The Songs of Albert

Albert sat slumped in his special chair holding the frayed blue sweater. As he fell into a deep sleep, the hands that held on so firmly and lovingly to that sweater, dropped it to the ground.
With a loving kiss, his daughter Sally picked it up and took it upstairs.

Albert had only been asleep for twenty minutes when the sing song chime of the doorbell shook him from his dreams.

“That will be Sara,” called Albert sleepily. “Better let her in.”

Sally nodded at her father and opened the door to her twelve year old daughter.

“Hi Grandpa,” she said giving him a hug. “I’ve been having a great time.” She stood arms open wide showing off her wet blue jeans and muddy white tee-shirt. “I’ve been stomping about in the puddles.”

“Hi Sweetheart,” returned Albert. “That must have been fun.”

“Careful Sara,” said Sally. “Grandfather Albert’s not as young as he used to be, and don’t get him all wet.”

” Oh toosh,” said Albert brushing Sara’s pigtails away from his eyes and laughing. “I’m as young as I want to be and I don’t mind getting wet.”

” Grandpa, will you sing one of your songs?” Sara asked.

” Of course,” chuckled Albert. “Just let me get my sweater. Now where did I put it?” He shuffled around in the chair and felt under the seat. “Sara love,” he said. “Can you see if it’s behind me somewhere.”

” Sorry Grandpa, it’s not here,” said Sara sadly.

Albert settled himself into the chair and sighed. “My heart is in that blue sweater Sara, Grandma gave it to me when we were young.”

“Does this mean you won’t sing Grandpa?”

Albert looked at Sara sadly. “When I hold the blue sweater I remember her and the good times we had, he said. That’s what makes me want to sing.”

” Oh Grandpa, where can it be?” Sara asked.

” I’m not sure,” said Albert. “I had it on my lap just now.”

” It’s all right,” she said, giving her grandpa a big hug. “I’m going to find it for you and help you to sing again.”

” Maybe it’s for the best. I’m not very good at singing anyway.” Said Albert sadly.

” Don’t ever say that Grandpa,” said Sara. “I love listening to you, and I’m going to search the house
from top to bottom until I find your sweater.” She ran out of the room and up the stairs, trying as hard as she could to think of the many places that it could be.

Grandpa Albert’s room had always been crowded with clothes and books, and Sara had helped to tidy up so often that she knew where everything was. Skipping quickly to his sweater draw, she grabbed the handles and pulled it out and on to the bed.

“Where are you?” She said impatiently. She emptied the whole drawer but the sweater wasn’t there.
“Oh dear,” she sighed. ” I want him to sing so much. Sweater you’ve got to be here.”

Looking worriedly around the room Sara decided to search every draw, shelf and cupboard there was; still no sweater. She looked under the bed and even searched the inside of his pillow case, but still there was nothing.

“Maybe it’s in my room,” she said. Fast as lightening Sara ran into her room and dived into the mess
of clothes on her bed throwing everything one by one on to the floor. “Where is it?” She said loudly.

An idea sprang into her head so sudden that she was thrown momentarily by the power of it.

“Of course.” She thought excitedly. “It has to be in the big wooden box that mom keeps in the spare room, she keeps all the old stuff there.”

Jumping from the bed, Sara wizzed to the spare room, crashing through the door and almost falling over the wooden box. Trying to control her excitement, she knelt beside the box and lifted the lid. Luckily the box was set against the wall so the lid was able to stay up; she knew she would have been in big trouble otherwise as the box was far too big for her to move herself, and the lid would have been too heavy to hold. “Small things to be thankful for,” she said quietly to herself.

Looking deep into the box, Sara began to realize how much had been collected over the years. There were Scrapbooks full of old family photo’s, baby clothes, paintings she had done when she was five and millions of other things. She took out one of her baby dresses and held it up. “Was I ever that small?” She thought. Carefully, Sara placed the baby dress back in the box and dug her hand down into the rest of the old clothes; her fingers suddenly caught on something soft and woolly; she pulled gently upward until there, right in front of her was Grandpa Albert’s blue sweater.

“Yes.” She said with a leap of glee. “Yes, yes, yes. Grandpa, I’ve found it!” Happier than ever she ran downstairs and rushed into the living room. Kneeling beside Albert she placed the sweater on his lap.

“There you are Grandpa,” she said. “Now you’ll never be cold or lonely again, and what’s even better, you’ll keep singing.”

Sally walked into the room and witnessed the happy scene.

” Sara found my sweater,” said Albert. “Now I’m the happiest man alive.”

Sally knelt beside her daughter and gave her a hug. “Where on earth did you find it?” She said.
” You put it in the big wooden box Mom,” said Sara. “It took me ages.”

“Oh dear, I did didn’t I,” she said sadly. “Sometimes I don’t think.” She turned to her father and kissed him gently on the cheek.

” Enough of this hugging and talking,” Albert said with a grin. ” Let’s have some songs.” He pulled himself up from the chair and grabbed on to his walking frame. “Which song do you want first?”

” All of them,” said Sara happily. She felt good inside, making her Grandpa smile was something special.

” Everyone ready?” Said Albert.

” Absolutely,” cried his eager audience; And together Sara and her mom listened to the songs of Albert.

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