The Melancholies

She listened as her eldest whispered his secrets to their dog. Rabby was a good listener and she knew that her son loved that dog more than life itself. Or at least it seemed like that lately. He didn’t know that she had come home early that day as she’d left the car at the auto shop to fix a few things and taken the bus before walking the rest of the way home. Without the car in the driveway it was hard to tell whether she was home or not.

Rabby knew that she was home, but the faithful dog had stayed by the backdoor waiting for her son to come home instead of following her to her room where she’d changed out of her work clothes into more casual clothing. She’d just finished pulling on some sneakers rather than the dressy heels she’d spent the morning in when she’d heard the door open and close, the thump of Casey’s backpack hitting the floor and the quiet ‘wumf’ that Rabby always made whenever Casey buried his face in the dog’s stomach.

Normally, she would have called out a hello, letting her son know that she was home, but something had prompted her to be silent instead.

She didn’t know what Casey was telling their family dog, but she could tell that the recent events had affected him more than she had initially thought.

They’d moved recently and she’d known that he had a hard time making friends. Not because he was unlikable or anything like that, no, most of the people that had been his age had been from families that were of a more transitory nature. No matter when they moved in, they were always gone within a year of their initial move in. None of the other families had any children his age save for two and those boys were more interested in running about and causing mischief which Casey had eschewed.

Her other children, either older or younger by several years than Casey, had friends but never many. Casey had seemed fine spending time with his sisters and their friends just fine up until recently with his entrance into middle school. He no longer joined his sisters and their friends of his own initiative and instead stayed behind at times even when he was invited to join.

Casey’s siblings were worried, very worried, but sometimes things just happened like this. Their mother knew this and knew this well and could only hope and pray that her son’s melancholy would pass just as it had for other members of their family in the past.

Whatever troubles came her son’s way, she knew that Rabby would always be waiting for her son to snuggle up to him and give him the unconditional love that can only come from the heart of a loyal dog.


This was a short sequel to a post I did a while ago for Eclectic Corner #5. My post was No One Knows – Eclectic Corner #5 and it was sad, tugged at my heartstrings and a sequel was asked for, so here’s my attempt at it.

Just Another Service

When I first learned how to drive most of my friends were jealous because, as one of the eldest amongst us, I was able to get my permit and then my license first.

“You’re lucky to be free before us” they would tell me. I disagreed.

“Driving isn’t freedom, guys, not in my family.”

Driving in my family is not freedom. It wasn’t when I was a teenager first learning and it still isn’t now that I’m an adult and unable to drive. When we learned to drive it meant that there was another person who could run errands for Mom. It was one more service that you were going to be offering.

My friends at the time didn’t understand, mostly because most of them were either single children or the last child with only one or two older siblings. Only one friend understood even if it didn’t apply to her as the youngest child in her family where everyone was able to drive.

I used to think it was something that those with large families only shared. I mentioned this around my mother, who is the youngest of three and there is a seven year age gap between her and her next closest sibling.

“Mother didn’t drive,” Mom said, “So Dad was really happy when I finally learned how to drive. He used the company car-

(This is actually a thing that does exist, or it did at one point.)

“-so he made me my own copy and I drove the family car on every errand that Mother wanted or needed to go on.”

So it wasn’t just a large family thing after all.

Listening Down the Hall

I’m sitting at the end of the hall and learning some things from listening in on what’s going on in the main room.

“I was in the 7th grade when President Kennedy was assassinated.”

“I was in the 7th grade when the World Trade Center Towers fell.”

The first sentence was my mom.

The second sentence was my younger sister.

They are the two people in my family that are the most alike in personality.

Just another realization in my life.

I’d rather be a mother

This is a poem that my family has had for several years, it was a present given to my mother when I was a teen.

This poem popped into my mind when I was reading a post over at Afternoon of Sundries called To Be Honest, It’s Okay.

Some houses try to hide the fact
That children shelter there;
Ours boasts it quite openly…
The signs are everywhere.
 
For smears are on the windows,
Little smudges on the door;
I should apologize I guess
For the toys strewn on the floor.
 
But I sat down with he children
And played, and laughed and read;
And if the door bell doesn’t shine,
their eyes will shine instead.
 
For when I’m forced to choose
One job or the other,
It’s good to be a housewife
But I’d rather be a Mother.
 
–author unknown

It’s something that hung on the wall in our house in Riverton and it hangs up on the wall her in the duplex as well.

