Dressed for a Funeral by – Chuck Murphree…#450


Dressed For A Funeral

She had finally found death. It was in her bones and would be the last great test of her resilience to life. However, that was not quite true, as the old woman sat in her chair, tears in her eyes, thinking about the life she has lived, much of it full of pain, physical and emotional, the memories kept haunting her. The old woman had a film reel in her mind, playing in black and white, reliving her life in chapters, some longer than others. Many segments of her life were daunting, some just confusing. She had tried to edit the film that she carried within her, leaving the parts she wanted to cut out on the floor, but it seemed the memories kept being glued back together, not offering her any peace.

The old woman replayed her own birth, or so it seems, because even though she has lost much of her physical self, her memory remained intact. Though memory can be more painful than any disease. Thoughts catch you off guard. They sneak up on you when you are vulnerable and put a choke hold on your throat, leaving you gasping for air.

 As she neared death, one thing she wanted was shelter for her old, disease filled bones, and a place for her children to visit. She had always kept things simple, not wanting a lot, only a few canvases, paint brushes, a good pen to write with, some clean, off-white paper, and a little coffee. She also wanted love and acceptance, but it was often hard to come by. She wanted more love from her mother. She wished her father would have been there for her and not on the road, his great escape. She longed for a husband that she could have lived a life with, being kind with his hands instead of angry. She had sisters who didn’t understand her meaning or their own, and children that struggled to not be rushed by life. In fact, she had some children that had already dressed her for her funeral, only for the convenience of not clothing a stiff body. This one act shows the hurry of life. We not only rush life, we rush death.

The woman sat back in her chair and a warm depth of light through the window touched her. When she put aside the suffering in her heart. When she left some memories on the cutting room floor and let them lay there, still, without life, realizing that we are the ones that control gluing those memories back together, she thought of the happiness that was hers. She did have plenty of love in her life and she was told so daily, for if you are told even once that you are loved, it should be enough. Love can sustain you and the old woman realized that to live long enough to have wrinkled skin and a shuffled gate when walking, she must have been loved.

It takes great courage to look death in the eye and accept it fully and the reality that you are mortal. However, it takes greater courage to accept your suffering and realize that it is needed in order for you to recognize the joy in life that always came after the pain.

The old woman sat on a worn stool, painting a mountain range. She often painted the places she wanted to be. She also painted them for her son and grandson, and she painted for God. With every brushstroke, she was telling God all of her fears and desires, and she showed him what she wanted her heaven to look like. It was usually a meadow with flowers, a small cottage with a strong front porch where she was concealed by the afternoon sun and could patiently wait for the sunset. As her son had talked to her about, death is just a continuation of life, and perhaps we will get more choice in the next one.

The old woman’s appetite began to fade and her smile faltered. She knew her second chances were gone and she lay there with the evening sun shining through her window, and its rays momentarily covered her broken body. The woman was realistic, knowing that we all have an expiration date. This brought her some comfort because no one wants to live forever. If they do, they have not accepted what they owe, which is a death. It is part of the impermanence of life. Change is happening all around us, that is why we need to stop waiting for death to provide nirvana, knowing that we can have it now, in life.

Life! This joyous, wonderful thing that so many waste and take for granted. The old woman thought about this often, wondering about the time she had wasted on her journey? What thoughts had she wasted on so many meaningless things that she could never change or control? Oh, to get it all back, to do it differently. However, regret had no purpose but to weigh us down and churn our bellies. Regret is a useless emotion because what has happened in life was meant to be. The woman believed our lives were already mapped out at birth. This thought interested her and helped her make sense of her life. Isn’t that what we are all doing, trying to make sense of it all?

