Monday Memoir: Letting Go…

I never thought I’d use my Physical Education degree, but I did. I enjoyed being a fitness trainer at the YMCA. I worked there for about a year, but it became increasingly difficult to maneuver around the equipments and exercising bodies as my peripheral vision decreased. The bouts with depression increased, and I began to call in sick.

The problem was I still refused to accept the fact that I was going blind, and my waning vision angered me. I was afraid to ask for help as this would mean I had to acknowledge the fact that I had a disability, and I didn’t want people to think me as a liability. I wanted to be an asset. Not a burden.

It grew more difficult to make ends meet, so in come a room-mate…my brother. At first, it was great; but, he had his own demons to battle. Being an adopted child, he’d always sought to be accepted. He’d always felt like an outsider, I believe. While he stayed with me, I noticed he hung around with several less than favorable individuals. When they started to hang around at our apartment, I got fed up and threw them out. I told my brother, no more. Soon after, he moved out and began to date an older lady from Louisiana.

A short time later, I received an unexpected call from someone I knew from college.

Jay and I met as freshmen in college; several years before I met and married my late husband. He had a girlfriend, and I dated his best friend. After our first year in college, he needed to leave the area for a while. He came from a very broken and dysfunctional family life, and felt the need to start a new one for himself. By this time, we’re both single. He enlisted in the Navy. After boot camp, he paid me a visit. It was a brief one as he was getting ready to go over seas to Kuwait to fight in the imminent war in the gulf there. He wanted to see me one more time as they were predicting that the rate of casualties were going to be high. I remember thinking how handsome he was in the military uniform.

He survived the first Gulf War. I saw him twice afterwards before we eventually lost contact with one another. I figured he’d gone on with his life, and I met and married my husband.

Eight years later, he was calling me to ask if he could come and see me. He’d found out that I was a widow, and wanted to check up on how I was doing. Sure, I replied. I’d loved to see him again.

Then, I started to think back to that day he paid me a visit before he headed overseas. Did he like me more than just a friend?

We reunited in a mall, and ate lunch at a local restaurant. That was in early June. I can’t explain it, but things just clicked between the two of us, and the next thing I knew we were dating, and then engaged. That September, we were married.

Before the wedding, he gave me a gift. A journal. A beautiful book full of blank pages. By this time, I hadn’t written in years. Somehow, he knew I needed this. I took the journal, and started to put words in it. The more I wrote, the better I felt. I poured out all the anger and resentment on to those pages. Writing in that journal became therapeutic as it began to sooth the pain and emptiness that I’ve held on for so long.

Writing enabled me to start letting them go.

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Story Sunday: The Final Sunset

 

She watches as the sun slowly lowered in the purple-hued sky.  Another day is done, and she is alone.

Not really by choice.  Not directly, anyway.

She blames the booze.  She also blames her mother who introduced it to her before she was even in high school.  And because of them both, she never saw graduation.  Just endless days and months in rehab centers.

All for what?

To end up alone and penniless?

Today she buried her mother.  Rather, a woman who gave birth to her.  She never really cared for her.  Not as much as she cared for those colored bottles that forever littered their home.

Mother died a drunk.  That is what she’ll always be known for. Not as a woman who tried to raise a daughter by herself.  Not as a woman who nursed sick and premature babies back to health.  And certainly not as a woman who became the town’s first female mayor.

No, her life has and will always be linked to the bottle.

For years, she defied her mother.  She never wanted to end up like her.

She stood over the wooden casket, deep in the hallowed earth, and allowed the tears to flow.  Not for her mother.  She was happy that the woman, the thorn in her side, was gone. No, she cried for herself.  For her unborn child.

What kind of future will her baby have if her or his mother was a drunk?

A nobody?

Her eyes turn up to the darkening sky. Stars glittering among the dark purple clouds.  A soft breeze sweeps over her like a whisper. Closing her eyes, she tilts her head to one side to listen to this whisper as if it has some great secret to share.

With her eyes still closed, she smiles.

She still has something that her mother no longer has…

A tomorrow.

Another chance of a new beginning.

 

 

 

 

 

WEP – Unraveled

Click on image for more info on this challenge and community

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My entry for June’s challenge:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

summer heat wave:

mayhem, screaming everywhere I go

                                  my nerves
                                              unraveling
                                                             like a
                                                                    yarn
kids at a splash park

Voting Is Open (Story Prompt Challenge)

Look at the image below, and choose which story you like the best.

 

Monday Memoir: Searching For Happiness

 

After Aaron’s death, I pretty much became a hermit, retreating to my tiny, one-bedroom apartment for the next three years. I slowly withdrew from his family as their daily pain in losing a son and a brother was too painful to witness. The only thing I accomplished during this period was graduate with a B.S. in Physical Education which, as I’ve said earlier, I had no intentions of using.

 

I spent my days watching romance-comedy movies, and cried.  I didn’t give up on my running or biking though.  I bought a mountain bike and rode that all around the town.  Other times I’d ride eight miles to the nearby walking/running trail and ran three miles, and then bike back home.  Exercise was pretty much my only outlet.

