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.
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.
Though my mother loved Christmas decorations and the legend of Santa Claus, she was clear with her children about the true meaning of Christmas. The holiday would not pass without the telling of the holy story.
That brings me to my favorite childhood Christmas memory of all.
One of the words I use to describe my mother is resourceful. She used what she had to run our household, and she made sure that we children did the same. Money was scarce, and we didn’t ask for much. Perhaps that is what made Christmas so special for us. After a full year of not asking, we received something.
Veterans Day, observed in the United States every year on November 11, is “a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.” My story shares what I experienced one day at a basketball game while sitting next to a proud grandfather.
You cannot help getting loud at school basketball games. You’re either cheering wildly or trying to make your conversation heard over that wretched game buzzer. You quickly become friends with the stranger sitting next to you, understanding that you attend for the same purpose: to encourage a child you love to do their very best.
I find myself drawn to the “pen” when I experience emotional pain. Writing a fictional story helps me to turn the pain into something that I hope will help others who may be experiencing the same. This is one of those stories.
For Inez, clearing her mind of the ugly words was the hardest part. Prayer, verses, sweet worship with friends. Nothing seemed able to displace what Yola had said. The words hung there, accompanied by a heaviness inside that weighed down her soul.
During my childhood, it got to the point where my sweet relationship with my mother was broken due to her bad choices. I never stopped loving her, but, unfortunately, things with us were never again the same. She died 22 years ago, shortly after her 68th birthday (September 20). Questions I had for her were never answered. Apologies I craved from her were never received.
As I drove through one of my childhood neighborhoods, I was surprised to find Hoit Gardens only four blocks from Milpas Street, the main street on the east side of my hometown. As a child, I thought it took for-e-ver to walk to Milpas from our house.
Driving those few blocks brought back a poignant memory.
One of my monthly writing goals is to share a story with a theme that corresponds with that particular month. Well, today is July 31, and, though I tried to make the goal, you will not find a July Story of the Month posted on my website — but for a good reason!
I began my July story right after Juneteenth, imagining a newly-freed young woman and her reaction to the news. I decided to use the first name of one of my ancestors, who was born in 1845. Our family records list her without a last name.
My tentative title is “Tell Her About Freedom,” a theme in line with the Fourth of July holiday that we celebrate in the United States.
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.