Clarabelle and Shandy got in the habit of going to thrift shops on Shandy’s day off from work, looking forward to the many bargains, often spending time just looking and reminiscing about this and that. “Oh my goodness, Clair, look at his kaleidoscope, it is just like the one I bought Gerald when he was a child, and he loved it so much, he even researched about how they are made and spent a lot of his quiet time looking through the scope, eventually it became a thing, where for gifts we would buy him a new one, until he had quite the collection.”
“Oh, that is so nice, I love that he had such enthusiasm, no doubt your support helped, by getting him new ones to explore and encouraging his doing research, you are such a dedicated mother.”
“He made it easy for me to be his mother, as he always has had that sense of adventure, always looking for the workings behind things, and I think he will do well in whatever he finally decides to do with his education, but there’s this one thing that really sticks in my mind about the kaleidoscopes, something he said, and it really stayed with me.”
“What is that dear?”
“He said, mom, have you ever noticed that a kaleidoscope has such a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes and that makes me think of the world, and how we are all different, but working together, it makes a beautiful thing, this life, it is just amazing.”
And there you have it! This is my Six Sentence Story and you can do one too. Just go to Girlie on the Edge and check it out!
This is my Six Sentence Story, a continuation about Clarabelle and Shandy, which has been a running story for a few weeks. I have not decided if this is the end, but I will see what happens as the week goes by. Perhaps the other story members will call out to me and ask me to tell more about them. Thanks to Denise for putting up with my attempt at serializing this story and for being less than concise. Yes, I push those six sentences to the limit, guilty as charged. So, are you thinking you want to join Denise’s Six Sentence Story blog hop? Well, hop to it by going to this LINK
The Strength of Hope and Faith
Shandy continued with her story about he husband, away, serving in Vietnam, “Clair, I was so religious about writing to Marcus and it would be spurts where I didn’t hear from him, before I would be several letters in one day, so it was just the way it was where he was serving, he was on the front lines and I couldn’t really expect instant letters every day,” Shandy paused, starting to tear up, Clarabelle reached over and patted her hand, and poured another cup of tea for Shandy, “and then the letters slowed down, real slow, sometimes for weeks, and I got really worried that there was something wrong, and then I got a letter from him that there was a bad storm and it was more than difficult to get letters out, so he was okay and, well, I was surely relieved, a lot of the letters he had ready to mail, ended up in a mess of mud and they pretty much had to plow through all the muck to get to a clear path, so those were long gone.”
“Oh, my dear girl, that must have been quite the ordeal for you, as I remember how it was for my family, it sure could be hard to get those letters back and forth, I suppose wars have a way about making it hard, too bad there was no easy way to make a phone call.”
“That’s just the thing, Clair, I did get a phone call from Marcus, he sounded so distraught, and said that he had to take some time to sort things out, and in the meantime, he was put on medic assistance duty, so he could clear his head, although, I will tell you that in a war zone, it’s hard to clear your head in a medical camp, so it was hard for him, but he took to the work, and he did so well with it that they kept him there for the duration, so, you see, that worked out; and when he came back home he decided to pursue medicine and went to school for emergency medical technician training, not really wanting to be a doctor, but an emergency worker, since he found out that was where he did his best work,” pausing to catch her breath, Shandy sipped her tea before continuing, “while Marcus studied, I worked as a waitress, because I was good at it and was not ready to consider going to school or start a family, not until he was solid with his job, so I was able to bring in a lot of tips, because that’s where waitresses make their real money, and we managed well, even if it was tight, but we had our love and it all worked out.”
“That’s an adventure you have had with learning to be patient and survive what must have been one of the most difficult times of your life and look how you came through with helping your husband do well and pursue his goals, for the best of both of you.”
“Thank you, Clair, it was nice, like a real-life honeymoon in a way as we just worked well together, like a team, so after he graduated and was working full-time, I was able to think about my own goals, and that was when I got pregnant, not really planned, but not unwanted either, so there I was pregnant and that’s when things changed, and not for the better, mind you, and I finally got it out of him about his experiences in Vietnam and things he saw, and how he was afraid he would not be a good father; of which I assured him that such a kind soul could be nothing less than a great dad; but he started pulling back, became less affectionate and the nightmares he had were more frequent, they were always about something to do with the war, and I was so afraid for him, knowing it must have been painful to see things and not forget, but I was always there for him, no matter what, and we gradually worked on things with a counselor, I mean, he was invested, for sure, and the counselor helped us get past these things, and when we had our little boy, he was the best father to him, always careful with handling him, and affectionate, like all his worries went away,” pausing for a tissue, the wells of pain flooded and Shandy shook, trembling and collapsed in Clair’s arms, eventually, with the comfort of Clair, Shandy was able to go on, “Marcus was the best father to our son, Gerald, and loved him until his last days, as, Marcus had a heart attack while he was working on a run and he did not make it, and it turned out he may have had a heart condition, but at that point, we just knew that he was gone and Gerald and I carried on, as best as we could, Gerald was 19 when his father passed away and he is doing well with college, but when he decided to go away to school, I decided I needed to get away from all the memories and moved to Iowa, so while the war did not ruin us, life had another plan, and I rely on the presence of his spirit to keep Marcus alive, but, to tell you the honest truth, I just could not longer live in a town where we made many happy memories, so just like my dad live after he lost mom, I moved.”
