Your inquiry about Mother — there was not much to do after the hemorrhage. She fought well and passed gracefully.
Plan to take care of yourself. You are needed. Father expects to be back in August. I am not so sure.
I know you will put them all before yourself. Shall that be my last thought?
The blossoms — I see them when I climb to the big oak, with your pickets there shepherding Lester Atkins’ stock. The grass swaying, yellow and green, wave after wave, and I hear your jolly laugh and your voice telling me “Soon.”
You are in my lungs, like fire, like sea salt. You are loose gems. You are a mirror and a cup.
Excuse my script — there is more that I say, so read deeply.
17 June 1918
Philippians 4, vs 13
After reading through the history of World War I, I thought about the separation of families and friends due to the calls to serve. Then I imagined a young woman sending a postcard to her sweetheart soldier who is fighting in France. I took a photo of flowers in my garden and created a “vintage” postcard to inspire me in writing this love story, short and sweet.
I pray that the coming days do not usher in another great war, which always requires the taking away of loved ones.
As part of a writing challenge, I wrote a scene inspired by Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18, Adagio Sostenuto. The music is wonderful, and you can listen to it by clicking here.
While I listened, I had these thoughts:
A great understanding
She realizes her true worth
A pleasant place has been found
Seeing God in natural things around her
As I began to write, the “her” in my thoughts became the girl in an image I discovered on a Black history website. No names were included with the image, so I named the girl “Netta.” The Rachmaninoff music moved me to write a poem-like paragraph within the scene that highlights a time of joy for her as she makes her way to a favorite and secret hideaway:
Netta was free.
No pig priming. No cotton picking. No running with the dogs to stomp the land.
No itching legs and bleeding palms.
She could sing, she could run, she could laugh,
See the sky, and look beyond what it was to what it could be.
It led her down deep to the place of peace.
Though she wept, it was a cleansing joy,
a soul-lifting moment of free.
The image of the young girl (Arkansas, 1935) and the story it tells bring up a great sense of sadness in me. I cannot help but try to imagine a time of happiness for her.
Angel did not want to give up, but the Philadelphia chill cut through deep to his bones and challenged his will to live.
Thirteen months ago, when he started the journey, emotions such as love, concern, and sympathy had been tossed aside. Never again did he want to feel the agony of loss, the knife-in-his-gut rawness that ruled his life after Luisa disappeared.
The United States celebrates Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May. That’s this weekend, and it’s a perfect theme for this month’s Story of the Month.
While researching the Great Depression (1929-1940) for one of my stories, I found this photo and it is an amazing one. The joy this woman shows, despite her poverty, is the perfect picture of motherly love.
Inspired by the photo, I imagined myself sitting with this woman to learn about her typical day.