A Gift of Hope

Enclosed is a short story I wrote this afternoon as I am slowly gathering my crafts together to get them done for Christmas. I ran across my glass hearts and thought of how to me they resemble hope more than love. Especially at Christmas. This year, year two of Covid, there are many who have lost hope so we must find ways to encourage others. So I wrote this story. Its kind of long, over 900 words, but I think it has a message we can all understand. We all have been hurt at one time or another and can sometimes lose hope. We must come along each other and rebuild each others hope so that they can then encourage others, thus creating a circle of encouragement. So if the story is too long for you to read, remember to encourage each other and help rebuild hope.

Buried Hope

“Hey sweetie, hand mommy that heart,” said Meredith as she motioned to her daughter.

“Are you going to put it back in the dirt like you found it?” questioned her daughter Hope. Her young blond curls fell into her face as she bent to pick up and examine the small glass heart.

“I am.”

“But why. It’s pretty. You could wear it.”

“It’s a little big for a necklace, but it is pretty isn’t it?” Meredith examined the heart before she carefully placed it under the flower she was potting. She though back to when she had been given a similar pot of flowers and this lovely poem of hope. She was miserable and had lost all hope because she had miscarried her second child. She had wanted children so badly and now that hope evaded her. The poem had encouraged her and gave her some peace. The following spring as she followed the instructions in the poem by planting the plant in the yard, she discovered in the bottom of the flower pot a tiny laminated copy of the poem and the glass heart was attached to it.

“This is a heart of hope for someone who is very sad right now,” explained Meredith. “When this was given to me, I thought I would never be able to have children and I was very sad.”

“But Mommy, you had me,” Hope said matter of factly.

“Yes, I did, two years later. And now you are a grown-up 5 year old who starts school in the fall. Won’t that be fun?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay,” said Meredith dusting the remaining dirt from her hands. “Let me go get the poem and I will deliver the flower.”

“You going to give it to Mrs. Lawson?” Hope said sadly.

“Yes. I think she needs it, don’t you?”

“Yeah. I know that Bobby is really sad too. I can’t imagine us losing Daddy.”

“They all need our love and prayers to get through this tragedy.”

As Meredith got out of her car at the Lawson’s home, she saw Nancy working in her flower bed. Nancy sat back on her heels with a soft wave and a sad smile on her face.

“Hey Nancy. I know how much you love your flowers and I just wanted to give a little extra color. This lily will be beautiful all summer, and then this fall you can add it to your garden.”

“Oh, Meredith. You are so sweet. Thank you.” Nancy stood to take the flower and give Meredith a hug. They had been good friends for several years. As Nancy reached for the flowers she froze staring intently at the flower pot and the poem that was being held by the flower stick.

“This is a white lily,” said Meredith. “Lilies represent hope and faith and white represents peace and purity. I thought this would help bring you peace.”

“Did you write this poem you placed on the stick?” she whispered softly as she reached just for the stick while Meredith held the flower pot.

“No. I copied it from one I received when I was going through a particularly hard time in my life. It brought me peace and I wanted to do the same for you.”

Meredith noticed the tears coming down from Nancy’s face.

“Nancy, I did not mean to upset you. I wanted you to know you always have a friend with me. I am so sorry I upset you.”

“No, no. You have not upset me but I do have to ask….did you also bury something in the dirt?”

“Yes. How did you know that?”

Nancy hug Meredith in a strong loving hug as tears and laughter came from her. “Oh, Meredith, you have no idea how happy you have made me. Come sit down and let me tell you the story.”

As they settled on the chairs on the front porch Meredith placed the lily on the table between the chairs.

“Meredith, this really is a lovely lily. So delicate and small but its fragrance is wonderful.” Nancy settled in her chair and began her story. “When I was a little girl my grandmother was a prominent member in our family. She loved Christmas and had clear glass ornaments for her Christmas tree. She loved the way the light twinkled through the glass. Some of the larger ornaments were cut class that refracted the light into tiny rainbows on the walls. When she found out she had cancer, she refused to go through the treatments. The doctors told her she would not last longer than a year without treatment.”

“I heard that treatments back then were a lot less effective and the effects were more painful than now,” said Meredith.

“I can hear my grandmother now.  ‘I would rather have one good year than three years of being sickly like I have seen some of my friends. Especially when it’s gonna get me anyway.’ She was a pistol. The spring before she died, she dug up her lilies and put them in flower pots and in the bottom of the flower pot, she placed one of her small heart ornaments along with this poem. Then she took them to the hospital and gave them to patients to help give them hope. Mom told me there were close to thirty flower pots. I had heard over the years how some people had regifted them but never thought I would ever see one. This is so very special, Meredith,” said Nancy as fresh tears flowed.

“I would have given it to you sooner had I know. I am excited and amazed of this story.”