“Sweetheart, life surely does turn things around unexpectedly, but it looks like you are a get on up and get to it kind of person, look at how you have done with your life, you serve others, you are compassionate, you have a strength which is calm, yet mighty, and I certainly do understand the desire to move to new memories, as I had to do similar when I lost Herbie, I could no longer live in the house we made into a home, so I made a move to an apartment, and now, my dear Shandy, I have a beautiful, inside and out, friend, and we are not that much different, just in age, but not much different in clarity, we will plow through life and find that at the end of the road, is a heap of heap of muck, but that muck is what we have to go through to find the treasures.”
“He came across the ocean, I suppose you could say,” Clarabelle explained to her friend, Shandy, “that’s how I met Herbie, a proud man of the Navy, you know they really do remain close, after all these years, Herbie’s old crew still keeps me up on the latest news about their lives; when I lost Herbie, those fellows could not do enough for me,” and both ladies had pools of tears welling up.
“Oh, that makes me think of my own love, the one that got away; he wasn’t in the Navy, but his work called him away quite often and he was hard to reach. You know I said he’s the one that got away, but I sent him away. He was nice enough, but he had one problem, he was already married and did not give me that detail until I found out on my own.”
Patting Shandy’s hands, Clarabelle sat beside her, in her lounger, “Shandy, dear, there are plenty of roads we choose in life and plenty of roads that get chosen for us. I like to look at the results more than the process, because the results are what we live with, and I like to think that my results are amazing. And look at us, if I had not been so overwhelmed that day in the diner, we may have never become friends, and I like those results.”
“Great and marvelous are thy works, o Lord of hosts, almighty God…,” were the words flowing from Clarabelle as she sat beside Herbie’s hospital bed, he smiled and held her hand, listening to her angelic voice, much like the clink of the crystals hanging from the doorway, gentle, yet powerful.
“He’s going to be just fine, ma’am, he just had a little stress, but his heart checked out fine,” the doctor patted Herbie on the shoulder, “now, you do need to stop that smoking, it’s only fair of me to mention, as it is slowing you down,” Herbie nodded and looked over at Clarabelle and winked.
The doctor left the room, Clarabelle looked in her husband’s eyes and held his hand, “you know, honey, it’s important to listen to what the doctor said, I, uh,” tears rolled down her cheeks and Herbie’s eyes watered.
Squeezing his wife’s hand, Herbie spoke, through choked back tears, “Clair, we are going to do this together, I know what I need to do and as hard as it is gonna be, it’s gotta be done,” to which Clarabelle nodded and arose from her seat.
“Many are called for great things, love, and you were called to be with me and while I am not a great thing, I need to tell you, I need you in my life, Herbie, and there’s no two ways about it, I marvel at God’s gift to us, and sure don’t want to take it for granted.”
Often, Herbie thought his wife should start preaching, because her words would stick with him better than any person at the pulpit, reaching for her hand, he gave it a squeeze, “honey, we have this covered, no matter what, and that is that, you are the greatest thing to ever happen to me.”
Herbie pulled up in the old grey Dodge, “Bird” as named by his best friend, George; Turning the handle on the garage, he pulled up the door and went inside, scuffing into his workshop, and placed his worn tool bag on the bench, all the while thinking about what might be going on with him, coughing so much and feeling such a hard time with breathing; lighting up another one of his unfiltered he took a draw and slowly blow a stream of smoke before another hack came on, “these damn things are getting the best of me, maybe I oughta give them up,” he snuffed the butt since there was some more left for later and closing the garage door, he went inside the house.
Scents of cinnamon and apples greeted Herbie before he could enter the house and he smiled, knowing his dear wife, Clarabelle, had made his favorite dessert of apple pie; opening the door, he saw her standing at the stove, unaware he entered; easing up behind her, but being ever so careful she was not in danger of getting burned he reached around her waist and gave her a squeeze and a peck on her warm, red cheek, to which she giggled and said, “hi, honey, how was your day?”
“It was pretty good, we got old man Fletcher’s barn door fixed and I don’t think he’ll have any escaped cows anymore, ‘course that’ll mean no more cream for us when we rescue another stray, but that’s okay.”
“Well, we will be okay without so much free cream; my hips are getting too wide as it is.”
“Clair, my love, you know I love your hips and everything they’re attached to, so don’t you go talking that silliness, as long as we stay healthy, we have no worries,” patting her hips, letting out another hack, Herbie excused himself and went to the bathroom to wash up for supper; it looked like chicken and dumplings, and that was a good enough reason to scrub extra hard.
Tending to the chicken and dumplings, Clarabelle thought to herself, I hope he will be open to going to the doctor for that cough, there is not enough whiskey honey to solve that problem, and she felt her eyes water and felt she was being watched, just then she turned around and there he was, on the floor, passed out from lack of breath; she quickly called an ambulance and stayed by his side, and when they arrived, they could get him to breathing, but took him in to the hospital, assuring Clarabelle, that they would do all they could to help him and she grabbed her purse and took off right behind them, with prayers that her faith, unfiltered, would carry him through, and she believed it did.
And there you have it! This is my Six Sentence Story for this week! Would you like to join us? Go to this LINK and check it out!