4.6 Strength and sorrow

The people of Riverview recently elected me as their mayor.  I can’t describe what an honour it is to be chosen to be a key figurehead for our town at such a crucial time.  It means the world to me that people feel they can trust me; especially as I know so many are suspicious of my relationship with my uncle Gaius, and I’m aware that others feel I am very young for such a responsibility.  I’m not alone in this task though.  I work with a great team who are on our local council; and there are many older, much wiser people on that council whom I look up to and who are there to support me and guide me, but who don’t want to have the public profile being mayor entails.

I’ve been somewhat overwhelmed by how recognisable the job has made me.  It isn’t a large town and most people have an awareness of each other, but now I’m stopped on the street daily and asked about my policies and plans.  Hirogen and her colleagues at the paper have been very supportive and have printed a number of interviews but I know the time will come when I will be a figurehead for criticisms of the council.  We will never be able to please everyone and as the mayor I will be singled out for praise, and more likely, for criticism.

My appointment led Hirogen to make the decision she’s been contemplating for some time now; to move out of the family shelter and strike out on her own.  She has plans to set up a television and radio station once we have the technology.  She got herself a new haircut and some new clothes from the new boutique and salon in town to prepare for it!  I am sorry to see her go, but it will mean we each feel a little less conflicted over our duties to work and to family.

Family is something that’s very important to me.  Even though I have a lot of responsibility in my new job I am determined not to miss out on the boys growing up.  Luke has been learning to walk and talk lately and every day he develops a new skill.  I want to see as much of that as I can.

Our other ‘babies’ are also growing nicely.  The seeds that the research team have planted in town are springing to life and everywhere you look trees, flowers, plants and grass are growing.  Our first crop of fruit and vegetables has just been harvested and Anne-Marie has taken them into work for testing to see if they are safe to eat, to see if it’s safe to plant more across the town.  There is a real buzz in the air.  The greenness and the new life has awakened something in everyone.  I have seen people standing in the streets weeping as they contemplate this life they’ve heard about for so many years but never really believed they’d see.  The colours, the smells, the textures are so much more vivid and incredible than we could have ever dreamed.  We were always taught that our town was a beautiful place before the accident but I never envisaged it could be this beautiful – and I can’t contemplate how much more beautiful it will become.

Mum, like many of her generation, found the changes both frightening and thrilling.  I know she always harboured fears about what would happen when we reintegrated, but I also saw the delight in her face when she saw plants in bloom for the first time – it was almost as close to the smiles she had for Luke and Micah.

In fact, she was on her way to snuggle Micah when her time came.  Perhaps it was a kindness that she got to see so much life without having to face the challenging prospect of reintegration.  It was certainly a kindness that she passed away peacefully and in no pain.  She was 95 years old and had lived a happy, fruitful life.

I immediately went to my baby boy, I wanted to ensure he wasn’t afraid or distraught that one moment his Granny was there and the next she was gone – but as much as I was concerned for him, I wanted the comfort of holding him, of holding my child and knowing life goes on.  I have been the head of this household for some time now, and mum has let me make decisions, never arguing with me or doubting me – but it is only now that she is gone that I feel the weight of that role.  She was my anchor, my security, my mentor, my guide – I don’t know what I do now.  I have never really felt that it all lies on my shoulders before, but now I do.  I need to do a good job of looking after this family and looking after this town.  My boys deserve it; and my mother’s memory deserves it.  She was such a strong, brave woman.  She was everything I want to be as a leader and as a parent.

We had a small burial service and a time of mourning as is traditional.  We laid her to rest with all those in our family that have gone before her.  But we knew mum would want us to celebrate her life as much as mourn her death and so we held a funeral party for her and invited all our family and her closest friends to honour her life and achievements.

My mother’s cousin, Ramon, provided the drinks for the party.  He manages some of the local businesses that my mother’s generation helped set up.  I know how much the establishment of the gym, library, gallery and theatre meant to all of them, and Ramon is doing a fine job of management.

His sister Shana manages the facilities alongside him and works just as hard.  She always looked up to my mother and they would often meet up to chat – something both of them treasured.  She’s devastated that mum has gone, although she’s resolved to continuing the work they collectively established.

My uncle Gaius will miss my mother terribly – she was his closest ally – but he is incredibly determined that we celebrate her and all her achievements.  He recently wrote a long column for the paper, a sort of mini-memoir of his experiences in the Alto mob.  He is leaving out the most distressing details but feels he needs to explain his motivations and I know he still feels some need to atone for his actions.  He tells me people who’ve always avoided him have started to talk to him and that the sister of one of ‘the disappeared’ approached him in the street yesterday to tell him she forgives him.  She will never realise but that is the greatest gift anyone could give him.

Ilari is thriving in her role as manager of the local business district.  She’s very busy with work and we don’t see her as much as we’d like, but she is still my best friend and most fervent supporter and I am so grateful for her.  I know her expertise will be instrumental in helping us transition back into the wider world.  She gave a little tribute to mum at the funeral saying how mum always encouraged her to do whatever she wanted with her life, to dream big dreams.  Mum was her biggest supporter, as she was for all of us.

