few days before Eric shipped out. They were wading in the shallow creek bed, their pants legs rolled up to stay dry.
That photograph, with its streams of light from the late afternoon sun shining through the tree branches as her two beautiful boys frolicked in the creek, was one of her favorites. She framed it and placed it on the fireplace mantel in the family room.
After Eileen learned that Eric had been killed in action in Iraq by an improvised explosive device, or IED, it was hard to look at that photo. But though she had lost her firstborn, she still had Eddie, the boy wading in the stream in his rubber boots.
And then, after finishing college, Eddie joined the marines and went to Afghanistan, where he lost his life in a firefight.
It was hard for Eileen to bear, but she still had that photo to remind her of happier times.
Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers from Priceless Joy. Photo credit: ENISA.