At least, it was something.

By the end of the three years, I decided that I had enough of being alone.  I felt ready to return to the “world.”  I’d been living in an apartment complex for the elderly where they accepted me because of my disabilities, charging me only a small percentage of what I received in my monthly social security benefits.  But at the age of 27, I felt that I still had enough of my vision remaining to go back to work, and not rely solely on them.

So, I took a big leap of faith and moved out, and into a regular apartment in the nearby city of Ithaca.  I got two part-time jobs; one as a clerk at a video rental store, and the other as a fitness trainer at the local YMCA.  I struggled financially, but the bills still got paid and I had some food in the pantries.  I slowly weaned myself off of social security.  I regained my independence as I now was in a place where I could either take a bus or walk to pretty much anyplace I needed.

For the first time in a long time,  I felt content.  Happiness still eluded me though.  I still had the gaping hole in my heart, and my chest would ache so, especially at nights as I lied in my bed.  I couldn’t escape the loneliness.  I couldn’t escape the feeling that I was missing something.

Friday Fun (A Story Prompt Challenge #6)

Photo Credit: Pixabay Free Images

 

For this week’s image, write a micro-story (less than 100 words) or a poem, and post it in the comment section below.

Deadline is 11:59pm Monday.

For all entries a poll will be created and the one with the most votes, wins!  For the winning piece, a short video will be created.

Enjoy!  🙂

#IWSG: Book Titles Vs. Character Names

Click on the image to access this group’s official page

 

This month’s question: What’s harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

 

For me, the book titles (or for any type of stories, short or long) are more difficult to come up with.  A title has to encompass the theme and message of the story, giving the reader some idea of what it may be about.  Because of this, it takes a while to come up with a title that “feels” right.  Many times I end up giving a story a working title until I can come up with a better one.

With some stories, any title I gave never felt right.  For these, I usually set them to one side for a while in the hope that the right title will magically pop in mind.  It does happen, but rare.  I’d end up settling for one that I could live with, and move on.

What about you?  Which one is more difficult for you to come up with a name?

Tuesday Share: The Dream

Online anthology inviting collaborations between artists + writers

My poem, The Dream, was selected to be included in this month’s anthology with Visual Verse 🙂   Click on the VV’s link to see the image used for this month’s inspiration.  Enjoy writing poetry and like to participate?  Be sure to sign up for their newsletter to be notified of next month’s image.

 

The Dream

 

I dreamt of my sister last night
as I watched her walk down a road
towards the golden gates

The urge to call out
filled me with an urgency
I couldn’t understand

Like a thief in the night
the illness stole her essence
covering the core in
unending darkness and despair

Before I could say a word
she turned to me with a smile
I’d not seen in years

I swore her body shimmered
like a jewel in the sunlight
her soul for all to see

And she waved
                  farewell
                         my little
                                    sister

© Carrie Ann Golden 2018

 

Stop by and check out the other poems especially the one by Susan Richardson, Perfection Has No Sound, which is incredibly (but haunting) beautiful!

Monday Memoir : The Darkness Continues…

 

Okay, I was partially deaf and going blind.  I’d given up on my athletic dreams.  I hadn’t written in years so why start now.  Life dealt me the bad deal.  How could it get worse than this?

The worse was yet to come.

I was declared “legally blind” by Social Security and began to receive disability benefits.  I did continue to work towards my P.E. degree even though I really had no intentions of using it.

Then, I met Aaron and fell in love.  We were married within a year after our first meeting (through a church’s function).  We had so many things in common.  We loved rock n’ roll especially the 80’s rock and early 90’s alternative music.  We both loved sports.  He was a soccer fanatic.  He not only played in various local leagues, he also coached boys’ soccer teams in the town we’d lived.   His dreams were to not only coach kids, he also wanted to be a teacher.  He began college to pursue both.

I like to say I was the good wife.  I can’t.

I was manipulative.  Verbally abusive to him.  Why?

Jealous because he was able to play soccer?  Resentful because he took me away from my family to live with his own?  Bitter because he knew exactly what he wanted to do, and was able to do them?   Envious because he made friends wherever he went and I couldn’t?

Name it, and I felt it.  Then, I punished him.

I became the psycho-bitch that mothers would warn theirs sons against.  And I hated myself for being that way.

I wanted to change.  For him.

But, it was too late.

One cold day in March, Aaron was killed in a car accident.   He was on his way to pick up our pastor to take to the hospital because he didn’t want to take the ambulance.  I decided not to go at the last-minute.  Aaron was going too fast when he lost control of the car, and crashed into a dumpster truck.   The truck struck the passenger door, and because he wasn’t wearing a seat belt…well, you get the idea.

The heartache I felt that day was unlike I had ever felt before.  It was unbearable.  And the guilt…

That night I attempted to take my life by overdosing on certain pills, but something stopped me.

How could I be this selfish?  To take my life after what Aaron’s and my family have just gone through with his sudden death?   I hated myself for the way I’d treated Aaron, but I could not do this to them.

So, I decided to live with the pain and the guilt.