As much as I tried to be upbeat and brave at the funeral, there came a point where I just broke down.  I am going to miss her so much.  I don’t know how I will cope without her.  My aunt Ezri consoled me.  She is such a strong, amazing woman.  She recently turned 100 and is still working part-time as a consultant for the emergency services.  She is a real rock in this community, and in this family.  I don’t know how she has coped with burying both of her sisters, but she is incredibly resilient.  She told me that my mother was incredibly proud of me, that she was proud of all her children, and that she knew I would do my best for the town.  My mother had never told me this, but she told Ezri that she firmly believed I would help lead our town into the time when we are restored.  She was maybe afraid of the implications of the change for herself and her own generation, but she truly believed it was coming, that my generation and my children’s generation would see a new world, and she was glad.

Riverview will soon be restored to the rest of you; we will soon have many more possibilities open to us than we can imagine. Our children will live in a free world, a different world, a whole world.

But just as our ancestors passed on to us the stories of the before times and instilled in us the hope that we would see the things that are now coming to fruition, so we will pass on the stories of those who worked, lived and died that we might see them.  We couldn’t have got to this place without those who worked for something they would never see.  When we write our history books, I know that my mother’s name will be written large.

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17 Responses to “4.6 Strength and sorrow”

  1. I love the line about those who worked for something they would never see. Truly sacrificial.

    Interesting that the green skin and the green-streaked hair may survive all the way til the restoration!

    • I don’t think the skin will – I can’t see Ezri living long enough for that and she is the last surviving green sim, but the hair almost certainly will, given that Jango and Krillitane both have it. I don’t know about the boys yet.

      • It could always pop up again. Sometimes things like that happen.

        However, the founder had been ashamed of his skin “condition”. I think he’d want to see it disappear as a sign that everything he had hoped for the future had been accomplished.

        In a lot of ways, Jango is very much like Alf. Jango is full of hope and has a vision of the future.

  2. I would like the green skin to die out really: it is a sickness as you say, a symptom of the things they’ve been working to eradicate. I’d like one of the boys to have the hair though. Alf’s sense of duty and vision is kind of the Lazarus DNA really – different members of the family express their dedication to it in different ways but it runs through them all.

    He did pass on another legacy to the family as well, something every one of his descendants shares, but I’m saving that for the end.

  3. […] are playing chess, having birthdays and being mean, whilst the Lazaruses’ latest dispatch, 4.6 Strength and Sorrow has a title that pretty much says it all… […]

  4. moondaisy101 Says:

    This is another beautiful chapter. Jango is so modest about his achievement. Hirogen does look fab.
    It’s lovely to see pictures of all the greenery. It must have been hard to keep it out while taking shots throughout the earlier generations. (Oh, and I like the fabric of Micah’s crib.)
    Yay for Gaius! Writing his memoirs mush have been quite daunting, but I’m glad he did it.
    I hope no one will ever forget this disaster and the suffering and sacrifices of so many… that no one will never take a good, healthy world for granted again.

    • I didn’t manage to hide the greenery all the time; I’ve become more adept as I’ve gone along – I wish I could retake some of the Gen 1 shots. It is a relief to have greenery in the shots now and it’s nice but weird to see it on the lot.

      There will be a postscript to this story when it finishes.

  5. So last week I spent days reading this story from beginning to end, and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment, happy and sad. Today I was excited to see a new chapter written. I have been reading your Dayes challenge and doing some reading, a little at a time, on the Kyotis as well. It is hard to realize, while reading this story, that you are the same author for this and the Dayes! I am really impressed with your storytelling. I feel for each member of this family and I also feel like I am living it with them..the mark of an excellent writer! Thank you for posting and sticking with this challenge. I understand it to be quite a difficult ride!

    • Wow, you’ve been trying to keep up with all three? I’m very impressed! (At least you know the Kyoti Legacy is complete so it won’t run away from you) I deliberately wanted them all to be different and I have plans for future stories and challenges that will be differet again.

      Thank you so much for your kind words, they’re really nice and encouraging. Yes, this challenge is quite hard – I started it not long after starting the Kyotis and I still haven’t finished – but having a story to tell and people who’ve been interested in that story have kept me going through it. It’s always nice to see someone new start to read and I look forward to seeing what develops in your own story.

      • Oh yes, been working on ’em all. I’ve been reading the Dayes from the beginning, or close to it. Found your site, RAD’s Sim Stuff, while reading and searching out legacies. Just started with the dispatches while looking up the rules on the TS3 site and saw you there in the thread. I wasn’t interested at first, but then reading the restrictions and rules, I got intrigued. So I came to read yours and I’m hooked! 🙂

      • P.S. I just realized you mention my story.. If referring to ‘After The Raine’, that is being put off for the moment so I can finish my other one, ‘He Comes At Midnight’. I am doing the bad thing of playing far ahead before posting in it, but I love the story so (fingers crossed) hopefully I won’t get bored. 😉

        Thanks for the encouragement!

  6. raquelaroden Says:

    I love the way you cover how so many people felt about Firefly’s passing–what she meant to them and how she inspired them, etc.. It really gives a sense of how important the Lazarus family is to Riverview.

    • Well, I always see it as a very small town, with only only a handful of survivors – probably no more than a hundred or so, and so even though the survivors have descendants now I don’t see the population being too large – everyone pretty much knows everyone else and everyone does a lot for the town. I always envisaged there being other people doing good for the town as well but when you’re limited to how much your characters can leave the lot and so on, it’s hard to write in supplementary characters just for the sake of it.

  7. Arden103 Says:

    Luv it Rad u did fantabulous great story I think it’s great!

    P.S.
    I still have to say this but

    I miss the Kyotis

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