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.

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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.