“It just shows the full circle of love, hope, faith and even life if we allow it to grow.”

Anita Neal

Thank for reading my story. It was fun to write but it does show the importance of kindness and encouragement to rebuild shattered hope. Never forget the importance of kindness. It can be a spark someone needs to brighten their day.

Fandango’s Story Starter #14

Fandango has a fun story starter this week as I immediately went into Halloween mode, after all, it is October. Come join in with your imagination on this fun Story Starter and let your creative juices flow.

I heard the music as I entered the room, but all that was there…

The storm had been relentless last night and this muddy mess did not help in getting up the driveway to the house.

“Why am I being drawn back to Grandma’s house? She has been gone for over three years.”

Her mom had told her that everything in the house had been sold but her old broken piano. They would dispose of it when the house sold. She thought back to the summers she spent there. The laughter…the music. This was why she studied music. She so wanted to be the pianist her grandmother had been but the talent seemed to have eluded her so she taught instead. But many people loved her playing and her teaching was highly sought after. So she stayed in the background away from the dreams of being onstage. As she pulled up in front of the house, the sun began breaking through the clouds. The ‘For Sale’ sign loomed ominously sideways from the storm. The thought of someone else living here made her sad. Taking her keys, she open the door to the empty mustiness that was far from the memories of the bright sunny days she remember so well. The sun was streaming with split rays through the dusty living room windows. The light caught an object leaning against the wall and made Jessica smile. Her walking stick was still leaning in the corner. She could not believe it was still around. She walked over and picked it up, studying her name that her grandfather had carved. She remember fondly the great adventures from the back yard. He had a small apple orchard in the back but to a small child it was huge. She walked over to the sunroom and stood in the doorway remembering the beautiful music her grandmother would play as she and Grandpa would explore the vast outdoors. The piano leaned crookedly against the wall as one leg was completely broken off. Then she remembered the music again…no waitshe is hearing it.

“I heard the music as I entered the room, but all that was there was the broken piano against the wall,” she explained later to her mom when she told her about her visit. She told her of the whispers she heard about not giving up on her dream, that her talent was there and of other things only her grandmother knew. She was shaken but renewed and peaceful as well.

“It may have been a dream or some sort of hallucination of remembered love but it was more real than I have know in some years,” Jessica explained.

“So, what are you going to do about it?” her mom asked hoping that whatever this was, it would be enough to help her get over her stage fright and weak self-esteem. She knew the local symphony was searching for a new pianist and that in her mind she thought her daughter would be perfect for it. Of course she was prejudiced as this was her only daughter of 3 other children.

“I don’t know,” said Jessica, “but I think I owe it to Grandma to not give up just because of some bad experience from college. Oh, and I found my walking stick that Granpa made for me.”

“Maybe that will help you walk a different path. Not to pressure you, but the Symphony still has not found a pianist.”

“I dunno, mom. That’s an awful big step. That’s like trying to win the Olympics without training.”

“You train every day, Jessica. What have you got to lose?”

“I will think about it.”

In all of life we face challenges that can either enhance or thwart our dreams. If our dreams are not fully attainable, we must never lose the love those dreams gave us. Use that love to make another dream. That dream may be better than your original dream. And with all paths in all our dreams, remember to be kind. Kindness can make dreams for others come true.

Always Be Kind

#Writephoto – The Cow

I have not joined in on this challenge in a while but today my brain is on the quirky side. Guess its because the sun is finally shinning after two weeks of rain. So I thought I would share some of my odd humor. Come join in on KL’s challenge and WRITEPHOTO with the rest of us.

Conversation Between Two Lizards

“That beast is here again.”

“I know, I see it. Just stay clear of it.”

“Why does it come down here?”

“To drink, you idiot. It’s the only water source for miles. Snakes need water too you know. They cross here.”

“What,” said Cedric in a panic as he scanned the area.

“Chill out. Mom’s waiting for us at the bottom of the orchard. The fruit is getting overripe and bring in the flies.”

“I hear that the human has several of these big beasts.”

“Yeah. Other humans want the fluid that comes from it.”

“Now that is just gross. Drinking fluid from another beast.”

“They make make things from the fluid and eat that too. The flies seem to like it.”

“And we like flies.”

“All part of the circle.”

“I guess. Flies are better,” said Cedric as they headed for the orchard.

And in closing I remind you to be kind. It matters for every being.

Tuesday Writing Prompt

Devereaux Frazier and Beth Amanda are currently hosting the Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge.

Today’s prompt—Heaven in her eyes

Heaven in Her Eyes

Misha sat quietly as she listened to her grandmother rest. Her breathing was becoming labored but she waited quietly hoping for more wisdom from the stories she always told. Misha’s mother had told her the stories were not real, that they were just stories of hope of what heaven would be like.

