Short Story Spotlight: Mr. Bradley's Garden
Hello everyone! Before I continue, I'd like to pay homage to those in the armed forces who lost their lives. As the granddaughter of a World War II veteran, I salute you.
I am unsure whether it is a coincidence that the spotlight on Mr. Bradley's Garden is today, or if it is because the man who makes up the architecture of Mr. Bradley (my grandfather) is on my mind. Perhaps it is a combination of both. A few weeks ago was the 9th anniversary of his death where he lost his battle with colon cancer.
The concept of "Mr. Bradley's Garden" was to showcase how the deeds of one man can bring together a community and what the community does in terms of crisis. Can a person be taken for granted and have the things once done out of the kindness of heart be deemed mandatory? What happens when one cannot do what he used to do? Does a community stand united or fall apart? This little story brings up so many questions.
I wanted Mr. Bradley to be a man of strong character, which is why part of him is model after my grandfather. Since the other half of making me was not around, my grandfather was the only father I knew, therefore, the primary model of manhood I was exposed to.
After pulling a pair of white socks from the chest of drawers, Mr. Bradley made his way to the kitchen. To his surprise, his huge brown ceramic mug was already filled with hot tea. He carefully lifted the mug and sampled a taste. It was perfect—extra sweet just as he liked it!
Mr. Bradley glanced around. He didn’t hear the TV so he knew his wife wasn’t up yet. The mystery of the tea was solved when he looked out the screen door and saw his granddaughter drawing. Although pleased with the productivity, Mr. Bradley worried about the amount of time she was spending alone. It’s hard for a kid to survive with little to no friends.
Mr. Bradley sat on the couch to savor all the hot tea before putting on his socks and boots. The third step was a bit unsteady as he made his way outside. I will have to repair that later on today. Mr. Bradley didn’t want his wife or his granddaughter getting hurt.
“G’mornin’, Maggie. You want to help out in the garden?”
Maggie was a bit reluctant. On her last attempt to help, she accidentally stepped on an anthill in the garden. Her right foot hurt for many days. Sensing her thoughts, Mr. Bradley chimed in, “You won’t have to wander through the garden with me. You’ll just stand on the edge, and I’ll pass you the buckets.”
Maggie smiled, then gave a sound of relief. She could definitely do that.