I’m not a mother nor am I a housewife, but it’s something that makes me think of my mother and the sister that I now live with. They would like to have a clean house, but it’s not the most important thing to them. (Though Mom did make sure we knew how to clean.)

Take A Step Outside

Mary knew that her sons were growing up, she knew that it wouldn’t be long until her eldest wasn’t even living in the same home and that, not long after (to her reckoning) her youngest would also ‘leave the nest.’ She both was and wasn’t looking forward to it.

She was looking forward to it because it meant that her sons had lived long enough to move out. It meant that they were able to support themselves and possibly a family of their own. It meant that she would no longer have to work as hard to hide the grief at the loss of her Bonded.

She wasn’t looking forward to it because it meant she would be alone more. Her sons might not visit very often or even call. Hadn’t her coworkers often complained at the lack of interaction with their grown and moved out children? It meant that the emptiness that was forever within her at the loss of Warren would no longer be partially covered up by the sound of Warren’s sons. It meant that the urge to end this existence sooner rather than later would also be stronger.

Mary was afraid to be by herself. She was very afraid.

What Mary didn’t take into account (what she so often forgot) was that her sons were aware of her feelings in this regard and were working to take steps to avoid the thing she feared most from happening.

“Terry, we can’t leave Mom like this, she will die if we leave her all alone.”

“I knot that, little brother, but I don’t know what else to do!”

Matt nodded an agreement with his elder brother, something that he’d thought as a child he’d never do. “She doesn’t want us to stay living with her once we’re married because she thinks that newlyweds need their own space, but doesn’t want us to invite her to live with us after the newlywed phase has passed.”

“Why is Mom so insular?”

“That’s a big word coming from you.” the younger of the two retorted on principle alone.

Neither of them really knew why their mother didn’t seem to have any friends. They didn’t even know why their parents had separated as there hadn’t been any kind of fighting that most other kids whose parents had divorced talked about.

Terry sighed and closed his eyes. He knew that his brother liked to pick at him, he liked to pick right back, but they needed to talk about this, not ignore it like they’d been doing most of their lives.

“Sorry,” Matt mumbled, “It’s just so much easier-”

“I know,” Terry interrupted, “but we need to have some kind of plan if we’re going to convince Mom not to finish closing herself off to the world.”

Matt hung his head, “I…I don’t know how we can do anything about it. She’s never really listened when we’ve tried to get her to have some kind of life for herself. She always replies that we are her life and that it’s more than enough for her.”

“She’ll die if we can’t help her, I don’t care if she’ll still wake up and eat and move about, inside, she’ll die.”

They didn’t know what to do, but they wouldn’t let the woman who brought them into this world and raised them to fade away. Now if only she would give them some kind of clue on how they could do it.


Inspired by Light and Shade Challenge.

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.

Remembering – Thankful Thursday

Thirteen years ago today, I was in a U.S. History class, watching the news and waiting for class to start.

Thirteen years ago, my second eldest sister and her husband were getting ready to fly out to their new posting in Germany.

Thirteen years ago, my eldest niece was my only niece and she was barely learning how to crawl.

Thirteen years ago, for the first time in my life, I feared losing not just my sister, but my brother-in-law.

Thirteen years ago, I prepared for my niece to possibly have to live with us and without her parents.

Thirteen years ago, their posting didn’t change, but their way to get to it did.

Thirteen years ago, my sister’s family had to drive across the country and catch a military flight instead of a commercial one.

I am thankful this day not only for those who died saving people from harm, not only for those who continue to fight and protect today, but also for the knowledge that my niece didn’t have to pay the same price that so many other children have had to.

Thank you to all those who work towards the safety of not only citizens of this country, but others as well.

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image: sister’s phone

These are her children, two of which were born several years after September 11, 2001.

Make sure to read the original Thankful Thursday as well.

Stuck In Stasis

It was different this morning, though she didn’t know why it should be. It wasn’t like there was any change in her circumstances, any word that something might change and not just in the future but at all.

The days dragged on, she hadn’t bothered keeping track of them from the first and so had no real idea of when it had happened.

(If she had wanted, she could have asked the police, they kept track. They would be surprised if she asked simply because most parents counted the days themselves and needed no reminder.)

She woke in the morning, went through the motions of surviving-

(-not living, living implied that you actually did something to make it look like you weren’t morosely waiting for the die you died-)

-trying to make it look to anyone on the outside like she would be able to survive losing her only daughter.

(That they knew about. The knowledge of her many, many children was sparse, not even their sire knowing how many there were.)

Sometimes, very rarely, she would feel the impulsive urge to just end it all. To cut what little she had left of her daughter out of her life and move on.

