Tag Archives: friend

THE CONVERSATION

Writing 101 , WordPress: Day 12: Dark Clouds on the (Virtual) Horizon
Today’s Prompt: Write a post inspired by a real-word conversation. Today’s twist: include an element of foreshadowing in the beginning of your post.

Mama and I sat at the table, eating breakfast. At 91, she knew her life was coming to a close, but concern for me, a widow, and her dog, companion for fifteen years, made it difficult to let go. I think her concern came partly from the death of my brother, her only son, a few months earlier.

“Who will take care of Rascal when I die?” she asked, offering her Rascal a bite of her peanut-butter toast.

“Oh, Mama, I will care for Rascal. I love him, too,” I answered.

After a moment’s pause, she continued, “Don’t you want to get married again? Have someone to take care of you?”

I smiled. I’d been a widow for seven years and my life was busy taking care of Mama. “No, Mama, not now. I’m fine. I really am happy the way things are.”

Mama gave Rascal another bite of toast. She looked at me again, anger flashing in her eyes. “Why did your father leave me? Why doesn’t he care enough to come back?”

I’d answered this question so many times. Daddy had passed away fifteen years ago. Now, in the last few weeks, this had become her question. They had been married almost fifty-six years. I knew that because of her dementia it wouldn’t matter what I answered; she would ask that again and again. She wouldn’t accept that he was dead. The chaplain said perhaps this was easier to think about now than his death. I tried a different answer. “Mama, he has been called to a mission. The Lord wants to use him. You’ll see him when his job is done.”

She added, still angry, “And why doesn’t Wayne come back to visit me? Doesn’t he care about me?”

“I think he will when he can. Why don’t you take your pills now? I know there are a lot of them, but the doctor says you need them.”

She complained a little about the pills, but took them.

There was a knock on the door. Our friend, Margot, was at the door. I had to go out and Margot from church had come to be with Mama while I was gone. Margot was ten years younger than Mama and in good health. She and my mother loved each other.

“Margot!” Mama exclaimed. “I’m so glad to see you.”

“Want me to turn the TV on?” I asked Margot.

My friend shook her head, smiling. “No, we always have lots to chat about.”

I cleared the table and put my shoes on. “I’ll be back in a couple hours.” Margot nodded and she and Mama sat down on the couch close together, Rascal at Mama’s feet.

I went to do what I needed to do and when I came home, they were engrossed in conversation, mostly Mama sharing the past and Margot listening.

“Thank you, Margot,” I said as she got up to leave.

Mama got up and gave her a big hug. “Come back again, please.”

Margot smiled. “I will. I love your mom,” she said as she returned Mom’s hug.

The time came where Hospice came to help with Mama’s last days. We put a hospital bed in the living room. A couple weeks before she passed away, she stopped asking what would happen to Rascal or if I wanted to get married, or why Daddy and Wayne didn’t come to see her. Rascal got sick and I took him to the vet, but we lost him. I didn’t want to tell Mama; she didn’t say much about him these days unless she saw him, which didn’t happen often because she couldn’t see him when she was lying in the hospital bed.

One day after I had taken him to the vet and he passed away, she asked, “Where is Rascal?”

“He’s sick, Mama. He’s at the vet’s.”

Finally, after her question and my answer several times, and consulting with my sister about it, I decided to tell her, expecting a very emotional response. I sat down beside her. “Mama, Rascal died. He was very sick.”

She simply wept a few tears without saying anything and never mentioned Rascal again before she died. When she lay sleeping that last week, she seemed to be holding on; my brother-in-law took her hand and said, “Your girls will be okay. You don’t have to worry about Darlene. We’ll take care of her.”

Within less than two days, Mama went home to be with Jesus. Her concerns were behind her. She was at rest at last.

MEETING MARY ANN

The new challenge for Day Six from Writing 101: A Character-Building Experience
Today’s prompt: Who’s the most interesting person (or new people) you’ve met this year?
Today’s twist: Turn your post into a character study.

I only knew Mary Ann’s name until she became a widow late last year. She and her husband had no children and the only family she had were those in our church. Having been through the loss of my husband several years ago, I knew her special loneliness because although I had family and children, they were far away. My support came from those in my church. I made an effort to befriend her. What a pleasure she has been.

Mary Ann is short, only about five feet tall. Her soft white hair frames her round face and her eyes twinkle with her ready smile, always making me feel special. She laughs easily. Even in her grief, she exudes a deep seated joy that she says comes from Jesus. She has an acceptance about her life that gives her strength as she navigates being single and taking care of things her husband always did. But Mary Ann doesn’t give up; she has a strength that asks for help she needs and is quick to express gratitude when others reach out to her.

Our pastor’s wife gave a luncheon for widows in January. We were to introduce ourselves and share a little about our journeys alone. As Mary Ann began to share, her tears came. It had been about a month since her dear husband died. She seemed almost ashamed that she was crying, but I knew it wasn’t because she was afraid to let others know she was grieving; being with people fueled her spirit and her tears waited until she was alone. As we encouraged her that we understood, she took a tissue someone offered and continued her story. She had been at her husband’s side throughout his illness. He was her world and she was his. Her faith in Jesus Christ was helping her through her journey. Now several months later, she still grieves, but she has taken life by the tail and does what she needs to do.

Mary Ann is a joy to know. In reaching out to her, her sweet spirit has reached out to me. I am glad to call her my friend.

THE DARE

Another prompt from Author S B Mazing
Thanks for the prompts. It has been fun.

His hands were trembling. He wasn’t sure what to do. He wasn’t sure what to think. All he knew was it was now or never.

Josh stood on top of the bridge, gazing down into the river. The bungee cord was firmly attached to his feet and he was ready. His best friend had dared him to do it and said if Josh did it, he would. Josh didn’t really like the idea, but how could he not take his friend’s dare? His mom said doing something because of a dare was foolish, but she didn’t understand! Besides, other people did this and they said it was great. He just wished his hands weren’t trembling.

He took a deep breath. The only thing to do was close his eyes and jump. If he didn’t make it . . . well, his classmates might grieve for him, surely his family would.

He spread out his arms, closed his eyes, and took a leap. At first, his stomach felt as if it was in his throat, but it was replaced by a marvelous feeling of flying. The water came closer and closer, but before he landed in it, he was snapped back. He bounced and then was pulled back onto the bridge.

As the jump ended and he stood back on the bridge, his friend came up beside him. Josh smiled. “Your turn, my friend!”