The old woman left her body and bones to science. She didn’t allow herself to be dressed for a funeral. She wanted to leave one more gift to the world, which was allowing them to try to understand how an old woman could become ill and maybe, just maybe, how others could survive it. It left her children without a body to cry over, but why cry over something that no longer carries a soul? The tears should be for memories and being thankful that the old woman gave them all a life. She carried them each for nine months, breathing for them, eating for them, and already loving them while inside her womb. Her children should also hold their own children, and great grandchildren, realizing that they too would not be there if it weren’t for the old woman. They should all stand around a tree, a creek, that holds her ashes and look at all that the old woman created, and then find wonder and gratitude in the life that stands before and next to them. It was all her doing. This was her purpose in life, her legacy, to be a mother and grandmother.

Women are the creators of life, and with that, they are the creators of love. Old women should be celebrated because they have suffered for us all, and with their suffering, they provide us with joy. They provide us breath.

With love, I write this for the women that I cherish. They have made me who I am.


The Forged Tongue…#453

The Forged Tongue…

Standing in a graveyard alone

to mourn, to stare at the mound

of dirt, below was the shell of the

one who loved but a few. The seed

of kindness never sowed, the love

they did not seek. Now silence lies

beneath. Entitlement is all that

remains, no grief, no greeting,

unwanted presence, gestures, tone

and in death, there was a joy of

greedy ploys. Gluttony bloomed

before the setting sun, looking

for more to take; life took on a

forged tongue. Open jeers, false

deeds, and honor lost, the price of

greed can be at great cost. Roars

 the misty breath of strife and

destiny has finally caught up with

your liar’s life.


Solace by the Creek…#450

Solace by the Creek...

The pasture is covered with newly fallen rain. 
Walking among the tall grass barefoot, the 
palms of my hands are damp. Everything 
is fresh and new; my fingers move slowly, 
trying to catch the raindrops. The wild 
Johnson Grass growing next to the broken
down fence gives a presence of what was
once; a no man's land before it became 

Soon the colors of the rainbow spread 
across the sky. Mother Nature paints a 
perfect arc of many colors. A fresh 
rainbow appears in the Western sky. 
Her invisible brush created joy for all, 
ribbons of colors that only Mother 
Nature could paint.  

A small branch of water flows out of the 
boulders creating a spring that runs t
hrough the pasture. Wildflowers flourish, 
framing the bubbling waters that flow 
gently between the Oak trees, where small 
pools gather before the trip continues 
toward muddy Flint Creek.

Time has changed the landscape, so I do 
not return where I once took solace. It 
now lives among the sweet memories of 
a time gone by, lost in a time that only God 
could recreate. This is where I once cried, 
prayed, and laughed as I created dandelion 
crowns and danced among the wildflowers.


An Update…#449

Hello Followers: It has been over two weeks since I posted on “The Last Chapter.” This post is not a complaint; it is to update those that may be following my progress. I am also on an MM forum where one can chat about conditions, what works for them, etc.

I have tried to come to terms with Multi-Myeloma, but it is challenging. Myeloma is much like being held in a prisoner-of-war camp and tortured. It is a slow killer! There is always a certain level of pain with the available drugs, always running on a scale of one to ten, the lowest being three or four and at times increasing to nine or ten. Over-the-ten mark happens when you do specific movements. The entire thing is overwhelming and tiring. As I have said, I am on Chemo treatment 22 days a month. The days off Chemo are filled with either too tired to do anything or sick. I take approximately seventeen pills daily, each having something to do with keeping me alive. It is not something you can “get used to”; it can only explain your level, and no two days are alike. I am not alone; many have the same MM, bone cancer, or other illnesses. Thus, the forum is to see what is new, and it is sad when one never returns to the site.

Food no longer has a taste; no amount of seasoning can give it more than something like cardboard to chew on and hopefully stop the weight loss (approximately 80 pounds in the last year). Liquids, my taste buds have acquired the like of lemonade. Water is a must to keep the system working.

I have lost my desire to write, work on a book I began before diagnosed, and my journaling has also taken a back seat. My great love of creating a story, characters, and the well of words has dried up. As has my love of creating poetry.

I do not leave my apartment unless it is for a doctor’s appointment. Most of the time, I order groceries online, and my medication is delivered. Sometimes one or both of my sons comes by, or we plan to go out for a meal. Without them, there would be no reason to live.

