Misery loves company they say, whoever in the world  ”they” are.
Well I have enough misery for many a lifetime in this one she thought,
ungrateful kids always with the hand out then you don’t see or hear
from them, until the next payday, first of the month they’ll
be bangin’ the door.

Serve them right if I just packed up that old Chevy and went down the road with no forwarding
address.  Ahhh but the grandbabies, leaving them would tear her heart out so she just
keeps on doing what she can and doing without for herself.  She can’t explain it to anyone that
asks why she does it, they call her an  ’enabler’ ok I will grant that she says to herself.
Once upon a time she had it all, a good man, career, friends, big showplace home then she became ill and when her
children should have looked out for her they got tied up in their own lives and forgot about her.

So now alone, sick and lonely having to beg for a little help around the old place or pay out of her meager
monthly check, not enough to live on, too much for welfare, not that her pride would let her, starve first she would.
Didn’t trust church people so no help there. Hypocrites all, oh sweet to your face when your in church but talk about you
behind your back and those damn preachers , their hands are out more often than all of her kids combined. Phtt! Three hundred
dollar suits for him and his wife and her going to beauty parlor every week for that fake blond rinse just to look vain up on the pulpit with the preacher.
While how many in their congregation gave their last dollar and eating potaoes all week with little else.
No wonder people steal from one another, can’t survive any other way now a days.

She moved out on the porch to rock for a bit and grumble on and on about her miserable life, she sat there a long time
then got up went inside, peeled a potato and ate it raw …no reason to waste gas trying to cook it she would tell you; but truth
told she hadn’t had the gas on for over a year. No heat, no hot water but she is doing ok if she can just keep electric for lights
if not well she had some old kerosene lamps she had picked up at  an auction many years ago, back in the day when she could afford to  buy that way.

Time for bed she crossed the hall hearing the rolling wood floors screech like an owl catching a mouse. She had made her bed in the old recliner belonging to her late husband, it was comfortable and smelled like him, the arms were bare down to the backing of the faux leather that he always believed real. It was ok if he thought he had a true ‘leather’ recliner. It was broken down now but she couldn’t give up sleeping there, it was the most restful two hours she spent in slumber.

Her youngest son found her looking peacefully asleep two days later, when she  hadn’t answered her phone or the door when he came for the first of the month  check knowing she would give him what he needed . Now the old woman up and died on him, guess he better start looking for something to do for money.
“Son,” asked the EMT ” would you like for us to call other family for you?” ” Naw,” he responded ” let them find out from the paper ” as he walked off down the street with the EMT standing there agape.

Sad ending but so true in many households.



Creamy skin red from smudged lipstick
Mascaraed tears show on pale cheeks
Bely that once a star of beauty reigned
Tears cried from half-shut swollen eyes
touch bite-scarred breast with heat
Stinging open wounds with salt
As she drags her body across the floor
Fingers in pieces as she tries to 9-1-1
He sneaks up to her so close
Grabs a hank of hair……..
Won’t try to call again after all
Bruised gorged eyes now closed


She curled up in the corner of the sofa, makeup streaked, knotted hair, swollen lip and throat. He slammed the door and she heard the deadbolt turn with his key, locked in again but what does it matter?
She had taken his keys while he showered, to unlock the mailbox and gather the mail, she just wanted to know why he kept a padlock and a bolted flap across the top slot. That was all, she wanted to pick up the effin mail and for that she paid, again.
He had taken the only car, the house phone and nailed a board across the back door from the outside.
She thought how stupid she was just like he said, as she sat there on the ugly sofa he bought, just like he picked out this damn house  without her doing anymore than putting her name on the dotted line before even seeing it. Why didn’t she see the signs, the controlling tendencies, or did she see them but chose to ignore them because he “loved” her and would take care of her?
Continuing to sit there on that horrible hated sofa she contemplated suicide but there was not a pill in the house and she was too afraid to hurt herself with a razor or knife. Getting up she went to the kitchen for water, sipping it she realized her throat hurt much worse than any other time he had choked her, trying to speak she realized she had been left with no voice….

