”Faith from Ruin” last time ~ Hope Disappeared

Ida and Frank “kidnapped” Lucy for a trip to the grocery store. Frank, with a wink and sly grin imparted the advice, “stick close kid. Ol’ Frank’ll take care of yuh.”

Clara settled in the kitchen at the worn farm table still burdened by her overnight brooding. She clenched her eyes tight and shook her head vigorously, determined to brush off her trip down a slippery, jagged memory lane. With hands wrapped around a steamy mug of coffee sweetened with Ida’s homemade pumpkin spice creamer, she sipped and breathed in the sweet aroma and decided it was time to move on.

Her mind began to clear, and hunger edged in. She got up and  cut thick  slices of Ida’s homemade bread to toast and slather  with butter and honey. She crunched through the sweet buttery treat, giggling as the honey dripped down her hands and on her chin.

Lucy burst through the door chattering away as Frank and Ida bustled in, arms laden with bags of food. They visited comfortably as the pantry and fridge were reloaded. When they were done, Lucy was sent to the Lerner’s living room with a new pack of crayons, pencils and coloring books she and Frank had “snuck” into the shopping cart. A fresh pot of coffee brewed and mugs filled, the adults sat around the table.

Clara looked into her mug and began, “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. I want to be completely honest with you. You guys deserve that, especially since you’ve treated Lucy and I like family.”

Swallowing hard, she took a deep breath and continued. “Lucy and I are running, well not really running, um, we’re finding a new place. Lucy needs happiness and stability. So do I. The black eye was from my husband. I warned him but, um. God! He drinks too much and he’s an abusive ass!”

Clara quickly continued, cutting Ida off as she tried to say something. “Shane, my husband, is not Lucy’s dad, so we don’t have that and I haven’t done anything illegal. I just loaded us up, and, left. I didn’t have a place, just a distance; far enough he wouldn’t want to come after me. I’m so hurt and I have scars on my heart and I’m not sure I can learn to love again.”

Ida reached over gently grasped Clara’s hand, and smiled. “Honey, we could see clear as day you needed refuge. I told you the first night, stay as long as you need and don’t worry ’bout the money. There’s no guaranty in life and Lord knows we can’t always count on those we love.”

Clara looked at Frank who had grabbed hold of her other hand and pulled it toward him. He thought carefully while he slowly spoke. “Clara, love’s like a rock. Sometimes smooth. Sometimes rough. We surrender to it. We learn when it knocks us around so we decide to throw that rock away, and these hazards of love never more will trouble us.”


This week at Write at the Merge, Write on Edge’s writing prompt, two quotes were give as inspiration. I chose  the quote in the image below and which is featured in the piece in bold itallics. I was able to work it into the much needed conversation between Clara and the Lerner’s. The P!nk/Nate Reuss song also had lyrics and a theme that fit where Clara is emotionally.

May Angels Lead You In

Two weeks ago I began a journey of remember how important it is to appreciate those I love. 20 children were taken from their families in Newtown, Connecticut. Stealing the shared memories and love from the families and friends. I found myself knowing how necessary it is to love and appreciating my kids. To tell them and show them as often as possible.

Sunday, I was pulled soundly to the front and center of the road when a blow fell far closer to home. One of the metaphors for a loved one is to compare them to a bright shining light. When we lose a family member or friend we talk of the light flickering out or ceasing to shine. A very dark veil descended over my family last night when we received frantic, tragic phone calls inciting hurried trips to the hospital where our beautiful boy, my seven month old great-nephew tragically died.

Happy Marcus-edit

Marcus Daniel – May 1, 2012 – December 23, 2012

My big family has stayed, for the most part, right here in the same town and we are neither small nor quiet. A mass of people who belong to me and my siblings, our in-laws and their families converged in the hospital chapel to support and love my niece, her dear husband, and my sister and brother-in-law, grandparents to this beautiful boy, who left us far too soon. Our hearts and souls know he is in the loving embrace of Our God but our hearts and minds are broken with grief. Truly, an innocent, he had to fly instantly into the arms of the One who loves us most.

We have lost so much and the pain is deep, and enduring. Marcus was a first for so many of us. My parents first great-grandson, my sister and brother-in-law’s first grandson, my nieces and nephews first nephew, me and my siblings first great-nephew, my great-niece’s first sibling and brother, most importantly, my niece and her husbands first son. This first has been taken, and no one will fill the Marcus space. This special boy who was our first.