I have shut myself off from the outside world; nothing any longer exists for me, no pleasure. I have begun to give away my artwork, things I no longer need. I have told my family to take what they want now; there is less to eliminate afterward. I have everything that needs to be done by me; I have never liked “loose ends.”

My last piece of approval is that I have donated my body to the local University of Medicine. There is no cure for MM, and the medicine holds it back. I must try in some way to help solve the mystery of no cure; there is only the waiting game left to play.

I do not need comments about depression, anxiety, or suicide; these have been a part of this journey and will be until the end. I am well aware of these things and also have pills for that. But I appreciate this being one of your thoughts. If you know someone who may be dealing with an illness that causes these things to erupt in their lives. Reach out. Help others if you can. Mental Health is another killer and needs to be faced without shame. We live in a world where mental health is not being taken care of because of the stigma that is put upon it. Be mindful that life begins with the unknown, but never give up on caring for those in need.

I appreciate everyone who commented on my site; every word is welcomed, as I know others in “Blog Land” have been through hard times. I will try to leave a bit of poetry that has already been created now and again. I will try to return with updates if I can do so.

Thank you to those who have purchased my books at Amazon; I hope they will give insight into who I am, as the poetry was created from my mind and heart, out of a life of depression and anxiety.

My love goes out to all of you; I wish you well and hope to touch base with you again.


Politicians Controlling the Masses…#448


War, and evil give politicians a

Stage to communicate fear in every

Port and station along life’s way. To

Be a campaigner for our freedom.

While slowly stealing it away.

We cannot seem to flee these hoarders.

Of lies, they fill the skies and the seas.

With weapons of mass destruction. All

In the name of keeping the people free

Although our Constitution has persevered.

Still filled with worthy laws. It is outdated,

Dilapidated, formed when the country was

A baby, before it could crawl.

The development of a country mighty and

Free is now a nation where those unaware

Of its quandary want to be…while those.

Those who live here at times wish they could flee.

Be wary! Awake, take watch day and night,

What he politicians are pedaling and unreliable

Parents cannot afford to feed their

Families and jobs were sent far away, yet these.

Politicians give themselves raises while

Tearing down this country in any possible


They display beyond the realm of good.

Since giving the masses what they want

To hear. These politicians are trying to make you.

Believe that you have nothing to fear.

Be Wary! If you trust them to be honest

And have your welfare at the top of their

List. Do they have personal debt, are

Their children hungry; no, they live in bliss.

Let us not believe that we have lived this.

Life is hopeless. This is still the greatest.

Country by far, people like you and me

Have the freedom of speech. But, as a

Taxpayer, I am tired of the politician.

Living off the country’s resources like

A blood-sucking leech. Alas, I fear it

Will never change.



2023 is slowly passing me by…#447

Charlotte J Murphree


Flying with Broken Wings is my daughter’s story, who passed on July 13,2010. There is not a day I do not mourn her, the space she occupied continues to be as big as life itself, but a void filled it. Flying with Broken Wings is about the life of Charlotte Jean Murphree. Charlotte was not a famous person; in fact, not many people knew her, but those who did know there were many facets to her life. The book tells of fifty-two years of daily testing of her will to carry on and the misfortune she faced. As a baby and young girl, she was made fun of by schoolchildren, her progress was slow, but she never gave up the fight to overcome her disabilities. As an adult, she fought Cerebral Palsy, Living with Bipolar, Depression, and Schizophrenia disorders. Charlotte lived not only with herself, but she endured the “”Voice”” that lived within her for over thirty years. This book is about her life’s beginning, middle, and end.

The Mental Health Facilities in Alabama were such that there are horrifying movies made of the people and the horror they endured at the hands of short staffing, some never in contact other than for electrical shock treatments. When Charlotte was born, the doctors suggested that I put her in a mental facility, That she would never walk or talk. My hope was to write a book on her life to show those who have children with these disabilities can live a life, a life that is normal as can be for them.