*****had the tv on, an ad for the humane society came on and I heard all the sadness spoken of and the phrase left w/o a voice…inspiration and a life experience came together in this one.


Having no children of their own in some way this was the child he and Beth had born together, Glenn laid the rare violin on the red silk of the case interior as gently as a sleeping child.  His wife had caressed, cuddled,  and wept with it over the years  her music  none other had ever sounded as sweet or perfect in tone and pitch as when  she played . The three had been around the world, heard in every country from the largest to the smallest of venues. They traveled with it always in one of their laps, never had it been regulated to luggage status, until Beth went to the home the violin always stayed close to her. Now as the  entrusted  keeper of this beautiful antique instrument, she had asked him to deliver the violin   and her hearts desire was his.

Their flat in New Haven being old and drafty Beth could no longer take the cold or play here as the arthritis had crippled her body, she could not walk nor hold the bow as well when it was  cold, she had also been diagnosed with that damn mental disease the big “A”.  She had moved to the facility for as her mental ability deteriorating rapidly, it didn’t look good for her coming home this time around.
Today there was a Christmas program at the home, Beth wanted to  play for her friends as her gift to them this season. She was known  world-wide  yet none at the home knew who she was and she liked it that way, no fuss or bother she insisted.
Beth loved Christmas and loved playing in New York, Rome or London, each year during the season, said it brought her closer  to heaven in those places, although when they went to Jerusalem, she played for hours at the wall weeping over every note she played and though they were many she never tired, the more she played the more crowds gathered to listen and weep with her that is where her music had taken on an ethereal sound she claiming she found her soul and God at that wall.
He  carefully packed the violin and drove the few miles to the home, seeing his love in her wheel chair wrenched his heart each time bringing moisture to his rheumy eyes, the beautiful young vibrant seventeen year old of over half a century ago is the way he would always remember her in his heart, yet his eyes could see the age now, more so with her infirmity. He gave a light tap to the door jamb leading to her room she raised her eyes bestowing that beautiful smile upon him meaning today she recognized him and he rejoiced for her eyes were twinkling…”O, how I have missed you” she said to him. “And I you my love”, they sat in her room and chatted while she brought the violin from its case holding, caressing, plucking strings at a quiet level.
The Christmas Program was to start right after dinner of the traditional American fair with a few dishes from some of the women from Poland, Germany and Russia and one from Greece that made Baklava, Glenn was ecstatic at the feast offered, his canned soup dinners had become boring. The program ran for about an hour when Beth asked the director of activities if she might offer some music. Her request granted she opened the case to gasps and murmurs at the beauty of such an instrument, then as Beth began to play tears flowed at the haunting beauty and the magic of the music.

*THE QUILT* ( an oldie but a favorite)


Leaning across the rack the needle flashing with the course thread
Oh she is excited this is her best work ever and it even has red
which is not her favorite color but it looks so pretty here.
It has been difficult to work in secret, but for the past year she
has kept what she was doing from everyone.

Momma tells her she is all thumbs when it comes to stitching..
won’t she be surprised. Her birthday is coming soon and the prize
money at the fair will buy Momma a new dress and a pair of good
shoes for her day.

She wants to hurry, afraid she will prick her fingers
and bleed on the quilt, as the  entry must be in this afternoon
just a few stitches and she will knot it off.

“.Ruth..Ruth Annnn” her sister Elizabeth yells for her ‘yes
Lizzie’ she answers hoping she can’t tell where she is hidden
in the hay loft. ‘Daddy says time to go into town better
hurry get that scratchy hay off of you, whatever have you been
doing up there?’ Ruth just smiles as she wraps the quilt in
a new piece of muslin as much to hide it as keep it clean.

‘What is that?’ Lizzie asks as Ruth lowers the ladder with
the package under her arm. She makes her way down the ladder
holding on to the quilt in one hand holding the ladder with the other.
Refusing to answer or let Lizzie hold it as she comes down.

