He placed her old, yellowing map on the kitchen island counter and spread it out. He put her camera and camera bag on one side of the brittle map to keep it from curling up on itself. Then he placed three of the photos she had kept with the map and camera. One of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. One of the Colosseum in Rome. One of a unnamed boulevard in New York City.
Each photo was taken by her best friend, Pony Brown, who was a world traveler and who, from the cities she visited, would mail to his mom picture postcard-like photographs, most with “always smile, Pony Brown” printed on the white border at the bottom.
His mother confessed that her bucket list was to visit some of the places Pony had been to, with Paris, Rome, and New York at the top of the list. She joked that she planned to take her camera and visit these three cities “if I don’t kick the bucket first.”
Sadly, she did kick the bucket before she had a chance to fulfill her dream. On her death bed, she whispered in her son’s ear, “Take my camera and go to Paris, Rome, and New York. Take pictures like these. Do what I was unable to do. I will be there with you, my darling little boy. I will experience my adventure through your eyes and your heart. I want us both to always smile. For eternity.”
And then she drew her final breath.
Written for Sadje’s What Do You See? photo prompt. Photo credit: DariuszSankowski at Pixabay.com.