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The Cereal Bowl Series No. 10

. . . and the end of joy may be grief. (Proverbs 14:13 ESV)

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Absolution

A lattice screen separated them.

Mother, I don’t want to confess today. I’ve confessed the same things for over fifty years now. I just came because you asked me to, remember? Can I ask you a question, Mother? Did you ever want to have children?

Do you remember that I almost had a baby? I lost her in Kansas City. I buried her deep inside me after that. Soon after that, I ran away from that place you sent me. I hitch hiked to St. Louis, and lived under the bridge with other lost babies.

Compassionate women would bring us soup and socks in the winter. One of them offered me a job at an adoption agency, as a housekeeper at their home for unwed mothers. She helped me apply for aid, and I went to school to become a counselor. And eventually, I helped other mothers either keep their babies or give them to another mother who couldn’t have her own babies.

Mother, I’ve saved so many babies by helping them find homes of their own. But I never did have any babies in St. Louis, not of my own.

Can I tell you something else, Mother? Every baby I ever held in my arms, I pretended they were my own, before I gave them away.

Mother . . . I miss you.

She knelt next to the lattice screen and placed an old tin can next to the porch, where her Mother used to sit snapping green beans on a summer night. There was exactly fifty-six dollars in the can.


4 thoughts on “The Cereal Bowl Series No. 10”

  1. What a trip this has been! (Literally and figuratively.) The storm changing your plans and your “rolling” with it, the unplanned long rest stop to start it off, then the impromptu travel that followed, the photo journaling of storm aftermath, bicycle adventures, and on top of all that the art, and this poignant story! Wow. I’ve really enjoyed being along for the ride. (And it isn’t even done yet!) Thanks for all the good stuff you’ve shared, Kel.

    1. Sylvia- Reading your synopsis of the past few weeks has me in awe of the Author of Life! I’m doing this one day at a time, so looking back through your eyes fills my heart with gratitude. I was just thinking today of how much we have experienced and how we do still have an abundance of goodness ahead as we continue to live on the Intuition. It also warms my heart to know that our story brings joy to you…I appreciate your camaraderie via the blogosphere and our shared faith and love of writing and creativity.

  2. I went back to review what this story was about. I did not realize that you started this before this year. I find it interesting that your characters have made this jump in time. I had one picture of this girl, now this installment has me rethinking my view of her. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Cecelia- I am glad you went back to read the whole story…I think I will post it in its entirety because it is a work in progress…it’s a short story not a novel, so it is always hard for me to decide how much detail to include…I probably could have extended some of it, but for now I am happy with my efforts with writing fiction for the first time in a long time. Let me know if you think the shift in time was too abrupt, because sometimes it’s hard to see from the writer’s perspective how the story will affect the reader. 🙂 Thanks for faithfully encouraging me, Cecelia!

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