June 30, 27 (Novus)/2038 (on Earth)Length:
SGU - EpilogueScene:
Chloe’s diary entry on the day of Young’s funeral [and kudos to any director who can make a visual sequence out of this all. I am afraid, guys, that in an attempt to write Chloe’s diary entry I wrote Young's obituary and in a terribly cheesy fashion. All good reasons to delete the scene. Lol].
We have buried the Colonel today. It was a small and quiet private funeral that was fitting for the man. I am sure a lot will be said at the public memorial tomorrow about his greatness – things that people never said or perhaps even thought while he was alive. Not that he cared too much about what others thought, for he was his own toughest critic. In fact, it is sad to think that he considered his life a failure because he never got us back to Earth or because Futura seceded from the community. In reality, it was a shining success, because we would never have survived without him on Novus or on the Destiny.
Yet, despite his very public life, I would much rather like to remember the private man. The man whom I often saw at the light of dawn returning from the river bank with a basket of freshly washed clothes: he often did the laundry before he woke his kids, made breakfast for them, sent them off to (pre-)school, and took care of TJ only to be out of the door for his daily work before all of us. Although his emotions were always guarded (perhaps less so with children), it was touching to see how he loved his kids and how patient he was with them even after the most grueling workday.
A small group of people helped him a lot in those days. He did not ask for it (he would not have voluntarily handed over a task he thought was his to do) and we never openly offered our help (out of fear that he would feel compelled to decline). But we vowed to make his life a little easier. We conspired to have someone leave a pot of warm food on his door step by the time he would return home in the evening so that at least there was no need for him to cook. We would whisk away and do the laundry for him when he did not outmaneuver us by washing it before we could get to it. When TJ got very sick, we took turns to help take care of her. We never talked about this: he was too grateful to thank (he was just not a man of words) and we thought it best not to remind him of the pain.
When TJ died, he had a hard time sleeping, which cut his short nights even shorter (did he ever sleep more than five hours a night in those years anyways?!). Often, he would just sit on his porch and stare at the distance. Matt would sometimes go and keep him company. At other times, Matt would insist he needed a fishing partner, hoping that fishing might provide Young with some relaxation (Matt hates fishing to this day). We found excuses to have Sarah and Stephen stay with us for a few days, but I doubt he spent those days catching up on sleep (after all there always seemed to be some task long overdue around the house or in the community) unless Eli (would you have thought?) insisted that he did.
But regardless of all his burdens and losses, the most admirable quality about Young was his ability to live in the present, which had its sweet and joyful moments. Sarah’s bedtime stories about the adventures of the Rabbbit (with three bs!), the Snail, and the Kitty (a lion really) who were best friends and lived in the Crazy Forest truly fascinated him. And how proud he was when Stephen won the annual math competition! It was sweet to see his shock when after his opening speech of the Mother’s Day festivities Sarah promptly delivered him with her Mother’s Day present (a drawing on which she wrote, “To DaDDy, the best moder in the world”). Or how finally laughter got the best of him as Stephen – with a very guilty face – was confessing a hilarious teenage prank.
This is how I would like to remember him and how I hope others will too.