“Dawn” by my mother

My first books of poetry were given to me by my mother. At the time I was studying different styles of poetry in elementary school and found that I loved it, even if it was one of those things that I wasn’t the best at. It wasn’t until several years later, when cleaning out some boxes from the storage room, that I found a slim red-covered notebook with ‘A Collection of Poetry’ written on the front page in my mom’s elegant cursive.

(Seriously, her cursive is so beautiful that it reminds me of calligraphy. I lament the fact that cursive wasn’t as important during my learning years as it obviously was during hers.)

Inside of the notebook held a lovely collection of works that my mom had written throughout her life. Many of them were written for people that I have never met, but my favorite one is the first one inside the notebook. It goes as follows:

Dawn
 
I saw my daughter just today,
All rosy pink and new.
My precious little gift from God
Shone fresh as morning dew.
 
I saw my daughter just today,
Her chubby hands still held
Her favorite doll, a circus clown,
All ragged, smiling still.
 
I saw my daughter just today
With pigtails curling round,
And tied with ribbons, white and pink,
Dressed in my evening gown
 
I saw my daughter just today
With rouge and lipstick on,
High heels and all the latest styles:
My little girl was gone.
 
I saw my daughter just today,
A woman now, full grown.
Her beauty took my breath away;
Oh, how the years have flown!
 
I saw my daughter just today,
So still and white with death.
I pled with God with all my heart,
“Please, do not take her yet!”
 
I saw my daughter just today,
She talked of memories sweet,
And of tomorrows we will share
When once again we meet.
 
I saw my daughter just today,
A promise in her eyes.
“Someday I’ll be with you again,
We’ll say no more goodbyes.”
 
I saw my daughter just today.
“Keep close to God,” she said.
“Draw comfort from the things He says
And death won’t be so sad.”
 
I saw my daughter just today.
“It’s time for me to go.
My love for you is always here
Because you loved me so.”

She wrote this for her cousin when she lost her daughter. I don’t think I was even born at the time. She says she was cooking dinner at the time she received the call from her sister-in-law. Mom had to stop what she was doing, sit down and just write this.

“It just flowed.”

I still can’t read this poem without crying no matter how old I have gotten and how many times I’ve traced her words.

Written for Suzie’s Weekly Challenge: http://suzie81speaks.com/2014/06/08/weekly-word-challenge-books-poetry-and-prose/

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Well-Deserved Munchies

She tiredly placed the slabs of bread into the toaster and then while they fused better together, she gathered up the jar of peanut butter and pulled the glass jar of strawberry preserves from the refrigerator. Once the toast was finished, she combined the ingredients slowly, still worn out from kneading the dough an hour ago.

With a glass of milk to finish it off, she tucked into her well-deserved lunch.


Written for Suzie’s Weekly Word Challenge: http://suzie81speaks.com/2014/06/02/weekly-word-challenge-food/#like-14758

My morning, like most Tuesdays for me, began with making bread dough as today is my Baking Day. Unfortunately, I’m still rather worn out from yesterday’s swimming so I probably won’t get as many batches made up as I normally do.

See the World, Don’t See An Ocean

To go the distance is a wonderful thing!
Remember all the moments that had you smiling…
Away we shall drive, across the continent
Vows to make it the the next graduent.
Even though it’s the middle of the week
Live while you can and don’t be too sleek.
Sometimes it’s cheaper just to drive rather than fly.
To California now! The other way,
How long are we going to stay?
Even though we’ll be together  all the way.
Everyone will help when only one moves away.
Wow! You’ve scattered all over the place!
One to the West and one to the East states.
Recall that you’ve sent another to the South.
Let me know what it’s like going that route.
Don’t forget that wherever you go, you’re always home.
Home is where the heart is.

Written for Suzie’s Weekly Word Challenge this week: http://suzie81speaks.com/2014/05/26/weekly-word-challenge-travel/

When I was 12 years old, my family decided to drive across the Continental U.S. to see my second eldest sister graduate from boot camp. It was the middle of exams and we only had a little money. We went anyway and made up all the exams the week after.

Five or six years ago, another of my sisters was moving to California. So the majority of my family got time off, packed her up and we headed out. Nevada is a beautiful place, but once you get through the mountains and into California near Sacramento… There are practically no mountains. I spent the entire time completely lost. I grew up surrounded by mountains, without them I have absolutely no idea where I am. Having a compass didn’t help at all. (I have slight panic attacks when I have no mountains for an extended period of time.)

