The Hurt House

  It belonged to me, partly, for a short time.  The image above, of it reduced to a smoldering heap, atop its cinder block foundation, should make me sad, but doesn't.  Although I sympathize with its current settlers, displaced and robbed of their belongings, I'm glad it's gone.  If I'd been notified while it was a blaze, I…

Death Drop

The cancer diagnosis made me look to the heavens, asking in utter scorn, "Really?!" She never smoked, and besides a few young adult escapades, she didn't drink either.  By most standards, as far as self-inflicting, harmful habits were concerned, she exemplified sainthood.  The one bad habit she did have, however, of internalizing emotions, proved more…

Bully’s Little Girl

Displaced from a second failed marriage, I slinked back to my parents' home, with two sons, taking a front row seat to Tony's distress and ultimate decease on New Year's Eve night of that year.  The holidays tiptoed in the background, outshone by his demise. Contrary to previous anticipations, I didn't revel in the spectacle.…

Gardening 101

Spending the summers rambling under the feet of my precious maternal grandparents, I relished the crash courses in Gardening 101.   Whether tending to their mammoth vegetable garden or planting flowers in the yard, we grandchildren were required to assist, in pulling weeds if nothing else.  Curiously intrigued by their ability to make anything grow, I…

Ashes and Medallions

They sat on my dining room table for months; tucked inside cardboard boxes, Mama and Eric’s ashes filled two plastic bags, secured by silver medallions etched with numbers. Toiling through my grief, I struggled to accept the concept that their lives lay there in boxes. If ashes were all that remained of their existences, I…

Death’s Moan

In bright red, 4:00 a.m. glowed on the clock's face, signaling alarm.  It wasn't a dream, the phone continued ringing, raising me from a one eyed slumber.  Without answering, I knew death was calling. ∼ The hallway, looming and long, sucked me into its vortex, past the reverent faces' greetings at the front door.  Awake…

The Dirty Deed

Ten days.  Ten, all too short, days I waited before forcing myself to visit Eric.  The charade of going through the motions, standing by his bedside, telling him she's dead, knowing he wouldn't....couldn't respond, unsure if he could hear me, more less comprehend what I would say, was futile.  He already knew. Contemplating a make-shift…

My Brother’s Keeper

Determined to stay positive, I turned a deaf ear to caution.  After reading a few books about schizophrenia, I considered myself educated, concluding that there were many things we could at least try, to acclimate him to living with his illness.  Naïve with ideas of enabling Eric to find his self-worth again, I underestimated the…