But…

She couldn’t.

She couldn’t leave this life and try for another until she knew, knew whether her daughter was still alive somewhere or dead and waiting to be found in a ditch.

So she would stay here and wait for word, whether from the police or from her daughter or even from the ones who had taken her. She didn’t care how long it took.

It’s not like she would die waiting, not with what she was.


Inspired from the prompt from Three Word Wednesday this week. It’s been a bit since I did a prompt from here and I found I missed it.

This is the sort-of sequel to an older work of mine, Won’t Leave You Behind.

How Do You Keep Going?

Wait just a moment and don’t think,
“How is this going to work out?”
Only take a moment to breath before moving on.
 
So you’ve been here before and failed
A moment in the past doesn’t mean you will again.
You can do this, you must tell yourself.
Slap those doubts right out of your head.
 

Sometimes Terry wondered if what he was learning would sit well with his mother. He knew without a doubt that his father would have understood. Warren had died trying to take out dirtbags like the ones he was learning to fight against. But Mary…

Mary had been a stay at home mom for most of Terry’s childhood and had only started looking for work after Matt had started school. Even then, it had only been part time until his parents had separated. Once she’d been the main bread winner for herself and her boys (before Terry had thrown an epic teenager snit fit and moved in with his father) she’d taken whatever hours she could without stinting her sons on time spent with them.

Sometimes Terry really wondered just when his mom had slept. He knew she ate, because she’d eaten with the boys ever night and tried to have breakfast with them on the weekends before running in to work. His mother is made of something stronger than he is even though he’s definitely her son. He’s been keeping his grades up and still working with his new boss on not only how to run a successful business and running all kinds of errands and getting to know people in his network.

(The local police didn’t know, but a lot of their ‘anonymous’ tips were from one local business man who’s seen enough go wrong that though he doesn’t have the health to join the force or go vigilante he wants to do something to make a difference.)

Terry is always tired in between school, work, learning the ins and outs of his future job (he will be able to make a difference once he’s old enough to enter the Police Academy and he will have the contacts and the know-how in gaining those contacts), spending time with his little brother, his girlfriend and getting any kind of rest.

How is his mother able to do everything when he knows she’s still mourning his father (divorced though they may have been at Warren’s death) and certainly not sleeping through the night. She still manages to look not any worse for the wear, unless you really know her and then you can see that the only thing keeping her from cracking right through the middle (instead of all along the edges) is her love and need to care for her sons.

“Terry?”

Terry looks up from where he had been frying a few eggs real quick to see his mother enter. Her hair was already brushed and she was dressed for work.

“I thought you might enjoy something to eat instead of drinking one of your smoothie drinks on the way to work.” he answered as he pulled the toasted bagel from the toaster and carefully loaded the fried egg on it.

Mary smiled at her son and accepted the breakfast sandwich, unsurprised that there was also some strips of bacon in it, “Thank you, son. I’ll see you after school today?”

“Yeah, I have today off.” Terry called over his shoulder as he moved back towards the carton of eggs to fry up enough for a sandwich for himself and his younger brother.

“Can you make sure Matt catches the bus?” Mary asked as she gathered up her keys and wallet.

“I’ll take care of it, Mom.”

Mary turned and pressed quick kiss to her eldest’s cheek in thanks before running out the door.

Terry watched his mother climb into the car and wondered again how she kept going.


Inspired by the prompt from DungeonPrompts last Thursday.

Missing Person

Mary was really starting to worry about her eldest son. She knew that he was an honorable teen (well, as honorable as a teen could be in this day and age where such things weren’t really thought of on a conscious level, unless you lived in Asia somewhere) but the fact that most of his time was spent in nocturnal activities for his new boss made her uneasy. She didn’t see him as much anymore, only caught him as he was on his way out the door, whether to work or school only depended on the time of day and whether or not it was a school day.

Mary missed her son and she knew that, though he would never admit it, Matt missed his older brother as well.

Of course, getting Matt to admit to such a thing was a course fraught with peril.

“Why would I want to hang out with that dweeb anyway, Mom?”

Mary smiled, “Because he’s your older brother. I remember when you used to toddle after him begging for his attention.”

Matt turned red, “That never happened!”

“And you dragged your little ducky blanket along with y-”

“NEVER! HAPPENED!”

Mary’s smile didn’t fade, though she did wish that Terrence was here as well to help her poke a little fun at her youngest.


Inspired by this week’s Three Word Wednesday prompt.

Also, I’m really tired today.