“Bake A Cake Darling!”

picjumbo.com_HNCK4124Some of this is based on real life, but mostly fiction.

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 A daughters words to her mother

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I know you always taught me there was no such thing as ghosts or spirits in limbo – all rubbish you said.  But now you’re gone, and I’m alone, it’s kind of there – the need to say something, to speak to you one more time.  Just my voice now, no replies from you, no chatter, gossip or argument.  Just me, spilling words, breaking the silence of the empty rooms.  Silence is the worst part.  The silence – is too loud.

The day you died, the clock in the hall stopped.  The microwave packed up, the roof began to leak – and that damn rat is back again, rummaging, scratching in the loft, for woodlice, or something.  It’s as if the house understands, it will never see the day when you walk through the front door again.  It’s failing, because you’re not here.  But you’d be pleased to know – I’m OK Mum.

Your garden is missing you as much as I am.  It’s not been itself.  It needs your green fingers, to love it into shape.  The weeds are learning freedom they’ve never known.  They spread a little further each day.  They are strong, no longer content with a corner of the garden, they want it all.  Like illness wanted you, gradually moving from one corner to the next, until you were consumed, no longer my Mother.  You looked a bit like her, sounded similar, but not quite all of her.  Just a tiny piece remained, enough to allow me to believe you might still be there.  But you weren’t – not really.

At night when I close my eyes, I see visions of you.  Your little pale face looking up at me from those big white hospital pillows.  Serene, but lost.  Like an angel with thoughts and beliefs falling apart, no longer sure such things as angelic beings existed.

There was something you wanted to tell me.  You tried a few times, but the words never really came out.  You had no voice at all some days, just pointed your weak thin fingers, gesturing to areas in the room, items you could no longer reach.  Behind those colourless eyes, you were furious, at the one responsible for taking away everything you ever had, and you couldn’t even name who it was.  Some days you just smiled.  That smile you reserved for me, stroking my face, smoothing my hair.  And like you always did in a time of crisis, said in your faint thin voice, “Don’t look so worried darling – it will all be OK.”  This time, I knew that wasn’t true.

I too had no voice most of the time.  And there were things I wanted to say.  My lack of speech – just fear.  Fear of hurting you with words, when all you needed was kindness.

The last few hours of your life, sitting by your bed, I watched you in your endless sleep, and drift far from me.  An image of you replayed, a memory of childhood days.  Me, five years old, at the fairground, looking down at you from high on a Ferris Wheel.  I rose to the top, instead of looking at the stunning view, I looked down, and saw you.  Standing so still, surrounded with all those mixed fairground sounds clashing in the air.  I saw something unexpected – a beautiful woman, scared of heights and Ferris Wheels.  Lonely, intimidated by the world she lived in.

You stared into a vacant space.  As though a single woman, childless, with not a soul in this world to confide in.  To speak of the husband who wasn’t the man you wanted him to be.  To say the life you had, was not the one you’d dreamed of.  You appeared so small, down there.  Waiting patiently, for the funfair ride to return your golden child.  And I wondered, if that was what it would be like when death comes.  That we could look down at our loved ones, and watch them wait. But, wait for what?

The wheel turned, brought me to ground level.  I waved to you, and you gave me your best smile, and waved back – you were happy Mum again.  But on returning to the top, no longer in your sight, once more I watched you become the lonely one.  It was the first time I saw you as a woman, not as ever capable supermum.  You were a woman who didn’t know who she was.  I never saw it again.  It seemed on ground level, eye to eye, I could only see Mummy.

You always searched for the bright side, shunned the dark, the pain driven lives of others around you.  Lived your life to serve your man, and your child.  Keeping us loved, protected from everything you didn’t want us to see.  When Dad started showing symptoms, his body ugly and failing, you said, “He’ll be alright darling, your father’s a strong man!”  But that was just it, he was – just a man.  And his man strength got up and left.

You buried yourself in all kinds of trivial hobbies, to forget those horrible days.  Baking endless cakes in the kitchen, and never spoke another word about the ending of you and him.  The loss of the imperfect man.  The one you loved so much, but like a thorn to you, tore at your skin for so many years.  I know he didn’t mean to.  His heart was good. His intentions – many.  But reality was something else.

