The boundless love a parent has for their child is matched only by their capacity to embarrass them.
Little Hitch Hikers
Even in a small town, in the 1970s not everyone could be trusted... and even at 7 she knew to be careful of strangers. But this was really important!
Grieving the experiences we missed
I’ve spent months debating whether this is something I should write or something better left in my head. But I am a stronger believer that words are more dangerous when they’re trapped in our minds, and by putting it on paper (or digital blogs) it is a safe place to store these thoughts.
Citrus and Skeleton Keys
“Damn shame. They were so young,” Aunt Clara frowned, clearing a plastic covering from the dining set before sitting down, “everything you will need is here. I know it’s dusty, but we’ve done our best to keep the house ready for you. Uncle Art will be over in the morning to get the car ready, and to help with any mechanical repairs needed for the car or the appliances.” She opened her purse and pulled out a packet, motioning for me to come sit at the table. “This pouch has the deed, titles, copies of their wills, death certificates, and all the court documents that transfer their estate to you; all this is yours, now that you’re eighteen. Keep it in a safe place.” She reached into her purse, retrieving a second packet, and as soon as she handed it to me, I dumped it out onto the table before me. Keys, a locket, a wallet, a small purse, a pocket knife, a watch, and 3 golden rings tied together with a ribbon tumbled out. “Oh Rommie, I never saw your mother without that locket on,” She picked up the locket and opened it, exposing a picture of me as a toddling on one side, an etching of a constellation on the other. “I remember the day you came to me, those tiny ringlets, your chubby cheeks, you were just so adorable! Now look at you, all grown up. Rommie, are you sure you don’t want me to take the day off to help? All this has got to be so overwhelming, there’s just so much to be done here,” she paused as I held up my hand.
A Stolen Voice
By the time I met my mother, she was already dead. That’s not exactly true. We’d technically met when she gave birth to me, but that’s not something I remember. I only remember her absence, a woman-shaped void in my life where a mother should have been.
There was a time in my life when I looked at the sky and cried tears of smallness. Tears of understanding how insignificant I am in the vastness of space. The bright blue gave me no comfort and the clouds, barely visible, seemed skeletal. In th I saw traces of my own mother, eyes gray with death, struggling to lift her arm enough to brush my hair out of my eyes and wipe the tears off my cheek.
White Beard Jack sat at the edge of his black, leather couch rubbing his hands together. His eyes were fixed on the little, black notebook sitting perfectly in the middle of the coffee table. It's leather cover glistened under the light of the chandelier, while a worn strap kept its sacred contents safe.
Daughter of a Dealer
Hello, my name is Linda and I am a hoarder. There I’ve said it. Hoarding is a way of life when you are born into a family of antique dealers. It takes roots very early as you can’t bear to see anything destroyed or thrown away. Your parents have taught you there is value to everything. My addiction is antiques.
Contents of the Little Black Book Were More Than Just Words
It has been many years since my freshman year in college. Even so, I still think about the experience and the impact it had on my life, but not for the reasons most people would think.
Gold and Rust
White walls lined with opulent gold accents. Greco-Roman figures carved in marble and alabaster. The echoing chorus of voices chattering and heels clicking on the tile floor.
Cocoa-dusted soil ran off my gloves like Adam’s ale as I began to unfold and dig deeper into the ground’s underbelly. Kneeling in dew on that mistier-than-usual morning, I tucked gazania seeds into a bed of grass in time for Spring. With each tiring scoop of my spade, the ephemeral rush of a warm exhale among cold inhales of the frosty air exhilarated me inside. Distracted by this balmy sensation, I almost missed that my pine-shaded spade had hit a dead-end. I could only make out what it was from the tip of what looked like pale-green shaded paper peeking out among the earth hiding this bewildering object like a blanket of shadows concealing Mammon itself. I tossed my spade aside and began uncovering the paper, revealing itself to be stacks of money, brushing off the last fragments of the petrichor-scented dirt. I couldn’t decipher between the adrenaline of my frosty inhales or the thrilling consternation of what my eyes were perceiving. I kneeled in stupefaction as £100 bills smirked deceivingly at me, giggling at its power over my senses.
The young couple moved to the house on the hill in early April before, unbeknownst to them, the small plot of land would light up with spring flowers-dogwoods, azaleas, daffodils. This land was Lenape land (i.e., stolen land), though you wouldn’t know it from the Zillow listing or any of the local histories written about the small mountain town. These narratives, written by (surely) well meaning white folks, painted the forced and at times brutal removal of the Native Americans from their ancient homeland as progress or, in one convoluted tale, as of their own free will. It read, “The Indians that had occupied our area were of the Lenni-Lenape tribe. They must have certainly regretted leaving the lush valleys, forests, and rolling hills...” Reading such tales made their bodies contort.
Only three days had passed since my father’s funeral. His passing had not been a surprise. He had weathered many battles in his life, but in the end, it was a battle with cancer he could not overcome. I had moved home three months ago to help my mother prepare for the inevitable, but it was her strength I found myself relying upon as she held my father’s hand, and he took his last breath. I watched her smile and lean forward to kiss him one last time, knowing in her heart that he would feel no more pain. Now here we sat, clock ticking in the background. She held a shoebox in her slightly trembling hands. I recognized it as the box my father gave my mother on Christmas 15 years ago. The heels she always looked at in the window of the department store. The ones she had replaced of late with slippers and comfy socks. “Your Father didn’t want you to have this,” she said. I took the box and nervously opened it. Inside was a soft leather pouch sealed with a golden clasp. My heart began to race. I had seen this before.