I’ve been to both the East Coast and the West Coast and yet have never seen an ocean.

I’ve had a panic attack and had to spend all day under a blanket while driving through Arkansas.

Many of my family have been all over. At one point I had a sister in Germany (stationed there), a sister in Hawaii (college student), another down in the bottom corner of Utah in the middle of the National Parks there (college, again) and my elder brother over in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (mission). They were all gone at the same time and the household was the smallest I’ve ever seen in my family (there were only five of us at home: one mom and four pre-teens/teens.)

My parents did all their traveling before they had us passel of kids (Dad was in the Air Force when they first met and he was stationed in various places) so I know about places, but other than reading, I haven’t actually been to very many of them.

Well, my imagination has always been up to snuff enough for me  and I do so love to look things up and then picture them in my mind. Maybe someday I’ll actually see an ocean in something other than through a lens, but until then, I’ll listen to the stories my family can tell and enjoy every moment of my travels through my mind.

Familial Friends

He hadn’t been in her life very long.

Well, ‘very long’ didn’t mean quite the same thing to her as it did to him, but that wasn’t the point.

The point was, Mary hadn’t known Alex even nearly as long as some of her ‘short term’ friends or acquaintances back home, but he was already a very important part of her life. So that meant that his opinions were also very important to her.

“I can’t believe you said yes!”

Of course, he was also prone to overreacting in some cases, and she hadn’t quite learned how to calm him down quickly enough for her tastes.

“Alex-”

“You barely even know him!”

“Alex-”

“What possessed you to say yes?”

“Alex-”

“I mean, there’s no possible way that he is ever going to be good enough-”

“ALEX!”

Alex’s mouth shut with a click.

“Thank you. I realize that you are worried, but there is no cause for concern-”

“No cause-!” He started up again, but quickly stopped when he saw the look on her face.

“I know that you are worried, but I’m also aware that you’ve already ‘researched’ everything there is to know about Warren and if you really were against me knowing him, you’d have found some way to make him disappear.”

Alex looked slightly uncomfortable, “I wouldn’t have made it a permanent one unless he really deserved it…”

Mary nodded her auburn head, “Which is one of the reasons why I didn’t have too much of a problem with you looking into his past. The point is, I said yes. It is my decision and I have made it. Now, are you going to be an adult about this and accept my decision or should I find some way to drown you out for the next few hours?”

Alex pouted, “I don’t know why you’re always treating me like a child. I am older than you.”

“You appear older, that is all and you know it.”

Alex rolled his eyes and plopped himself down on the sofa across from her. “As far as anyone is legally concerned, I am the older one and that is what we decided to stick to-”

“What you decided.” she muttered playfully, knowing that she had won.

“-and so it makes no difference to bring anything up otherwise. Now,” Alex’s eyes began to sparkle, “Have you decided on a date yet?”

Mary groaned and put her head in her hands as Alex started talking about wedding preparations.


Inspired by Suzie81’s weekly word challenge: http://suzie81speaks.com/2014/05/18/weekly-word-challenge-friendship/#like-14158

I just couldn’t get this little conversation out of my mind once I read the prompt! Don’t worry, Alex and Warren will have their little moment as well!

Life Moves Fast!

Most of the house is still packed from before
Only a few things left to do, although it seems like more…
Veracity of the previous statement is under suspicion.
I would really like this to be done and over with.
Never certain just when it will come, yet we’re
Going to get ready regardless.
It’s all about the timing.
Don’t give up even though it looks bleak.
Always remember that He hasn’t let you down before.
Yokes include another pulling with you!
“For my burden is easy and my yoke is light.”
Coming on up to crunch time, I’m ready!
Only a little bit of patience to be put to the test.
Me? I’m trying to do what I can.
Inside I try not to shake too badly;
Not going to let the fear and doubt in!
Got my family all around me to see this through!

Written partially for Suzie81’s challenge this week: http://suzie81speaks.com/2014/05/11/weekly-word-challenge-life/

Also because we’ve been getting ready for a big change! Life in my family takes a long while to build up to something before it moves really fast!

Love…?

What is love? Oh baby, don’t hurt me. Don’t hurt me, no more. -Haddaway

All my life I’ve had problems with one word: love.