I hear that rat scratching.  It scales the inside of the cavity wall.  Up it climbs, until it reaches the top, pushes through a gap and hops onto the rafters.  Scampering at lightening speed across the attic.  It’s big now you know, not a little mouse thing.  It’s grown since you were here – sounds more the size of next doors cat.  How it squeals like a kitten, screeches like a bat.  God, it’s annoying!  You thought it had left.  It knows you’re gone.  It’s back!  The house is quiet now, permission has been granted – it’s an unpaid lodger.

And what am I to do with this house of yours?  This capsule of memories.  Rooms, cupboards, boxes and a shed full of odds and ends.  Stuff of life that everyone believes they need, until they leave this earth.  Left behind for the foolish possessors of this stupid world, the ones who think they’ll have some use for it.  Let them have it!  Let them revel in all your lovely old stuff.  Hold it tightly to their human flesh – precious things.  And one day they too, will leave it all to another fool.

All these shelves full of ceramic mugs and jugs and china ladies, candle holders, picture frames and plaques inscribed with The Best Mum In The World.  Why?  What did I need to buy those for?  To tell you I loved you?  I didn’t need to gift the words to you in trash. Trinkets you had no use for other than to run a duster over them, to be reminded I told you my love was real.  Shouldn’t a hug, a kiss, and the words I love you Mum have been enough, for the woman who gave me life?  How can material gifts with jolly phrases compete with that?

Don’t worry Mum, these tears I cry – they are not a sign I cannot cope.  They don’t say that life is dead without you.  Because in your death, you brought me life.  The day your light went out, mine switched on.  This world is a different place now.  And I’ve learnt what tears are really for.  Not for hurt, anger or resentment.  They are to mark a profound moment.  Pain or joy – it will be remembered.  To show where I have been.  Taking me forward, leaving yesterday where it belongs.

I thought of things you used to do.  Made plans to discover them all.  They had meant nothing while you were alive, your activities, were your pastimes, not mine.  After you were gone, they became strangely attractive.  And the desire to walk in your hobby shoes was all I could do.  I’m still wearing those shoes, they fit me well.

I started with the sea.  How much you loved the ocean.  The soft sand under bare feet, the echo of seagulls calling.  I went alone, to your favourite beach.  Let the wind blow my hair to pieces.  Untangle the emotional cobwebs.  I hoped maybe you followed me there, and would know I wasn’t sad.  Did you see the smile arriving, changing the shape of my face?

When the summer came to a close, and frost settled on the ground, I bought tickets to shows of every kind.  Shakespeare, the ballet, pantomime, and even a human circus.  I arrived at those venues like an excited child.  As though we had gone together.  I didn’t notice I was on my own.  And you did see that smile on my face, didn’t you?

I read all your old letters you’d sent to me.  A great big stack bound together with string.  I never could throw them away.  All your beautiful handwritten words of encouragement and love, every word – magic.  When my eyes fall on those hand penned words, they sort me out every time.  They might look like a pile of rubbish to anyone else, but to me, at each reading, it’s like seeing them all new.  I learn something different every time.

The things you said to me, you were were absolutely right.  You knew me better than I’ll ever know myself.  And yes, I cried many good tears until the words blurred, and the paper was damp and wavy – and I hoped you were busy – somewhere, so you wouldn’t have seen that.

One morning, I felt you standing right there in my kitchen.  I thought, if you had been there in the flesh, what would you say?  “Bake a cake darling!” I heard you whisper.  So I opened your cook book, the one you spent a lifetime creating all yourself.  I baked your favourite bread, your cakes, biscuits and pies.  I filled the entire house with the warm aroma of your favourite recipes.

After that, it didn’t matter so much you weren’t here.  Pain was restrained, held back, fading fast.  A piece of you remained.  It was just hiding within.  And I laughed, at the thought of you living in me.

In your life you gave me all you owned, devoted your whole self.  And your death has taught me to live.  There must be a sweet satisfaction that your little girl has become the person you always wanted her to be.  I hope that keeps you smiling for all eternity.  Whatever eternity is, wherever your gentle soul resides.

And the rat?  I wanted to get rid of him.  Couldn’t see why that scruffy flea ridden thing should be living here, while you’re not.  But I remember you once said to me, “Leave him be, he’s only visiting – we’re all just visitors sweetheart!”

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Picture:  Victor Hanacek (Picjumbo)

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53 thoughts on ““Bake A Cake Darling!”

