The Fell Clutch of Circumstance

Every time I was kicked by circumstance and chance, I picked up whatever broke that time and clutched those pieces to my chest and kept going. –afternoonofsundries, 1 + 1 = fearless

I have no one but myself to blame for failure,
Not withstanding the way life can be.
Voices may try to shout me down
Into the ground, but them I can ingnore.
Cuts and bruises on my heart and soul,
They will not fade quickly nor quietly in time.
Until I can stand and bear them with honor,
Silently, in myself, they must hide.

This poem is dedicated to my second eldest sister, the one I live with. She is the kind of woman who didn’t want to lead, would have been fine following, but life did not have that in store for her. Instead of refusing to face up to the trials in front of her, she faced forward, and with her arms full of children, stepped forward into the darkness of a paradoxically foreign and yet familiar path.

Today is her birthday. All Saints’ Day as well. Our mother went into labor for her on Halloween and she was certain that her ‘tricksy’ daughter would be born that night, but not so. Instead, she came in the morning like a blessing.

My sister is not perfect. I don’t think she’d want to be, because then she’d have nothing left to learn and she loves learning new things.

Life has not always been kind to her, nor to her children, but she doesn’t let that set the tone for the day, for the month, for the year. She chooses what that tone is, what her tune is and she dances. For her, circumstances shouldn’t dictate who we are, but rather, they should be something that helps us to dictate what we want to be.

Her head is bloody, but unbowed. (Invictus, William Ernest Henley)

New Life, Old Chains

image: Wiki Commons and used under the Creative Commons Agreement, taken by Tony Bowden in Tallinn, Estonia

Bygone days of leisure and pleasure
Right under your very nose is taken.
Or did you not lost it, but let it go?
Keeps you on your toes
Even when you think you’re at your sharpest.
Now it’s time to really set out and life your life.
Can you really live without a plan?
Has that plan ever really helped in the past?
As far as I’m concerned, no it hasn’t.
find that I’m more flexible than I thought.
Not even going to forget the price I paid for this.
So I shall face my future boldly.

This poem is dedicated to my mother. It is her birthday today and this kind of describes what I know about her from childhood to adulthood to grandmotherhood.

It was also partially inspired by the Light and Shade Challenge.

Little Dandelion – Traces Prompt #9, Light and Shade

He offered her a dandelion plant in a small pot. He was aware that she studied the language of flowers greatly and her eyes were slightly angry when they met his. He smiled and handed her a small envelope along with the pot before he hugged her, kissed her on the cheek and left for work.

It was her birthday and she loved plants. He always gave her something for her garden as they rarely had any in the house, small as it was.

She sat, the hated flower sitting next to her and opened the envelope. Inside was a simple card that said the following:

My darling wife,
I know that you will see this flower and think of its meaning, a dalliance, a trifling flirtation. That is not what I mean when I see this flower.
I think of you.
I think of your tenacity. Your inability to give up. You see something that needs to be fixed and even if it is not initially your problem, you try to fix it. You listen to people no matter who they are or where they come from. You care about them even if you will never meet them again.
To me, you are a little dandelion who sees a crack in the pavement where there is nothing but grey walls and parched dirt and think, “There! That is the perfect place for me to begin bringing a little cheer and color to this place.”  You will slowly send out seeds and spread the cheery yellow happiness of life whenever you are able to do so.
So do not look at this little flower that is often thought off as a weed or nothing more than a dalliance. Look at it and see how eager it is to spread a little life where there is only desolation.
All my love.

She wiped the tears from her eyes and looked up at the little potted plant.

She smiled.

This was written for two different prompts, but it is only because of both of them that I was able to write this story. Thank you for the Traces Prompt, Olianna and thank you for the Light and Shade Challenge, Lyssa and Thomas.

Sister Starts – Thankful Thursday

Today I am grateful for many things, but mostly I’m grateful that I’m still here and that I have my family with me. Today is a little different because today is sort of the day that we begin.

It’s not my parents’ anniversary, it’s not the day they met. No, today is different.

Today is the day that my eldest sister, the first of my parents’ children, was born. We, the children (or the Siblings, as we call each other now that there are children running around our feet too) began today and we lasted a good long while (my parents had children for over a decade).

But my eldest sister was the first.


So I am grateful for her, even when we don’t get along and we just want to throttle one another, I love her and am thankful for what she has taught me throughout my life. (She is the reason I know how to do hair in any way, though I still have a lot of practice to do.)

Look for the original Thankful Thursday here:

Day of Remembrance

On this day, for my family, it is a happy day. A day when a family grew and welcomed one more into their midst. My younger brother was born this day, the day before his only brother was born. My brothers have almost always shared a birthday even though they were born six years and one day apart; the younger’s birthday coming one day before the elder’s.

My older brother had six sisters bracketing him for the first six years of his life. His only brother came home on his own birthday after being born one day before. He told my mother that this was the best birthday present he could ever have.

But as I looked up this day online, I discovered that it is a bittersweet day for many others.

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

It is not internationally observed, though that doesn’t mean that there aren’t people out there trying to make it so. The fact that it is observed at all is fairly new in and of itself.

This day has more meaning to my family than just one thing or another. We have lost children due to miscarriage or shortly after birth as well. I wish that we had known of this day earlier, we could have had moments of silence for my lost uncles and aunts on both sides, for the loss of a niece or nephew and for the loss of my cousin. But this day also gives me hope, because on this day a child lived and breathed and continued to live until he grew and became an adult.

My younger brother is the most forgiving person I have ever known. When I am terrified, I turn to him. When I am grief-stricken, it is him I ask for. After learning of this day, I cannot think of any other I would associate with this Day of Remembrance than the gentle soul that is the youngest member of my family.

Even if you haven’t lost a child in your immediate family, even if you haven’t lost one in your extended family, please join people scattered across the globe who will light a candle at 1900 hours their own time (that’s 7:00 pm) for one hour to help remember the little children who could have been joining the world, but were taken home so early on.

Have a moment of silence in remembrance of the bright lights that only flickered for a small moment of time in the universe.