They race to the old farm house where there is a bustle of activity
Momma packing up her famous pies, daddy taking the picnic basket.
Daddy looks at her package and smiles, nods and opens another basket
she places her prize in the basket quickly.

Arriving at the fair they each have their duties before they can
enjoy the fair, so getting those out of the way quickly they then
were ready to walk the fairway. the lights, the barkers, oh and the smells
cotton candy, fried pies, popcorn.
With nearly full stomachs and sleepy half open eyes they returned to where momma was laying out the picnic, Lizzie and Ruth Ann both groaned.
Girls are you alright? Yes momma they answered quickly.
Well come help me get lunch on the table she requested.
After a nice lunch they lay on the quilt momma brought and napped for a while, prior  to going to the exhibit hall where judging had been done already.

Momma walked around looking at the hanging quilts, gasping when she came upon Ruth Ann’s, she stood there mesmerized wondering whose needle had done such fine work all the stitches were uniform
and straight but oh the true beauty was in the design and oh the red her favorite
Before long they were calling everyone to the stage, announcing the winners..momma’s cherry and apple pies won blue ribbons again. Then it was time to announce the winners in the quilt contest. Her name was called and as  her quilt was brought forth the audience gasped at the beauty and the fact that it was Ruth Anns. She won a blue ribbon taking the prize money in hand she walked to momma and handed it to her, saying Happy Birthday momma, I know its a few days early but I want you to buy something just for yourself like a new dress. She handed the envelope to momma and noticed the tears in her eyes as she said “Ruth Ann I am so proud of you , the stitching in the quilt is truly a work of art.” Thank you ,momma was all she could muster.
It was late when they arrived home all quickly washed the fairground dirt off themselves and told all goodnight.

The next morn Ruth Ann passing her parents room glancing in she sees her quilt lying across the bed. Her Daddy walks by places his hand on her shoulder and says’ Mother said no dress could give her the love you placed in every labored stitch for she knows you did it out of love for her, so she wanted the quilt.’ you did a good thing Ruth Ann.

Momma hugged her when she entered the warm kitchen smelling of ham and homemade biscuits, her stomach growled and they both laughed. Thank you whispered momma in her ear I will cherish the quilt the rest of my days and then you take it for yourself, and if you have a daughter pass it on to her. You made a beautiful quilt Ruth Ann but you made memories and tradition as well, I am so proud of you.

Ruth Ann’s hands are shaking as she folds the old quilt, it is showing the years of use from mommas loving hands holding it as she passed seven years ago. Now she will pass it to her Melody Renee’, the only child they had, for her time was not meant for long now.
Doctors had told her but she lasted a wee bit longer than expected..but now, now is the time. She is tired and momma, daddy and John are waiting for her. She writes the ending of her note to Melody Renee’ , tucks it into the ribbon tied muslin wrapped around the quilt, the same muslin she wrapped around it long ago in the hay loft.
She lies down on the bed with the chenille spread now covering where once
mommas quilt had kept her warm and feeling mommas touch….sigh.


Lord there is so much I could ask
For this or that, even help on a task
A healthy body, an unlined face
Even a home, a beautiful place
I could ask for a life free of fear
Or even one without many tears
Yet, what I want to ask if I may be bold
 Lord give me little hands to hold
Give me little hearts to love, cheeks to kiss
This old heart so full needs a bit of bliss
Lord I could ask for wealth and fame
I’d rather a small child call my name
Reaching for my lap and hand to touch
Lord is this asking for too much?
Lord let me see once more through the eyes
Of a small child awed and in wide-eyed wonder
Discovering all You created here and yonder
The beauty of a horse, a tree, clouds in the skies
Lord let me be loving, with kinder ways
For numbered you have my days
I ask for wisdom Lord to teach and guide
My grandchildren to walk by your side.

copyright 2013~LWC/myownheart.me
originally posted Jan. 24, 2013