I was nineteen years old, and although my husband wanted to commit her, I refused (a book of my life with a monster is in the works). I took her home. The years were long and hard. At first, she could only crawl; I had her walking by sixteen months. I provided speech lessons for several years, but no one could understand her to accept my daughter sixteen months older. Years of speech lessons.

I contacted all of the Senators and Congressmen in Wisconsin, where we lived. The town I live in, Baraboo, Wisconsin, had a building made for children with her disabilities. Senator Proxmire of Wisconsin was the one who finally answered one of my many letters and/or phone calls. Charlotte went through life with the education level of a twelve-year-old. When God called her home, she was self-sufficient, living in her own apartment for adults with her problems. She lives her life with only the help of a Social counselor, who helps her pay her rent and utilities. She worked daily at Madison’s Yahara House.

Finally, her health problems won the battle, and she died with both physical and mental disabilities. I believe that you will find this book interesting, the challenges she faced from learning to live with three other people living within her mental space for over thirty years.



Post entry by Chuck Murphree – YA Author – Speaker for Mental Health – Special Education in Prairie Du Sac, Wisconsin.

Chuck is the son of Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree

Website below:

Books can be found on line at Amazon, Barnes & Noble.

Books can also be found in most book stores throughout USA and Europe.


I have heard it so many times over the years. A friend calls in need, telling me they are at the brink, their depression and anxiety is overwhelming them, and suicidal ideation often follows.

These are men, strong, some fierce in their abilities, and certainly not fitting into any of society’s stigmas. They just can’t find a way to dig out of the dirty muck of life. Perhaps an event happened that pummeled them to the ground, leaving them bloody at the knees, barely hanging on. Whatever the case, they are at their breaking point. We all have one. Some of us are just fortunate to never reach it or even come close.

I talk to these men, telling them I am here for them, at least I try to be, but I have experience with this. I have lost men dear to me because they too reached the edge and decided to jump. I therefore know I can offer support. I can be a non-judgmental listener. I can share my stories to show them they are not alone, but most of them know that. It’s why they call in the first place. They know I have been to that dark place several times. The entryway to a personal hell where it seems like a rope, a leap, a trigger, a bottle of pills, will take away the pain.

When I recently received a message from an old friend, I became angry. Not at him. No! He is hanging on in a society that often is set up to test and cripple you. My anger was towards the silence. The never ending stigmas. I’m tired. Enraged. I’m saddened by it all because we keep losing people to suicide.

I believe we are making a mistake because talking about suicide makes people uncomfortable and there are many stigmas or guilt surrounding it. My favorite (insert sarcasm) is when people make the person feel guilty that contemplates taking their life by saying, “How could you do that to the people you love?” They like to think that they can guilt someone out of an illness. It’s harmful. Silence is harmful. Don’t you think the person that wants to die would take another approach if they were able?

I believe we are hurting our children by tiptoeing around the subject of suicide. I have been told in schools, sitting at student services meetings or with administration, “We don’t want to trigger anyone.” Well, I’ve got news for everyone, what we are doing is not working. In my community alone, there have been three young people who have killed themselves in the past year. I repeat, what we are doing, our silence, our not wanting to “trigger” anyone, is not working. It’s obvious. Suicide is on the rise. Anxiety and depression is on the rise. It’s time for frank, upfront conversations. People can handle it. Young people yearn for it. They want us to be real. They don’t want a bunch of adults trying to sugarcoat thoughts, ideas, and talk. Young people read into our bullshit. It’s harmful, not helpful. Real talk is needed.

I have written about mental illness. I have shared my stories so people feel less alone. I have been vulnerable for the sake of helping others. I have helped young people by being real, talking about things that would make some school social workers tell me that I was triggering them. Well, it doesn’t. Instead, I hear from them that they needed to hear what was said. They needed me to be real and upfront. They wanted the connection. Boys need to see men being honest and vulnerable.