It’s not something I’ve understood, not really, for all that I can write about it to a certain extent. In a way, it’s not love itself that I’ve had problems with, but rather the way I have seen it used. In the movies, on television, in books and even in real life.

It often left me asking, what is love? What is love?

Is it something you hold?

Is it something you see?

Is it something that you show?

How?

It’s something that is intangible and yet something that is spoken of often. It’s something that I have tried to study off and on throughout my life, hoping to come to an understanding of what, exactly, it is.

There are so many different sayings about love throughout many different cultures.

If you love it, set it free. If it loves you, it will come back.

If you love someone, you possess them and let them possess you.

Love is something seen and shown, but not something you can hold.

All’s fair in love and war.

Misery loves company.

Not for love or money.

There are too many to really write them all down, at least in the time I have before I have to go and check the dough again.

In the end I’ve found a few things that tell me what love is.

Love is when you’ve upset someone, fairly or unfairly, but the moment you need help they’re still there to help you.

Love is when a little child will fall asleep in your arms, trusting you to not drop them.

Love is when a mother or father will work endless hours in order to put food on the table and clothes on their children’s backs.

Love is when you are injured terribly, but you still run as fast as you can to get help for someone who you can’t carry with you.

Love is when a random stranger steps out and helps you when you’re falling apart.

Love is being forgiven even when you don’t deserve it.

Love is taking in a family member or a friend that needs a place to sleep, for however long, even when you’re so angry with them you can barely speak with them.

Love is continuing to try to make a relationship workout, no matter what is owed, because the relationship is more important than the money. (Does not have to be a romantic relationship.)

Love is your cat cuddling up to lick away your tears after they’ve come back from the vet with staples in their side because you were trying to cut the clumps out of their fur.

Love is someone knowing that you’ve had a hard time lately and just walking up to you and giving you a hug without saying anything because they know that you just need to hold on to someone for a bit.

Love is coming across mountains and valleys to visit your sister-in-law in the hospital even though you’ve never really gotten along.

Love is continuing to be someone’s friend even when they aren’t being a friend back.

Love is continuing to write to someone every month for years, even when they don’t write back.

Love is closing the door, covering the windows and trying to play very quietly because someone’s head hurts so badly they can’t even think.

Love is the Pure Light of Christ, which never wavers and shows itself in every little moment of the day, both through nature, animals and other people.

I am not a passionate woman in anything but my writing. I’m not good with words unless I’m writing them down and I often don’t understand something, some feeling. But I know for a fact that love is real, that it isn’t something that grasps and demands. It is something that is still and active, loud and quiet, simple and complicated.

It is something that just is.


Written for Suzie81’s weekly challenge: http://suzie81speaks.com/2014/05/04/weekly-word-challenge-love/

Blood Family

“What is the point of this?” he asked, his voice low and even. “Why did you come here?”

She looked down, but did not answer, not yet.

In her arms was a small child, pale all over save for his eyes which were a crimson as dark as her freshly spilt blood. The child looked back up at his mother, quiet and assessing, recording her image into his mind as if he knew even at his young age that this would be last he’d ever see of her.

Finally, she spoke, her voice as soft as the wind on a clear night.

“I need a place, a place for my son, where he will be safe and can learn and grow.”

The man in front of her was silent as he thought over her words, understanding what she was asking.

She did not know his name, did not even know the name of the place they were in nor the name of her child. It was safer this way, safer for the child as well as the one she was leaving him with. Names were power in more ways than most humans were aware.

She would give anything, pay any price for the safety of her child and the man knew it. A part of her was worried, worried about what the man would ask for, but another part of her, a small part that had long since grown silent in her own home, knew that her son would be safe no matter what here.

The ritual she had performed to send her here for this short amount of time had made certain of it.

“Very well,” the man said, “I will take the boy and raise him as my own. I will never speak of you to him, never hint that he is anything but my own. You will not exist within his life if I am able to help it at all.”

She nodded to his terms. He understood and for that she would be forever grateful. Another of her family would be safe.

She hugged the child to her chest once more before handing him over to the man in front of her.

She disappeared without a trace, the blood that had been placed on the boy vanishing just as silently.


Written for this week’s Weekly Prompt from suzie81speaks: http://suzie81speaks.com/2014/04/27/weekly-word-challenge-family/