    1. That’s really very lovely of you, and also very encouraging to me in my writing! This was to some extent based on what I have been through in recent years, but not everything in it is factual. And I’m glad it came across to you as moving, at least I know I haven’t failed! Thank you for that! 😀

      1. Your captured the essence of living in a world that gives us finite timelines, where even the strongest succumb to physical decay. Yet, it is the spirit that resides within that keeps us ever mindful of generosity of those who come into our lives to share our journey. I always look forward to your posts.

    1. Thank you Yuriy, that’s very sweet of you! 🙂 I’m not sure where my thinking is on an afterlife, I think my jury is still out on that one, and may be for a while! But I do know one thing – there is always so much more to know in this world. I try not to look at it in black and white like I used to. Leaving room to learn more, even if it takes a lifetime! And there is nothing better than eating a slice of a very well made cake for afternoon tea!!! 😀

      1. It’s always better to go on with the thoughts like these. I completely completely and absolutely absolutely share your ways in this case. I pack a few things in this case : ) and put on my magic spectacles on the acumen nose to walk where my popping eyes indicate to and then I remove a chocolate from my pocket to enjoy this promenade along the winding road. : ) Were you really with me we’d have a lot of fun together. : ) I do understand the above life-story so that to do what our mothers and fathers and all wished and wish to have from it.

  1. I’m a day late, My apologies. You’ll have to pardon while I wipe the tears from my eyes. Then I think I might need a giant hug. Sigh….Are you sure we can’t have tea and sit for a day or 7 and chat. I lived this remembering for some many reasons I’ll not go into. Thank you for sharing such a gift,
    always.
    Benjamin Michael

    1. Oh no, don’t apologise! I only put this up last night, it takes a while for it to collect views, I certainly don’t expect it to be read instantly! There is so much to read here on WordPress, I kind of feel a little guilty posting ‘long’ stories, adding so much more for people to read. Short posts are more favoured and poetry is fairly easy to read. But if I don’t put up the stories, I won’t be achieving what I set out to do – poetry was a sideline to the writing of a novel. It would be a bit like you creating a quick rough sketch like painting, instead of slowly building your painting and eventually showing us the finished result!! 🙂 We have to be who we are – and you are doing well Benjamin despite your battles! 🙂

      Thank you so much for what you’ve said here, and I’m really glad you identified with it, because that’s the kind of writing I want to do, even if it stirs emotion – sometimes emotion needs a stir every now and then. But some don’t like it, because they are fearful of too much emotion. But I guess there is not much I can do about that. Some of this story is fiction, but actually most of it is real, just slightly rearranged! My mum said to me when I was a teenage frustrated wannabe writer “maybe when you are older, you will have more life experience, and something worthwhile to write about.” How right she was! But painfully, I had no idea, and neither did she that it would be her departing this life that would cause me to learn to write – for real! But some good always comes out of adversity! And my Mum died over ten years ago now, so I’m certainly OK in my mind! 🙂

      Tea over the internet – and cake maybe! Perhaps WordPress will create a virtual experience (a bit like Second Life) a social gathering room for all the bloggers – to have tea and cake – that would be a laugh!!! 😆

  2. Although beautifully written I found this very hard to read, I lost my mum 10 years ago this August and it still feels like yesterday. I often wonder when the pain and sense of loss will go but maybe I just need to learn to look at things in a different and more positive way. Maybe reading this is the first step I needed to take. 🙂

    1. It’s interesting you should say that, because I was wondering, how this was going to be received, if some may find it too much to read. A while back I actually started a novel with a theme similar to this, but written in a different way. And it’s been on hold a while, as I concentrate on other options, because I don’t have a clear enough idea on how popular a novel about someone recovering from a death would be, and if a publisher would see it as something they would want to publish. I know it’s been written about before, but I’ve never been impressed with where the stories go. Doesn’t do a lot for you if you are in that real place at the time of reading it, and the fiction you are reading is really not feeding your mind, helping you to sift through your own thoughts, and move on in life. That’s the kind of book I was looking for when I was in that place – I never found it. 😦

      I really did do a lot of the things I mentioned in this story just after my Mum died. I remember being very aware that I had two roads before me, one was really bad and dark, and other was life, to not focus too much on the missing aspect, but try to and live out aspects that she had left me with. I know when you hear people talking like that (over positive) it can sound really stupid, and very trivial. Sometimes it’s best to just get on with it, and share your experience with others later!