Most of the time, I feel like my posts, blogs, writings, novels, are not reaching anyone. I feel like I am beating my head against the fucking wall, making myself dizzy, screaming out for anyone to hear in hopes of saving life. I’m exhausted! My first book was criticized for being too upfront about the subject of suicide. My second novel was criticized by some readers because they didn’t like the subject of trauma and sexual assault. What the hell do you think is happening in our world, especially to teenagers.

We are losing the battle when it comes to helping people survive mental illness. We do not have enough therapists, counselors, and psychiatrists to help. Doctors’ only solution is to put people on more meds, hoping to dope them up, masking the real issues. I am not anti-meds. In fact, I take anxiety medication. However, it is not the only solution. We must teach people how to build resilience so that they can live the lives they want and accept the pain with curiosity instead of terror. We need to teach them to work on the problem, build resilience, and not ignore the pain.

My head is sore from the imaginative wall that I am beating it up against. My fingers are bleeding from typing thousands of words, trying to get people to listen, understand, act, and raise their voice to stop what is happening to our society. I am fatigued because it seems like we just keep repeating the idiotic responses that are not working. It’s exhausting. Talking about suicide is not easy, fluffy talk. It’s tough, bare bones, hard talk that should make anyone feel uncomfortable. With that discomfort we will learn to speak the truth and actually take meaningful action.

I cannot stop being an advocate for people that are struggling. I cannot stop until my friends stop wanting to kill themselves. I cannot stop until my students look for a different way to display their fears and darkness besides taking their lives. I cannot stop because I have to speak up for all of those that are battling their minds, and all of those that someday will. No one, I mean no one, is immune to getting depression and anxiety, and no one is immune to one day waking up and questioning if life is worth living.

For now, know that you are not alone. Work on building resilience so that you can weather the storm. And, for all of you that think silence or censoring the truth because it may trigger people, realize that we have been spinning our wheels for years to no avail. Wake the hell up and take a different approach. Lives depend on it!

New Year 2023…#445

Chuck, Elizabeth and Carl Murphree “My Rocks”, My Son’s

Words to Live by…Chief Dan George

Happy New Year to all my faithful followers. Leaving 2022 left me with nothing but gratefulness. A year of Multi Myeloma (bone cancer) behind me and another year with my family. I am grateful for the time I have been given so far. MM is a slow killer. With no immune system, my enemy is getting pneumonia or any infection I could not recover from. I continue with chemo 22 days out of every month. One day of infusion in oncology and 21 days of chemo pills.

I have excellent health insurance that takes care of everything except the chemo pills. These are at an unbelievable cost of $22,000 each month. Yes, you are reading it right, $22,000 per month. I am so fortunate to have a sponsor who provides me with a grant, and the cost to me is zero. Without this grant, I could not take the treatment, and I would not be able to continue living. I am grateful to those who share their wealth with those who cannot afford this medication treatment.

I have continued being independent, living alone, writing, and painting for the past year. I am slower than what would be my regular. Sitting at the computer for less than an hour in each setting, making notes to follow later, or creating a story or poem. I hope to complete my latest project and publish it this year if God is willing.

I have managed to control my pain. I have had an increase in morphine only toward the end of this past year. I try to manage my pain as much as possible; sometimes, I ask for the impossible. I did have to increase the pain medication, and I hope to keep it at that level. I have a high pain tolerance and can take more pain than some.

Each time I go to oncology, I look around at so many who are undergoing the same treatment as I am; this, unfortunately, will never end. The staff are God-sent and have become my extended family. We are all trying to get through another day, and so thankful for an entire year for me.

I have everything in order, and I work at things I can leave behind. Throughout the years, the children and grandchildren have asked for certain things that I have; I have not allowed death to get in my way, but I have given them what they have requested now. The “Now” is so important, to see them enjoy all of these things now while I am still with them. Paintings have been removed from my walls, and Christmas items went this past season. The joy of now gives me pleasure and happiness.

So, I say to you, dear followers and friends, enjoy 2023, and make every moment count; time grows short as we are not promised tomorrow. Please continue to read my blog. Purchase my books filled with poems and stories from my thoughts and heart.



