Friday, May 22, 2009


My husband and I were cleaning out our storage room and I found some short stories that I have written. I decided to share them with my blog friends. Here is the first one. I wrote it when I was in high school. I didn't change anything. I typed it just as it was written.


My mother died when I was 14 years old and a freshman in high school. Her death was the most traumatic experience of my life. I never thought I would get over her not being around and I was right. I'm still mourning.

We were extremely close. Even though my dad was there it was always my mom that I went to for everything. We had our own little circle that we wouldn't let anyone else enter and even though she's gone, it still remains in tact. I continue to go to her in times of need because even though I know she's not her in body she will always be here in spirit. My mommy's still helping me make some of the biggest decisions of my life.

There are so many things that remind me of her like the smell of Jergens soap or homemade biscuits in the morning. Whenever I smell pine I think of our Saturday morning cleaning sessions. We would open all the windows, put on our favorite cd's, and clean it from top to bottom. I'm not a big fan of cleaning but my mother made it so much fun that I forgot what I was doing.

I also think of her whenever I open a book. My mom was very big on the importance of reading. I still remember the books she read to me when I was a toddler. I loved sitting on her lap and listening to the voices she made while reading to me. She acted out the characters in those books like a seasoned actress. She made reading so much fun and once I learned how to read on my own my mind was like a sponge for the new words and experiences that were inside the pages of book, after book, after book.

All those things remind me of my mother, but whenever I see a sunflower I feel like she's her with me. Every time I see one I get chills. I'm beginning to think my mother's spirit is in them. Everyone that knew how much she loved sunflowers so the funeral chapel was filled with them when she died. Seeing them always made me feel better. That was when I knew for sure that she would always be with me. To this day a sunflower is delivered to my home once a week. I've moved twice and somehow the guy that delivers the flower always finds me. I have no idea who is sending them and he won't tell me.

When I was growing up our kitchen was decorated with sunflowers. I loved waking up every morning and eating breakfast at the kitchen table because the sunflowers aleays helped me get my day off to a happy start.

Sunflowers also remind me of my mother's personality. She was such a bright person, both spiritually and mentally. She was definitely the smartest person I have ever met. She could also make me feel bright and cheery no matter what my mood. Growing up I thought my mom's life was great because she was always smiling. It wasn't until after she died that I found out about all the things she was going through.

It's funny how a mother can make her child feel as though everything is right with the world when in reality she's dying inside. Now that i'm older I can look back and see that the signs were there. I cannot help but feel that I could have helped her with what she was going through if I would have known. My dad died two weeks ago. Even though we weren't as close as my mom and I we did have a good relationship. He had a heart attack in his sleep and never woke up. It was at his funeral that I found out how little I knew about my parents.

My father's family is very large so after my mother died I always had a lot of females to help me through life. It wasn't the same as having her there but my aunties did the best they could. The family's not very close, but for some reason I was always treated special. My Aunt Linda told me it was because my mother was such a special person and they all loved her so much. Now I know it was probably because they felt sorry for me and guilty for what they had done to her.

Five women showed up at my father's funeral with brothers and sisters I never knew I had. At first I didn't pay these women any attention, but as I watched the faces of my aunts, uncles, and grandparents, I could feel that something was wrong. None of them would look at me.

Everyone went to my grandparent's house after the burial and I began to ask questions. I asked if some of these children were family because they all looked so much like me. No one would answer me. Finally my favorite aunt, Kathy, took me into a bedroom and told me stories of my father's many affairs and children on the side. My father had six children other than me before my mother died.

I sat there and heard tales of the way they all lied for my father so he could see these women. They were partners in his infidelity. My mother was a special person and even though they knew that they betrayed her. She paid all the bills and kept our family together while he hung out in bars, met women, and made babies. There was so much. I felt faint by the time my aunt was done. It was as though my entire life was a lie perpetrated on me by everyone I knew. I felt so betrayed.

I left the funeral immediately and haven't seen or talked to any of my family members since. The way I feel right now, I don't know if i'll ever be able to see them. I do know that it will never be the same. My mother didn't deserve to be treated the way they treated her. I'll probably never forgive them. My mother never gave me even a little idea that so much was going on in her life. She always made sure I had the best of everything and I knew I was loved.

I fell to my knees as soon as I got home from the funeral and thanked God for the years he allowed me to spend with my mother. I know that I am truly blessed and even though she's gone I know that she will never leave me. Whenever my heart is in turmoil somehow she seems to appear in her own way and make me feel better or face the decision I need to make.


"Who is it?"

"Delivery, I have your sunflower."


Solomon said...

What a touching story. I had something very similar happen in my life, only I was in the position your mother was in, and all my friends covered for my girl.

I haven't talked to any of them since I found out what was going on. I was so heartbroken and angry when it all happened I told myself that I would not, and could not, ever forgive all of those friends of mine that betrayed me.

It was only a couple years ago now, and I have forgiven everyone, including myself. Just remember that fogiveness is just about letting go, washing away the resentment that you carry around with you. You never have to talk to those people again, and forgiving them doesn't mean you need to tell them you forgive them, and it certainly doesn't make what happened any less wrong.

It is just about freeing yourself of the past, and the pain, and the resentment, and asking God to help you live a life free from the pain and heartache that is associated with the things that appened in your past.

Good luck, I wish you nothing but the best!

Strongblkwmn said...

Solomon - This story didn't actually happen to me. It's a short story that I wrote when I was in high school. I still agree with everything you said and forgiveness is definitely important.

Keith said...

This was a beautiful story Tammy!
I know you already have another blog..But you should share these stories you have and any poems with the blogosphere! Did you ever think of creating a blog just for your stories and poems?

I had boxes of poems that were just laying around gathering dust
and my wife said -"Why don't you put them on "Keith's Space"? But
I couldn't..I'd never have room to post anything else..That's why we came up with "Escapades' for the poetry at first....then I started writing fiction and the blog just morphed..but I definitely think you
ought to create a blog for any more stories and poems you have..The world needs to read them.

I loved this story!

Sunflower said...

I loved this story...and it has my name too..So I REALLY, REALLY LOVE IT!-lolol Keep up the good work!

CareyCarey said...

Hello Tammy, I was like Solomon, I thought this was "your" story. I read this yesterday and didn't know how to comment. See, I knew you had a nice relationship with your father and things just were not panning out so I sat back.

Anyway, it was a nice story. I am sure many can relate to the issue of finding out something of a negative nature about a loved one that has gone home.

I can't help but assume that although we write fiction, parts of us finds it's way into our stories - "parts" of us.

Strongblkwmn said...

Keith - After reading through the short stories I had in storage i'm seriously thinking about taking your advice. I'm just trying to figure out whether or not I want to try and maintain three blogs.

Sunflower - I'm glad you liked the story and thanks for visiting my blog.

Carey - I wrote this story when I was in high school. I'll just say that you're right when you say parts of us are always included in the fiction we write.

Mizrepresent said...

Well you got me too! Until you responded to Solomon's response i was sure it was your story...and a very heartbreaking but beautiful one indeed. High School, are very talented.

Strongblkwmn said...

Mizrepresent - Thank you for the compliment. Sorry I had everyone thinking this was my story. LOL!