      I do still miss my Mum, and also my dad (died 5 years ago) and have tearful moments when the memory of them both suddenly seems very real. But that’s quite normal, and we shouldn’t hold back from letting emotion out. It’s like a tap, and some people need to turn it on and let it flow more than others! 🙂

      I’m very impressed that you have read this despite it making you feel uncomfortable, a lot of people wouldn’t push themselves to do that! But if something is too uncomfortable, then don’t push yourself too far, and read too much of it, it’s not always the best thing.

      I hope you find that way of thinking, whatever it is you need, to help you move on, and feel that sense of loss diminishing a little more, that would be a good day when that arrives for you. I’m wishing you all the best in finding that soothing place in your mind – if I could give a piece of mine, I really would, if only it was that easy!
      Suzy 🙂

  3. I think that Benjamin’s words are a good indication of just what an impact your powerful writing can have.
    Suzy, you’ve changed me with this piece.

    I’ve just printed this page, placed it in my desk, and will likely read it many times more.

    1. Powerful writing! That’s a lovely compliment – I don’t really see myself as a powerful personality, in writing or otherwise, and in a way I find that a little scary, because if it that’s how some of my writing is viewed, it leaves me baffled, because I don’t know where it could have come from! But I suppose none of us can view ourselves or the things we create in the way that others see it, and we never will. If we could stand outside ourselves and view our own beings, we would see something very different to what we see from the inside – might not always be good of course! Could be a Mr Scrooge moment!!

      I’m not sure how this has changed your thinking – but it sounds good anyway! 😀

  4. Thank you for your kind thoughts, I lost dad too, 8 years ago. I do need to move on as, if I let it, I find the sense of loss so overwhelming at times. Although there is no time limit on grief there must be a time limit on how long you, personally, will allow something to eat away at you. It is my life now and I need to embrace their lives not relive their deaths.

    🙂

  5. Suzy, this is a wonderfully moving piece!

    It brought back so many memories of mum and my relationship with her.

    “And I laughed at the thought of you living in me” – that is exactly how it still is for me after 16 years. My chidrwn often say to me things like “youre saying just what nana would say”.

    Wherever your mum’s soul resides, she is definitely there with you, and always will be; I am sure of it. I know mine is.

    Christine 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Christine! 🙂 Yes, this is one of my very ‘real’ stories. Some new ones in the future may not be though! So many people believe so many things on where someone is after death. I have to say – I’m kind a little blank on the answer to that now days, but there are many times when I feel my Mum and my Dad in one way or another, and yes, sometimes things I say, or something I do in a particular manner, and it’s like they’ve just arrived (in me!) It seems we can’t escape the DNA, the habits formed – whatever it is, our loved ones never really go away for good! 😀

    1. Oh – thank you, that means a lot! 🙂 This is a very personal story, but not everything in here is real. But the bit about seeing her from a Ferris Wheel is real, bizarre that I could see that much about my parents at such a young age, and that I can remember it like it happened yesterday! The later bit about me going to the beach the theatre, and the baking of cakes were all aspects of creative things I did, to stop my mind going on a terrible downward spiral. My Mum suffered some horrible days towards the end of her life, and was not treated with the proper care in hospital that she and many others in this world deserve. I didn’t cover that in this story, because it would have been horrific and very inappropriate for the story too. It was difficult to get all that negative stuff out of my mind at the time, so starting to live my life in a better way was a good place to begin, and to be a single woman again and happy, not caught up in a miserable relationship – her death was a good wake up and shake up for me!

      It’s strange how many people have been touched by this story, I really didn’t see it as having that effect on anyone. I posted it on Jottify too, and it had the same effect. I remember my Mum, saying to me when I was 19, and struggling to think of anything worthwhile to write about, that maybe when I was older, I would have lived more of life and would have some experiences to write about. That’s so painfully true now! And of course she knew – she was in her early 50’s when she said that, she knew I was still just a baby, and I would have to wait a while for those stories of life to happen. My writing today, has everything to do with her, and her death just forced it out of me! Bright things often come out of the dark places of life, if we look hard enough for them! 😀

    1. Thank you for reading Geo! I was a little concerned not many would read this due to it’s length – so much to read on WordPress, and sometimes so little time. But it’s lovely to see I was wrong! And thanks for the feedback – it’s been very encouraging! 😀