Contemplating By Chuck Murphree

It is a risky exploration when you start asking yourself if your life has had meaning. Through this contemplation, you may start to wonder if others find any meaning in you?

You will look your demons in the eye and ask them for an explanation for your suffering, but then you will realize your question goes on deaf ears.

There will come a time when you will think of leaving everything behind, sparing others of your inner pain that found its way out.

Perhaps, you will gently whisper to the world, “You will not hear from me for a while, yet, I will remain present.”

You will sit and think about the last conversations that you had and did not even know it at the time. The words of those that have died haunt you. However, the ones who remain are the real ghosts because they are still here, somewhere, and the words linger just above your shoulders. You scratch at an itchy brain trying not to forget what they said, what you said.

There will be moments when you will sit with yourself and wonder if being moral and ethical was worth it? It seems like the world doesn’t like a good man. There’s nothing for them to talk about and hate.

Will there be a moment in your life when you see your worth? Will it stand before you and welcome you, or run away scared?

How would you ever have known that the external pain would be worse than what comes from within?

Why does it feel like you are choking every day but the words still come out and the food goes down?

You don’t do it for recognition, but you do have thoughts if people appreciate the time you take to help them with their mental health? Is that selfish for thinking that? You wonder if they realize each time you give to them, it takes away from you and leaves you depleted? Yes, it is selfish. It is why you had to learn to pace yourself and tell some “No” because you need to recharge your empathy. Yet, saying “No” to those that also seek your offering, depletes you even more sometimes. Yes, you are selfish.

Will you run out of reserves? Then what?

Going back to thoughts of worth. It is something you wish you could feel, being worthy of love. The person you love most may sit across from you and tell you they love you, but you struggle to believe them because you struggle to believe yourself.

You are an imposter. That’s what it feels like when you walk into your life each morning.

There are times when you force yourself out the door and into reality, pretending with a smile that you are proficient at what you do, so you smile with confidence. There are moments where you wonder if they see through you, and then you want to be invisible, shrinking into the corners.

Why did anxiety come to you? Perhaps, it was the two-thousand souls that surrounded you in the hallways and you felt responsible for them all and when they had a bad experience. At least, you think that’s when it started. Or maybe, the happenings in your life decided to deplete you all at once? That’s what happens when the box where you compartmentalized everything comes undone. Mental duct tape doesn’t hold forever.

You offered some words to the world, and even though the positive messages came filtering in and should have been enough, it never was. You then wonder if what you have given matters? Is it good enough? You try to hang onto the good reviews, the statements of love and hope, and you grasp with your short fingernails and crooked teeth everything you can to hold onto the moments of enlightenment when a young reader told you that your story had saved them.

Why do you never feel enough? You have an idea where it comes from because it has been with you since you were young, never scoring enough touchdowns or running the race fast enough. The bad marks in red pen. The blowing leaves you left in the yard. The two hours you spent mindfully talking and you were made to feel that it should have been four. The notes you wrote that were temporarily received, but to you they were permanent. The times you told her she was beautiful but it seemed like the words fell to the floor along with the scattered mess you left there. The giving of your soul, even when you placed yourself in the danger of critics with more power than you, but you knew it was the right thing to do. Was anyone else there to pick up the broken pieces or was it taken for granted? The time you created something for those with different skin than you, and everyone came for your blood, on all sides, and you stood and took it all because it was what was good for the youthful smiles that stood with you. When you kept the kids interests first but everyone else kept their own. For all the greetings that weren’t received. For the times you gave and gave and gave but it never felt enough.

Why is it the place you feel most at peace is among the trees, sitting with a good book, contemplating life? Where the sunset between the pines and leaves you whole. “Stay there,” you tell yourself. “Stay and be alone.”

