i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart) …
e. e. cummings
Thanks to Sarah Thebarge, author of The Invisible Girls, for encouraging me to ask this question: “What stories do I carry with me in my heart today?”
Here’s one I told my friend Luke Olney last week. He urged me to share it with you, too. My childhood wasn’t perfect. No one’s is. But I am blessed to have many beautiful, loving mental snapshots like this one. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for being the kind of parents I still want to tell other people about.
Tornado siren wails.
We run to cool basement
hear his footsteps on the landing
smell his Lifebuoy scent
know we are safe.
his car on gravel driveway
picnic on the kitchen table from his dinner bucket
iced coffee better than finest champagne.
Best paying job: switchboard operator
reading volumes of classics and best sellers
while train cars moved in and out of the yard
watching other miners go below
expecting them to return to the washhouse each night
saying good-bye to those who never did.
Sacrifices made: night shift
missing little girls nestled on his lap to hear a story
stealing kisses after midnight
digesting best sellers with his snack of milk and crackers
sleeping when the world was awake
paychecks allocated before received
coal dust layered on clothing, cars, hands, lungs.
Bits of self and chunks of dreams
abandoned at the mine
20 years given to Old King Coal
at Old Ben No. 9.
Laura Warfel is a widow, writer, and follower of Jesus Christ. Her greatest joy is to bring others along with her on her faith journey. In 2015, because of the encouragement of the Launch Out Conference and Jon Acuff, she launched More Than A Widow on Facebook and Twitter. Today she blogs, tweets, and posts to help widows (and those who know them) find encouragement, hope, and resources for the journey. Her goal is to help all widows live beyond the label and live as more than a widow.
Copyright © 2017 by Laura Warfel