But Misha knew different. Even though she was still seven years young, she herself had vision. And the visions she saw matched the stories she heard from her grandmother so many times. Before her grandmother had become so gravely ill, Misha had shared quietly with her grandmother her ability to see vision as well.

Her grandmother smiled brightly at her and her eyes sparkled with love. “Oh, my dearest Misha. Hold that truth close to your heart and let no one take it from you. It is a gift from God. Use it for the purposes he asks you to do. God will let you know when it is time.” And they shared many stories together of what they saw.

Misha watch the fluttering of her grandmothers eyes as she opened them looking toward the ceiling. “Oh, Lord, what a beautiful sight. Thank you for allowing me to see the beauty of heaven as I transcend to you.” And with that her grandmother breathed her last.

Misha stood and took her grandmother’s hand. “I will miss you Granmama. Thank you for believing in me. Enjoy the beauty of heaven that is now fully in your eyes.” Misha was fully at peace knowing where her grandmother was now, in the beauty of heaven wrapped in many layers of love. The sound of the door opening caught her attention as her mother came in the room.

“How is she doing today?”

“Today she is great. She has the true beauty of heaven in her eyes.”

Misha’s mother let out a horrid scream understanding what Misha meant, knowing now that her mother was dead.

But Misha turned quietly from the room knowing her grandmother was now more alive that she had ever been.

Come join in on the fun of Tuesday Writing Challenge and share your creative juices with everyone.

and as always, remember the truth of kindness.

What now?, First Line Friday, 1/31/2020

The wind cut into his skin and grey skies pressed down on the rotting town, but at least he was home. 

The windows on the houses stared back at him with hopeless abandonment, much like how he felt as he walked down the streets hoping against hope to find one home lit showing life. He had heard stories of how his quiet little home town had been sold off to developers after he left for college but he never dreamed they would totally destroy all the cherished details that once made this town unique. Now the developers had gone belly up and left everything to just rot. His family had left when it all sold so there had been no reason for him to ever come back.

Now 15 years later, the company he was working for was looking to buy the town and develop a resort there because of the huge lake on one end of town that had been know at one time to have bass tournaments resulting in record size fish. He wondered if there were even any fish left or did they die off with the town. Supposedly old man Sorenson was still there. A hermit of a man with little trust of anyone. It was no wonder with what all he had seen over the years. And here he comes, that young whipper snapper, as Sorenson  had called before leaving to college. He remember Sorenson’s son, Jake, who had died in a car wreck. A good kid, just a little reckless. But his dad couldn’t handle his death and locked himself in the house. Now it was his job to see if he could talk with him, they needed his land as well as it sat almost center of the old town square. 

Getting back in his truck, he headed back to the center of town to see if he could even get an answer at the door. Next town over was 30 miles and he really would like to get there before it got  really dark or before the clouds unleashed their gray torment.

-Anita Neal-

As you read the stories of sadness that life can sometime drop on us, remember there are many who hide from hurt. So find was to always be kind. Kindness can open doors of light that can assist many to help walk through those doors and find life again.

kindnessdoors

 

Gentle Creature, Tell the story Challenge #9

Due to the not being able to get out much this week because our weather has been soooo lovely, I was super busy this weekend and just now sat down at my computer. I was tagged by sadje of keepitalive to do a writing prompt of a picture she suggested and since I have never done that, I thought I would give it a go. Do come along and play to see all the creative juices flowing from other.

Her picture prompt I had seen before and thought it was so interesting, so…

“Will she bite me?’ he asked as they edged closer. 

“No, she is a sweetheart. She was hand raised when her mom got killed.”

“But she has eggs.”

“They are not real. Come see. They are made out of concrete. She knows they are not real but it helps with her maternal instincts.”

“Weird.”

“Not really. She is the only one left of her specie and the lab is trying to see if they can play God.”

“Oh, that’s not good. You don’t mess around with His creation.” 

“Yea, you’d think scientist would have learned their lesson with the disaster of the  dinosaur island they tried to create.”

“Wild animals are called wild animals for a reason. They don’t understand your reasons of why you do what you do and they are protecting their area.”

As the boys turned back to the main farm area, they could hear in the distance the large waterfall as it cascaded down the  mountain side bringing fresh water to large farm area of rare and exotic animals.

“I understand it could be a dangerous task under any circumstance.”

Written for Tell the Story #9

Silly stories can expand our imaginations for those who write. And those who read me know my love for animals and somewhat warped humor, so see what you can do with this. I am tagging those who I know write and those I see doing challenges. Here is my prompt for you.

eagle dog

 

I am tagging:

Quaint Revival

The Sound of One Hand Typing

Revolutionary Musings

And in closing, I remind again the value of kindness. Be a “kind-a-saur”!

dino kind