Thank you for reading Chuck’s latest post from:


Please check his site for other interesting post. E. Murphree

A Mother’s Purpose…#442

A Mother’s Purpose: At least The Way Her Son Sees It

Not long ago I was sitting with my mother talking about life. I could see the wandering in her eyes, a sadness that comes to them every so often, one that we both share, and I could see her past had visited her. It’s something that many of us try to understand or comprehend. The past is a trickster in a folklore tale and it likes to sneak up on you to play its games. Even the most mindful souls cannot stop their mind from taking a tour of their personal history.

Memory can be both joyous and brutal. In a moment’s notice it can bring laughter and tears, and sometimes all within the same thought. I have come to terms with my past and now approach it with great curiosity, as I realized it has shaped me into the man I am. I know that I could have easily taken a different road, one that would have led to self-destruction. Instead, I welcome it all, accept the emotions that the memories bring, and then come back to the present moment, realizing it is all I now have.

I sit across from her and ask her how she is doing and has she lived the life she has wanted? My mother and I do not steer clear of deep conversation. We know it is often necessary in order to reflect. I see her eyes grow a little dark, meaning depression has visited and she is trying to work through it. When two people face each other and both share the darkness of depression, you can sense it, feel it, in one another. It can sometimes be a subtle gesture and at other times it becomes absorbed in every pour of your body. That is why most depressives are also empaths.

“I lived the best life I could,” she says.

When someone is dying, I would think it would be natural to reflect on their life and wonder if they lived the life they wanted. It is why I often ask the question now why I am still relatively young and healthy, “Am I living the life I want?”

She continues to talk about her wishes. Her story is hers to tell, but a few things that came from her was wishing she had more education, as she was denied a high school graduation because she became pregnant in a marriage that was, for a lack of better word, forced. She did not see herself living the life she has had, maybe traveling more, having a different career, experiencing romance, and her list went on. As I have said before, it is her story to tell and it is unfolding on a keyboard in a one bedroom apartment, coming from tired fingers and a mind that is intact, and I hope she is finding the courage to tell the truth in its entirety. For writers must tell the truth, even if it is hard for others to read. Otherwise, all the words are compromised, and words need an honest place to live. There is now a sense of urgency for the story to be revealed because when she is gone, it will be what is left, a story for all of us to read and reread. A tale of sorts, where we will have the choice to open ourselves up to her journey or close the pages until we are ready.

I listen to the life she wanted and I find pleasure in picturing her in a different setting with a different experience. And, the thing I find humorous and comforting, is I did not see myself as a part of this other life that she talked about. I was not a thought, nor were my siblings, and I think a mother has a right to that mental freedom, to picture a life lived without the responsibility of being a parent. I enjoyed hearing this and it made me happy for her for a brief moment. It’s not to say she did not want her children, just the opposite, but it was intriguing to hear how she once had different dreams and a different vision for herself. I believe, as she was talking, she may have been searching for purpose or validation for a life that is almost lived to its end.

I offered her a different take on how I see her life and the purpose, and many burdens, that she has had to carry. I simply said, “Perhaps you were here because you were meant to be a mother.” We both paused at this. I continued, “You raised children, and hopefully they are grateful for what you have done for them and the sacrifices that you have made. Hopefully they recognize the abuse that you have endured in order for them to grow into functioning adults. I for one know for a fact, that I would not have survived my childhood without you. You were the one that I looked forward to seeing every time I walked in the door. I needed you to be there and love me. I needed your strength to raise me to be a man. The way I see it, your purpose was to be a mother.”

She simply thanked me for that and seemed somewhat validated as we shuffled out the door for a drive in the country.No words could be created without women. They are the reason why we are all here. For my mother I say this, to never have any regrets. The path that you have taken and the one that you have led your children on was meant to be. Our resilience comes from you and the lessons that you have taught along the way and the ones you are currently instructing us on. You are a teacher, one that engages your pupils with stories, both spoken and written. You are a poet warrior and are showing us what it means to love your children because you are staying here for us, enduring the pain, fighting the war in your body, so that you can leave us with the greatest lesson you have ever taught, and that is that love always endures. Your love will remain long after you are gone and it will carry on for many lifetimes. That has been your purpose, at least from your son’s eyes.