Pale, the horse bearing it's dark rider pushes its way through my door, carrying with it King Vitamin cereal.
Blue fuzzy pajamas slip slide on the glossy finished wood kitchen chairs, as I wiggle in the uncomfortable light of morning. My aunts house feels strange, being here so early for breakfast with my cousins. King Vitamin reigns from the middle of the table, amusing us with the stickers once hidden under the kernels of cereal, now adorning the box like graffiti. This is the day a grandparent dies, yet I am too young to really understand the cold touch of those skeletal fingers.
Death forgoes its equine friend, when next we meet, choosing instead a shiny red firetruck.
Crisp uniforms stand at attention, lining asphalt roads, holding traffic at bay as we parade passed crowded intersections. I watch them watch me through the window of the car, in my new suit. It never felt so tight, constraining each breath that is lost with each hand raised in honor. This is the day another grandparents dies, and the touch still sends shiver every time I meet a fireman, and remember.
Clip, clop, clip, clop...I hear him come so many a time, taking mothers, children, friends...leaving only history in his wake.
Try as we may, we can not keep his hand away, only keep him from strangling the life out of those left living. Choosing to live on in memory, rather than walking dead in his shadow.