  6. Wow, this is just beautiful, Suzy, and hits home for me, as I lost my Mom a year ago. And the funny thing was that her favorite hobby was baking and I share the same passion…just like Mom…thanks for sharing your beautiful memories, humor and tears…
    Lauren

    1. One year ago! That’s very fresh in your mind – I’m amazed you were able to read this in the way you have, and taken something good from it! The death of my Mum was mainly what caused me to teach myself to write – it’s been a long journey, but a good one! So it means a lot to me that others like yourself can relate to this. And thank you very much for your lovely compliments! 🙂 I feel that’s what writing is for, people of the world relating to each other, and in some ways it’s a comfort to know we all suffer the same pain, and sometimes are lucky to share the same joy too! And home baking is the essence of the warmth and comfort of home, and a mothers love – children never forget those moments of coming home from school with the aroma of their mothers baking! And I’m very glad to hear you have the passion for baking living in you too!

      And I hope your mind will be comforted Lauren in whatever way you may find to do that, so the pain of losing your mother will begin to diminish very soon. 🙂

      1. I know she’s in a better place and not ill or suffering, so that brings peace. But, there are still days when I think of calling her to say “hello” and realize I can’t do that…It’s also been hard on my Dad. They’re a bit older, she was 90 and he is 93, still driving and doing okay, but after 67 years of marriage, misses her terribly. It’s been hard worrying about him…but, that’s part of life and we move on, which is what he’s done. But, he visits her at the cemetery and talks to her and I’m sure that is comforting for him…I don’t mean to bore you with my family troubles, but thanks for listening! 🙂

        1. No – not boring at all Lauren! 🙂 Those aspects of our lives are very important, and we all have to face them at some point. Your dad is doing very well to cope at 93! That’s a huge adjustment to make at any age, but after 67 years together it must be very difficult to get used to being one person instead of two!

          Our minds are made to make connections, and when those connections are no longer there, the workings inside try to make new ones. So it’s not surprising he visits the cemetery and talks to her, or that you think of calling to speak to your mum! I used to get that too, it does disappear after a while, you get used to the gap, and the gap isn’t a gap after a while, just a memory. 🙂

    1. Haha! Thank you! 😆 I was scratching my head as to how to end this, and then it just came to me, that a line like that could be ideal. There’s nothing worse than a story, long or short that doesn’t wrap up well at the end. But can be difficult to get right sometimes!
      Suzy 😀

    1. Saying deep appreciative thoughts directly to a loved one or friend can be very difficult for a lot of reasons – I certainly don’t think you’re alone in not being able to say what you feel to your dad!

      I managed to convey something to my dad in a letter that I’d not realised when I was a child, about a difficult angry time he went through, where I had not understood the reasons for it all. It did a lot for him, what I’d said in that letter, and it would have been too emotional to have said it face to face. I’m so glad I did, he was unwell, but wasn’t dying at the time, but he did die about six months later. I think I just got lucky there, and squeezed what needed to be said in at the right moment!

      Thank you so much for reading this and your lovely comment. 🙂 I hadn’t thought of this as being poetic – so thank you for that! And I really hope you do get a chance to say whatever you need to say to your dad.
      Suzy 😀

  7. This made me cry. I wonder how you could write so beautifully using a smooth flow of words and thoughts. I could almost see the scenes you described there. The pain, the feelings are all well depicted. Absolutely loved this one!

    1. I’m responsible for making so many people cry reading this!! I really should be more careful with my choice of words, sometimes powerful is more effective than emotional, but maybe with this one it is right, as it is an emotional subject to start with. I’m thrilled that you pointed out the smooth flow of words and thoughts! 🙂 It’s not easy to get that right, and I’ve been teaching myself for about eight years now, to get the point over in a smooth manner in speech or prose. I don’t read very many fiction books, but the ones I do read, I choose because of their wonderful style of writing, because what goes in will come back out! I love to read writing, that if spoken just falls off the tongue with ease, and I’m constantly learning more about how to achieve the best result . So that really means a lot for you to say that, thank you so much!!
      Suzy 😀

  8. This was beautiful and powerful! I loved it! You could take this an all your short stories and make it into a book, which you could upload for free downloads, just like I did mine. 😉

    1. Thank you Patricia, really kind of you! 🙂 I’m not sure what I want to do with them at the moment. I’m kind of just enjoying creating them for the blog, but I may well do that at some stage when I have a few more of them. Thanks very much for the idea and encouragement!! 😀

    1. Thank you! 🙂 This was originally a poem, but I really didn’t like it, felt more needed to be said to be real! And I think this one is the most liked from my stories so far, I suppose the emotion helps people to connect.
      Suzy 🙂

  9. Heartfelt doesn’t begin to describe what I just read. Ms Suzy, this writing was amazing! It took me on a catharsis of feeling. I was able to feel the love you felt for your mom. I was able to see you baking. She sounded like an amazingly wise woman. Thank you so much for sharing this writing. It really blessed me. It made me think of my Granny. How I love that woman. 🙂

    1. Ah yes, my Mum taught me some great basics about baking cakes and all kinds of cooking, and considering her own mother was a bit of a disorganised mess when it came to baking cakes and preparing meals, and she herself didn’t know more than how to boil an egg when she married my Dad – all self taught, she really was amazing! 🙂 And we do miss those who have given us so much, but we are who we are today because of them, and I find some comfort in that now, instead of focusing too much on the missing – but it gets to me sometimes, and that’s human, so that’s OK!

      Well, thanks very much Alisha, I did really try hard with this one, it was originally a poem with a rhyme that I had written years ago, and as I moved on with my writing I liked the ideas within it but hated the way I’d written it. So instead of trashing it, I thought of turning it into a short story – I rarely waste a bad piece of writing. And sometimes a short story becomes a poem, I just get a feeling as time goes by if it’s working or not. It’s good to turn a dull heavy bit of lead into shining gold!! 😀

    1. I think you picked the longest piece to read on here, that means a lot Marnie, and thank you very much for reading my work, and for your wonderful compliment, you’re very kind! 🙂 I’m more of a story writer than a poetry writer really, although looking at this blog I’m sure most people wouldn’t guess that! 😉 But I love poetry too!

      How the writing reads is very important to me, I’ve been working on that for years, and still working on it. And writing about those subjects that have been painful is helpful for my mind, good to get them out. This is a bit of a mixture of fiction and a painful memory, more reality than I first realised when I wrote it. Your feedback is really helpful to me and very much appreciated! 😀 xx

  10. This is a very emotional writing. Of You And Your Mom. It’s beautiful Ms Suzy!!! I feel a mixture of sad and happy emotions. Thank you for the memories… Makes me think of my grandmother.

    1. Thank you very much Alisha, and thanks for the retweet for this too! 🙂 It is very much fiction this story, but quite heavily based on pieces of my mother. I do that with most of my stories, they’re always a mixture of reality and fiction. I’m glad it reminded you of your grandmother though, it’s always good to hear that someone can relate to some part of the story, that’s what writing is about for me – sharing all those little moments and sometimes very precious unforgettable ones! 🙂

      1. You are ao very welcome Ms Suzy!!! It was my pleasure to retweet you!! Yes Ma’am, I was able to relate mothers, and grandmothers are so very sweet and caring. I remember when my grandmother passed many years ago, we were extremely close. I wrote a poem to honor her. It never fails even today when I write about a grandmother/mother figure I picture her cooking. She had the best cornbread dressing you ever want to taste. Lol Oh, how I miss her. But one thing is for sure, we will always have our memories Ms Suzy!! Thank you for your response. Sorry, for my late response, In route to take my little boy to karate!!! My Beautiful Friend, I hope you have a blessed evening.

    1. Thank you so much Ken! 🙂 I almost forget about this little story sometimes! It reminds me I should write some more of those short stories. It’s a satisfying feeling to get one completed. I never seem to have much time to write longer pieces now, but I do have one about memories of childhood on a beach, very different to this story, I’m hoping to post that in the near future. Thank you for finding this Ken! 🙂

  11. It made me want to stop reading
    It made me cry and
    then it made me smile.
    My emotions ebbed and flowed with the words.
    That is powerful.
    Very beautifully written!
    Hope you got all the hugs and shoulders you needed at the time.

    1. Wow, that’s a lot of emotion for one short story, but I’m glad it had that effect, it’s the kind of writing I like to read, something that grabs my emotions! Thank you so much for letting me know, that’s very kind of you. And so sorry for the delay in replying, have been finding it difficult to get the time to reply to so many messages and emails in different directions – slowly getting there!! 🙂

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