Other lights continue to shine and shower us with blessings and we must not neglect them, the seven little girls, less than five years old, who looked forward to Santa and had no idea what happened. It was our duty to step outside of our profound grief to make a wonderful, joyous Christmas for these girls who are still beacons in the darkness of our grief. We had to spin the dial and refocus so we could see the sunrise beyond the sunset.

As the days pass I realize Marcus’ light hasn’t burned out. Rather it has simply changed location. His light is shining from above. As I prayed, wept and begged God for comfort I found comfort in a vision of our loved ones who have passed. They were waiting for Marcus and the greeting was grand and joy filled. They were all giddy with anticipation as he came to them and they rejoiced with love and laughter as they received our special boy.

Christmas Day brought more sad news from my oldest son. His dog Smallz, who had been with him through hardship and happiness died. Another blow. Painful to lose a beloved pet, but my vision carried on with Smallz in all her diva glory running into Marcus’ baby arms and giving him a face full of puppy kisses.

Grammy and Gigi

My sister, Marcus’ Grammy, snuggling his big sis in grandbaby Christmas blankies she made.

This big, crazy, loud wonderful family is coping and recovering in ones.
One day,
one hour,
one minute,
one breath at a time.
Taking memories one at a time hold them for a moment in our hearts, memorizing an exact heartbeat, a certain expression and cherishing it’s familiarity.
We are encircling each other in loving embraces,
laughing through tears,
and crying through the pain.
It’s all moving us in the right direction where we will heal, but will never forget because there’s a mark tattooed on our hearts.

The mundane and boring are so appealing right now. I want something simple to brighten things. And truly? The simple is a blessing. I need to grab on and savor every boring moment. Hug my loved ones. Tell them I love them. I don’t want to spend a minute regretting what I could have done in any moment because every moment is a gift.


On a day when music was necessary to think beyond the grief, I put my iPod on Genius, chose a category and hit play. The first song that came on was Hear You Me (May Angels Lead You In) by Jimmy Eat World. Truly, it was a God moment and it has become my song for Marcus. Hit play a couple of times and let these lyrics and music sooth your soul. They have done so for me and the family since I shared it on my Facebook wall.


Marcus’ visitation is on Sunday December 30, 2012 from 5-7 p.m. with a vigil and rosary to follow. Funeral Mass will be on Monday Dec. 31, 2012 at 2:00 pm at St. Matthews Catholic Church.


A Friend – A Journey – A Faith

I was fourteen when you came into my life, blessed and brought from Rome. A gift but neglected and ignored like a shirt given but not really wanted. Hidden away and unimportant. Many years you were ignored and insignificant. I really had no use for you because you were like gossamer; thin, wispy and insubstantial.

But I was young.

Your value went unrecognized far along the diverse trail I traveled. The journey bore unrealized, abundant blessings but I was blinded by the perils. There was love and marriage. A sweet, polite, tender boy, an energetic, determined boy then a beautiful, willing, determined girl. Inexperienced and wide eyed, I fell into many craters and tripped over abundant pebbles, stones and boulders, and failed to see hidden behind the dirty faces, late dinners and sleepless nights, the captivating tenderness and certainty of my family.

But I was learning.

Restlessness, despair, sorrow and fear found me and I found you where you are; by my side. I reached for the coolness to sooth my pain as I clutched and wept with you. Release as warm comfort swept over me and washed out valleys of misery and solace rose to the surface.

But I was naive.

Forgetting the comfort and peace you brought when I was desperate, we rarely shared, but you waited. Waited because the path is never clear and a time would come when I would stumble, lose my balance and reach for you.

And then I understood.

I found deep despair, driven by my sick baby. I found answers, and you helped me to surrender my will for His will. You taught me I must pray from my soul and not from my head. Soothed and peaceful, I clutched you in my hand. Awareness pierced my understanding – no prayer is answered unless it has been asked.

And I grew.

Discovering I can count on you not for you but what you bring me. Held in my hand, prayers drift from mind, to lips to God. We’ve traveled, slept, lived together. Rejoiced, mourned and maintained. You are fifty nine beads; blessed and holy. Simple connected beads in my hand, a gift that gave me a gift. Appearing as a chain but really a lifeline to my devout love of God. Clouds and blindness clear and focus. My perception is bright and I see God.

Now I believe.


Written from a prompt provided by RemembeRED: Personification

Do objects have a memory? Does a rocking chair hold the essence of the snuggles it has witnessed? Does a pottery mug remember the comforting warmth it offered a struggling soul?

The dictionary defines personification as “the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something nonhuman, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form.”

This week, tell a piece of your story from the point of view of an object who bore witness.

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood