This is the Best Blog Post of 2011

I am going to make this short, sweet and not too wordy.  Like I said, I have circled my wagons a bit.  This writer has turned me around in more ways than one, but this time she really caused me to deeply reflect.  I love her for doing this, and she always makes me think…However there are times like now, when I kick to recluse mode and just hide in the Bat Cave.  Before I hide for a while, I just want to say that this is, by far, the best post I have read all year.

It deals with losing her grandmother and the way she shares her memories  of her totally rocks!  This is a post that is timeless! Please read it!

Please read it, and drop her a line!  She is really one cool lady!

Signing Off for Now…

I am going through a period of self-reflection at this moment.  It is something that I must do on my own.  I will still passionately speak out against school bullying and such and continue posting the “Centuries Under the Moon” blogs as requested.  However, I will not be socializing much as of late. I will not be traveling much until the weather is warmer.

I suppose that I feel bad because I am so blunt when I post things.  I cannot lie and I have to post what I honestly feel at the time my fingers go nuts over the keyboard. Evidently some people that I hang out with have decided that they cannot handle my opinion of life which is this:  It is what you make it.  Your decisions will land you either in a hotbed of bull or they will enable you to grow and branch out.  Those who stand by me will see this, but those who choose not to do so should at least do me the courtesy of telling me what their issue is and we can try to resolve it, or they will find themselves by the wayside in my life.

Once again I have cut three friends off who were very close to me because I overheard them saying things to others that should have been addressed with me.  At least I gave them the courtesy of telling them face to face.  NO, I wasn’t mean about it.  I just said that right now I feel like I’m related to Job and he had three good friends didn’t he? Then again, Job’s three good friends DID tell him what they thought face to face–probably because they felt enough love for the man to express their thoughts–even if they were wrong–if they existed at all, that is–so believe what you will.

I accept people as they are.  I don’t try to change them. To me that is the greatest gift one can give to a friend because it is an unconditional form of love.  A part of me loves to make people laugh. I love it when some people make me think–as Lauren Cross has done more than once.  I also love it when people have enough respect to speak their minds.

As for my writing, I free-write.  I speak my mind.  When it comes to mind, and it isn’t spoken, it will pour out through my pen, or the keyboard.  Writing was the only refuge I had growing up.  I used it to take care of business–whether it be creating characters to kill off that reminded me of the bullies I dealt with, or to try to put something positive to reach others–like the writing and the anti-bullying blogs are meant to do.  I will make a video for YouTube very soon as far as the bullying issue.  I had one completed and the bloody computer crashed and wiped out my media.

As I have said before to others, it is better to be proactive than reactive.  Either act or don’t complain about those that are doing nothing because they became complacent with the status-quo.  If you are not part of a solution, you are part of a problem. Period.  We have enough problems in this country to clean up without looking into any other country’s back yard–seriously.

As for the economy, I only have a little sliver–it’s called a paycheck.  I work my fanny off and live from paycheck to paycheck right now because I choose to.  I could go back into corrections–but why do that when working in that field almost turned me into a witch from hell riding a broom with a hemi attached to it?  Seriously. It took a while for me to get back to something close to normal again.

Quite frankly, I would be just peachy if good ol’ Uncle Sam would quit trying to take more of my sliver of the cake (Ben Cross brought this to mind when he made a post over the holidays about the “Fat Cats” paying their fair share…)  When I say sliver, I am talking about making less than $25K a year.  I manage–period.  I may not be among the Hollywood élite, but I am quite content with my little sliver.  That brings me to my next point.  I didn’t understand what the Occupy Movements were about FULLY until a good person named Christopher Pennock took the time and had the patience to point a few things out on his own FB page.  He’s a pretty cool guy…He played Jeb Hawkes on the original Dark Shadows series when I was a kid. Check out both Ben’s and Christopher’s page…Then go check out George Takei‘s page on FB…Now Mr. Takei will blow your mind with his humor, that’s for sure! He makes great points with it.

I will add this about Christopher Pennock though, while there are times he does get upset and go off a bit, he is honest and straight up.  I respect him for that.  Now if my friends I cut off were half the person with grace that he is, they would still be in my social circle. Sad thing is, I’ve known them for years.  This man is 68-years-old, and took rubber bullets and tear gas to fight for what he believes in during these protests. I admire that.  I don’t know of any other actor that braved it lately and he’s had a hip replacement!  Any of you who stand by the protesters should drop in on his page and give him some encouragement.

These protesters are not just out there to protest about the Wall St. “Fat Cats” as they are labelled.  They are also protesting corruption in the government–that government that wants to take more from those that only have a little sliver–no pensions, etc…while the “Fat Cats” still have loopholes. If this offends my friends who have known me for over 25 years that are IN the GOP and I am NOT–sorry it bothers you. It doesn’t bother me.  I have to stand where my conscience can be clear. At least I won’t lose sleep over it.

I also am wondering about this other dilemma I am going through…It is in the form of the question, “Why is it that nobody can ever be content with what they have?”  The Sheryl Crow song says it best, “…It’s not having what you want–It’s wanting what you’ve got.”  from Soak Up the Sun. I am asking that about our government right  now.  They always want more and the people get less. At least that is how it looks from this working class woman’s perspective.

I do not trust politicians regardless of party.  To me it comes down to this formula:  Honest + Politician = Oxymoron .  First you have the “Tea Party” in the GOP…If they take charge, I’m not so sure that they will “turn back the clock” as much as they would STOP the damned thing altogether.  Then you have the far left–which wants to roll out people like biscuit dough and make them all perfect–“one size fits all citizens” of whatever they want to call this nation, order, etc…  Free thinkers will suffer under the absolute rule of either one.  It is as if George Carlin had a point when he said that “The politicians are only there to make you think you have a choice”.   Do we really?  I wonder.

I am certain of one thing. Either party will use the artists and dreamers to their advantage and then toss them by the wayside when finished.  I do not trust them.  Indie is the way to go whether one is a musician or in film, I think. Why?  Those guys are more in tune with the desires of an audience than those with major recording labels and those in Hollywood are.  To me, to not go Indie is too much of a gamble.  Ask any musician who had to let someone else have rights to their music for 30 years…Some retirement plan, right?   I agree that scripts are probably better in the Indie market for the actors and such, too.

Anyway, if you think I’m off base here, then please feel free to tell me. It doesn’t bother me.  All of my life I will be learning and you may be the one to help me make more sense of all this crap going on that we call “life”…Know what I mean?  Feel free to send me a message on FB or email me if you like.  I’ll get to it as soon as I return from my cave.  Tune in whenever…Same bat time…Same bat channel…I’m riding off on the broom now! Goodnight…I close with 4 great links here:   “That’s to Mr. Pennock’s page”   This guy is one of the coolest guy’s around…And he was in “Mad World”–a movie which really addresses the bullying issue, and that is the issue closest to my heart right now…


May 2012 bring all of you blessings!


From me to you…

I hope that you all have a wonderful, Merry Christmas and a Happy and Joyous New Year!  It was with humility and grace that I got through 2011…It is probably how I will get through 2012, with another year of going to my mountain, changes coming along the way, and the blessing of becoming a grandparent. 

I know that for some of my friends there will be change and that good things are going to come to many of them…It’s just a gut feeling I have! 

Take care and enjoy your time with your friends and your families!  They are precious!

Centuries Under the Moon…

The wind howled as she made the trip toward her home, but the young mother of two was not going to get there on this night.  Victoria was being followed.  She was being followed by one who not only sought to make her his prey–but his mistress. The year was 1790 and she tried to hurry but people along the way kept stopping her, wishing to converse a bit.   As darkness fell, the dark one awakened.  He could almost hear her heartbeat even from his crypt.

His name was  Marius Caldwell.  He had died three days prior, but the whole town knew he was insanely jealous of a man named Stephen Wexley.  He had married Victoria three years prior and every day and night Marius dreamed of being with no one but her.  Nobody knew the circumstances of his death, but Stephen had been concerned about Victoria being out late at night coming back from her parents home.  Her brother Darren was with her tonight but turned back as she neared the path leading up to her home.

Her blond locks fell gracefully as she loosened the cap in anticipation of entering the gate.  As she smiled upon entering the front gate, the thoughts of her two children, Lilly and Jeremiah prevailed on her mind.   She looked forward to taking them to the river for a picnic with Stephen the next day.  Marius, Stephen’s cousin was spurned by her father when he had approached about marriage.

“For one, you are too old for my daughter.,” her father began, “And for two, Stephen Wexley had already approached me long ago.  They’ve been friends since childhood.”

This made 16-year-old Victoria feel better back then.  Stephen totally loved her and she him. They married two years later.

As she began the walk up the path, she heard rustling in the brush.  She turned to get a glimpse, her petite frame keeping steady as she resumed her walk.  As she turned she thought she had seen a figure in the brush again.  She then quickened her pace…She felt a chill and stopped to turn around and there  he was.

Before a single scream could escape her lips, he overpowered her and took her back through the woods. The more she fought, the more he seemed to enjoy the moment.  He decided to take his time as he carried her into his lair.  After she screamed and kicked him he pulled her face to look into her eyes.

“Enough Victoria!” he said to her.  She then fell into the trance he longed for.  This power of his was something he found to be amazing.

“I see  your thoughts, but after tonight, you are mine–as it should have been. You will not fight me any longer.” he told her. With that he kissed her.  He could see her thoughts and was angry that all of her thoughts went straight toward the man she married.

“We’ll see how long that lasts. You will find that there are advantages to being damned to this existence.” he told her as he began to remove her clothing.  Blood was not all that he hungered for.

“Please don’t do this–my children need me–”

“The children that should have been mine?  Thank your father for this.” he thought to her in response as his cold hands caressed her warm breasts, and her heart raced for fear.  He then tore her skirts from her so that she stood before him completely naked.

“I will take from you now what was denied me in my life–and you will be mine for as long as I walk this Earth, Victoria Wexley. You will live as I live and come to me when I beckon you to do so–unless I get killed in the mean time.” he said.

Despite his handsome features, he knew she was repulsed by his touch.  The tears rolled as he drove her into a forced frenzy and violated her more than once.

“Please let me go…Stop…I’ll tell no one, I swear it. Just let me go back to my babies and my husband.” she pleaded in her thoughts.

“After tonight I AM your husband–as it should have been all along.”  he thought to her as he looked into her blue eyes.

“Don’t worry,” he told her, “After your first feed, you will not feel this way any longer. I can make you forget your former life in time.”

As he violated her one last time, he saw the fear in her eyes as he allowed the creature that he became to reveal itself to her.  The red  eyes were the last thing she would remember seeing as he once again put her into a trance that she could not break free from.  She wanted to scream but only silence prevailed as he sunk his fangs deep into her small neck.  Once he drained her he told her, “In three nights you will come to me .”

As she lay dying, with her last breath, she made one vow:  “Not one member of my family will be touched by this existence and you will never have my heart–that is what you wanted.”    Once she passed, he dumped her naked body by the river and threw her clothes beside it in a rage. “I own you now. All of you.” he hissed.

The next morning, one of the neighbors who had been asked to help find her discovered her body and covered it with a jacket. He then found the other clothing.

Stephen was devastated when he got the news.  The shock and the numbness that followed would result in his parents moving back into the estate to help with the two children. Lilli and Jeremiah were only two years old and five months old .   Stephen was a handsome man.  He was tall with sandy colored brown hair.  His eyes were brown and very intense.  Once he got the news, he demanded to be taken to her body.

“But Sir, you don’t want to see her as she is–”

“You say a creature attacked her.  What makes you think I will believe that knowing that her clothing was removed?” he asked as the tears ran down his cheeks.  With that Stephen left his children in care of the maid and went into the town. At the doctor’s clinic he was taken to her body.  The doctor explained that she had been attacked and her blood was drained from her.

“Was she violated also?” Stephen asked.

“I am afraid so, my boy. I am so sorry that this has happened.  She was a very sweet and kind soul.” the doctor said as he put a hand on Stephen’s shoulder.  She was buried within two days.  The rumors flew all over town that strangers had done this to her.

“Why?,” Stephen asked himself as he stood weeping over her grave, “I would give my very life if it meant that you were here right now instead of me, Victoria. I should have accompanied you myself.” he whispered as the service ended.

Three nights later, Victoria did rise again, only to find Marius waiting.

“Very Good, Victoria.  No we will walk under the light of the moon and feed together.” he said.

“No I will not!” she yelled.

With one look, she knew she was weak and couldn’t resist him.

“My dear bride, you will do whatever it is you are told. I promise you that.” he told her.

“Her will is her own, Marius.” another voice echoed as she was released.

“Wha–you cannot interfere!”  Marius interjected.

“You have misused what you have to harm this woman with no cause.” another older vampire said as he appeared.

“She is mine! Rightfully she is mine!” he said.

“No Marius. I created you and you betrayed me.  Victoria go in peace. Do as you will.”  the older one said to her.

“I cannot have my life back–”

“Then decide the course of your current existence. That is far more than what this traitor gave to you.  Had I been here, you would never have been harmed. For that I am truly sorry. Now go while we deal with this one.” he said.

“We?” she asked.

Then many more appeared.

“We do not kill among the good and we take animal blood. He betrayed his covenant with me which would have meant peace between the families. We are not indiscriminate. You may join us one day if you like.” he told her.  She walked away and went toward her former home.

One of them was behind her.

“If you change Mr. Wexley, you are as bad as Marius.” the girl who once lived by day told her.

“I have no intention of feeding on him.” Victoria said.

“Visit him as a ghost. You have the power. He sleeps now.” she told her.

“What will happen to Marius?” she asked.

“He will perish. They will see to that. Our clan takes animal blood. There are deer over there and horses over in that area.” the girl told her.

They went together toward the deer, which never sensed danger.  Victoria’s friend showed her how to feed and then Victoria fed.   The moon shone brightly above and the breeze seemed to be more fresh than before to her.”

“Your senses are heightened, my lady. You will find that when you visit your man, the passion for you will be heightened so you must feed well before going in there lest you harm him when he ignites your passion again.” the girl said.  With that, Victoria fed again on another male deer.

The branches banged against the window of the 2nd floor bedroom that Stephen and Victoria shared.  When she entered, she saw their portrait next to him on the bed, a bottle of brandy next to his hand and a glass on the floor.   As Stephen slept, his position told Victoria that it was she that he reached for.

She appeared as a ghost would with the moonlight at her back.  Stephen briefly woke to see her there.

“Victoria! Oh God!,” he began as tears formed again, “I am so sorry I didn’t escort you myself–”

“It was not your fault, Stephen.  I am alright. I carry your love always.” she said.

“Don’t leave me. I would rather have a ghost than nothing–”

“You will find another, my love.  One day–”

“No! I will not! I want no other and I knew that years ago! Please, I beg of you to stay.” he pleaded.

“I will only come to you in this realm–your dreams.” she said.

“Then so be it!” he said as he approached her and touched her now cold skin and kissed the lips that once were red and warm.

“You’re cold. Come over here.”  he told her as he guided her to their bed.

Each night afterwards she would come.  Each night he would make love to her. She saw her children from time to time but never made her presence known to them or held them.   By the time Lilli was seven, she only came to Stephen in their room.

The years passed.  There came a day when Stephen was merely content to hold her.  He was old now.  The children had married and moved away.  One night she came and waited outside for the maid and their children and grandchildren to leave.  She already knew that he was dying and losing him was causing her pain as well…

“You still mustn’t condemn him to this.” her friend told her.

“I won’t.  But I will be there when he goes. I promised–”

“IF he decides to be with her in that existence, it is entirely their decision, Maribel.” the older one told them.

“How did you know to come–”

“My dear, I created your tormentor.  His thoughts led to you. I can see your thoughts, Victoria.  If he decides on his own to be with you, it is alright to change him.” he told her.

“This is no life for him.” she said.

“As you wish, but if you change your mind, it is permissible in this circumstance.” he told her.

She shook her head.  “I have to watch them all for centuries die. I will not put him through that for I love him far too much.”

“Vic–”   Stephen whispered.

“I am here, Darling. I promised I would always be here.” she said.

“I will be with you soon, my Love.,” he told her, “It won’t be long–”

“You will sleep soon.  Just know that I have always loved you and will carry that with me for many centuries under the light of the moon.” she said.

“We will be together again, my love. You will see. The powers that be sent you to me so we’d always be together.” he told her.

“We’ll see, Darling. Now rest–”

“Love, you  Vic–” he whispered as his voice trailed off.  Within two more minutes he passed.  She quietly kissed him and they all fled.  She knocked over his glass to make sure the maid overheard that part before fleeing.

It began to pour down rain that very night.  Just before the clouds covered the moonlight, the clan could hear Victoria’s weeping in the wind.   There were no words, just the cries of torment and mourning.

“Have you told her what you foresaw?” Maribel asked the elder one.

“No.  It is not time.  When it is time, she will know the purpose and such.  Time will be set right, or she will come to terms with this existence.”

Victoria fed on wild animals and visited the family crypt regularly, crying for Stephen each time.  Then she went dormant 150 years later–after the death of her last great  grandchild.  The story of her murder spawned legends.  The ones about her and Stephen’s undying love always moved her.

Then one night she heard Stephen’s voice.  “Victoria, rise.”

“You can’t be–”

“It is alright my love.  I know everything now.  You must come out of the crypt. Your help is once again needed.” he told her.

“But I watched you die–”

“Victoria, you watched me die in a different time. Rise now. There is much to be done for the sake of our relatives.” he told her.

With that she opened her eyes and sat up.  She saw him there looking exactly as he did when they married–only in modern clothing.

“How can this be–”

“I will explain later. Come. We have much to discuss.” he smiled as he offered his hand.



© Tina Thomas-2012-All Rights Reserved

Do not reproduce or use without express permission.


Some Things People Do Are Totally Crazy…

Okay…This will be a very short, and very direct post.  Anyone who would falsely put out a story about a celebrity death, should be kicked off of the blog site if that is where the rumor originated.  As most know, the false story of Bon Jovi being deceased was circulating  all over Facebook and Twitter.  He later posed for a picture to prove that he is not indeed deceased.

Granted, Sir Paul McCartney had his own experience at “being deceased”.  I knew it was a hoax when the article mentioned that he was to appear at the Bamboozle Festival…There is no such event.  This is one of the shortest articles I have ever done but I sure got a lot of stuff asking if the rumor was true….

Facebook Stupidity…Believe Me, It’s Out There…

I won’t go into the whole tamale here but if ANYONE can come up with a suitable alternative to Facebook–PLEASE take me with you and help me to get to it.  I love my google and GMAIL accounts so if anyone wants to get that info from me feel free to request it!

These little games that Uncle Zucker let’s his admin play have really raised my ire. That is all I’ll say about it! Goodnight! Oh, but I can have some humor about it…If you are not there to network, like most writers (like myself) and such are, then you shouldn’t be on there messing around with those that are serious about it…Period!

Just a little fun video here…




Well, another year is all but gone and I am spending some time reflecting on my life and was transported back to one moment.  This was a time in my life where I was busy raising a family, and trying to find some purpose for my existence on this planet–that is, when I wasn’t raising hell over how self-centered people of my generation were and refusing to come out of my rabbit hole long enough to let anyone prove me wrong.  I literally was reclusive. I refused to go to theaters…Refused to go to concerts–with the exception of Duran Duran‘s for the simple fact that I liked how they had the balls to push the envelope and piss people off–e.g.–“Girls on Film“:  )  and don’t worry…This is the clean version.  I also like “Girl Panic” because if the critics are going to trash a Duran Duran video–it’s because they came up with something original and new that pisses ’em off all over again. I love it that the band has the cojones to keep pissing them off too.  Why? I’m not a musical purist.

Now it is 27 years later.  The world has drastically changed–and not for the better, really.  Too many people  do not mind their own business, too many countries are sticking their noses where it shouldn’t–ours included.  Some of the problems we saw from the 80’s on have only intensified.  Financial institutions are charging people to have access to THEIR OWN MONEY, which to me = theft.  Too many companies are charging exorbitant fees for using debit cards to pay a bill ($15-25 to make a payment using one is stupid!) and then whining if you say anything about it being “wrong”.

We see more people losing their homes while the political parties are too busy pointing fingers at each other, God, the unions, the weather and–well, you get the picture, I think.  Americans are not content to be simply Americans and unite behind a single cause–which that cause should be freedom from the corruption we see going on in the financial institutions and in the government. Oh NO! Everyone wants their own flags, holidays, and observance thereof.   IT is there. All sides know it but don’t want to face the fact that ALL parties are in on this crap because in the end, they want to be in charge of it!

They thrive on this division only I didn’t see this back in 1984.  This isn’t about left, right or any of that. It is about the very fact that as Americans we no longer unite long enough to accomplish anything.  Yet in one moment in 1984, I was given one glimpse of hope for us all as the human race, and it was when I saw this video and what the artists were doing!  For once a group stood united and brought a little change about in the world–or should I say in MY world?  That group was Band Aid.  Every artist in here and in the later edition which was made in 2010 were being genuine and it showed.

And in 1984, for one moment, I was reminded maybe the world isn’t such a bad place to take part in after all. Here is that video…

Later, I went back into my “rabbit hole” and stayed there until I decided to get my head out of my dark spot and grow up! That was in 2008. Do I regret that? No. Why? Because everything I have come to learn since I came back out in 2008 has put me right where I need to be WHEN I need to be there.  I believe that there is a Renaissance rather than an outright Revolution on the horizon.  People are learning.  This world is not like what I grew up in, and everyone in generations before has passed that bit of news to the next generation in line!  Being that I am going to be a grandmother–I suspect I’ll do the same thing! Have a great week!

The Great White Alligator of Baines Parrish, Louisiana… (Part 1)

You’re right…There is no such place in your world, but in the world of a little girl named Felicia Mitchell, it is very real.  And to her, it is where she lives with her mother, Annie and her Grandmother Ida.   As the smell of freshly baked blueberry muffins permeates through the walls at 6 a.m. one morning, six-year-old Felicia goes across her room to her dresser where she looks at a picture of the father she never knew, right after tossing aside the Winnie the Pooh comforter.

“Daddy, I know you can’t come back, so I wished for a new daddy for Christmas. If it makes you cry I’m sorry, but Mama is lonely and I want to know what it is like to have a daddy of my own.  Grandma says you will never come back and that you’re in Heaven and Mama gets all upset over that, but I think she’s right. Maybe someday I’ll get to meet you, but I think for now, I’m going to go look for the white gator…Big Bear says if I see the white gator, my wish will come true, so I’m gonna go by the pond to see if I just catch a glimpse of him.  Big Bear says sometimes I might see him in a dream and he’s not a bad gator either.  He doesn’t eat people and he has no teeth! He just shows up to let people know things are going to be okay. I hope you are okay where you are. Later, Daddy! Oh and by the way, Mama got me Winnie the Pooh stuff for my room and my walls are now white instead of that dark blue you liked. I hope you don’t mind but it was just too dark in here for me!”

Her father, Michael has been missing in action since Felicia was six months old.  Although Ida felt that Annie should divorce, she refused.  Annie felt that somehow, someway, he was alive somewhere.  However today, she was about to have all hopes shattered.

With that being said, Felicia hastily put on her clean jeans and a sweater and went into the kitchen where her grandmother was sitting in the breakfast nook, enjoying a cup of coffee and her cigarette.  Her salt and pepper hair was tied back and no one would guess that she is already almost 60.  She looks as though she’s 40.  Like her daughter, Annie, men fawn over her too.  She spilled a little coffee on her brand new pink robe and looked up to see Felicia’s blonde curls headed right past her–so she refrained from uttering her usual vernacular.

“Child, where are you going at this hour?” she asked Felicia.

“Just to the edge of the pond to see if the white alligator is there.” she said as she looked into her grandmother’s green eyes.

“Alright but stay on this side of the yard where I can see ‘ya.” she said.

“Yes ma’am.” Felicia said as she went out the back door and walked to the edge of the pond.  When she looked at the ground, Ida could tell how disappointed she was.

“Are you going to tell her that there is no alligator?” Annie asked as she entered the kitchen in a mini robe and a pink teddy.

“No. I won’t hurt that child by shattering any hope she has.  She never tells what she wishes for, either.  Just let it be Anna. And don’t tell her Santa don’t exist either or I’ll go postal on your ass!” Ida said.

“I wouldn’t do that to her, Mother.” Annie assured her as she tied back her blonde hair and sat across from her in the booth.

Felicia slowly re-entered the kitchen and went to the booth and sat down quietly.

“No gator?” Ida asked.

Felicia shook her head, “I won’t give up though!”

“Good! That’s the spirit! Now what are we gonna do today?” Ida asked.

“Mama said we are all going to the park for a picnic!” Felicia beamed.

“That’s right!” Ida said.

“And we are having a special picnic! Remember why?” Annie asked.

“Today would be Daddy’s birthday?” Felicia said.

“That’s right and we are going to tell some stories about him so you’ll know more about him!” Ida told her.

“Mama,” Felicia began, “Who is that guy that moved into Billie’s old house?”

“I didn’t know anyone moved in there Felicia!” Annie told her.

“He did! He’s an older guy and he talks funny! I asked him where he’s from and he said Birmingham but he don’t talk like no one I ever saw before. I told him he talks funny and he laughed at me! That’s when he said he’s from England.” she said.

“You shouldn’t say things about how people talk. It’s not polite.” Ida said firmly.

“But he does talk funny!,” Felicia protested, “And he doesn’t know anything about cars like Grandpa did either!”

“What on Earth do you mean?” Annie asked.

“HE keeps calling a hood a “bonnet”! I may be only six but a bonnet is what some girls wear on their heads at Easter! I let him know it too and he laughed at me again!” Felicia said.

Both women laughed then Ida told Felicia, “Well just be nice. They just use different words for different things, that’s all.  You have a cousin who is going to school there.  Go wash your hands and get ready for breakfast.”

“Yes Ma’am.”  she said as she left the table.

“Looks like we have a new neighbor you should go meet, Mama!” Annie said as she raised an eyebrow.

“Don’t even think about it Annie!,” Ida warned, “I KNOW that look!”

The rest of the day was going normally until about 10 a.m.   Then there was a knock at the door.  Felicia answered it.  There were two men at the door. One was a priest and one was in an Army uniform.  “Hello, little girl.  Is your mommy home?” the man in the uniform asked.

“Yeah…Somewhere…MAMA!” she yelled.

“What is your name Little Girl?” the priest asked.

“Felicia Mitchell.” she said.  The two men then looked at each other but said nothing.

Annie entered wearing jeans and a sweater.  The minute she saw them she put her arms around Felicia and then knelt to eye level. “Felicia, go get Mama, now. Please.” she said.

“What’s wrong, Mama?”  Felicia asked.

“Just go get Mama. Go now.” she directed calmly.

“Yes Ma’am.”  Felicia said as she went upstairs to Ida’s room.  Ida’s door was open and she was brushing her hair.  She too  was already in a sweater and jeans.

“Grandma. Mama needs you downstairs.  There are two guys down there who–”

Then Annie screamed “Noooooooo! It’s not true! It’s not true!”

As Ida entered Annie collapsed from the Chaplain’s arms into her arms.  As Felicia watched–not fully understanding what was going on, she knew that it was something really, really bad for her mother to break down like that.

The men stayed for a while and Felicia went to her room.  She didn’t want to be down there at that point.  A bit later Annie entered her room and directed her to sit next to her on the bed.

“Felicia,” she began tearfully, “I have some news to share and it isn’t good.”

“What mama?” Felicia asked.

“Your daddy is not coming home.  He was killed in Iraq.  They didn’t find this out until a few weeks ago and he is being brought back here so that we can say goodbye to him.  I will be making funeral arrangements tomorrow.”  she told her.

“Grandma told me a long time ago that she thought he was in Heaven.  I’m sorry Mama. I wish I could remember him.” Felicia told her.

“You don’t remember him but when we look at you–we know he is still around.  He lives right there.” she said as she pointed to Felicia’s chest.  She then took the child into her arms and softly wept as she held her.  Felicia didn’t really understand death, but she wanted her mother to feel better so she simply hugged her back and sat in her lap quietly as Annie rocked her back and forth.

Later, after the two men left with some paperwork Annie signed, the three sat in the kitchen and ate quietly.

“Felicia,” Ida asked, “How are you feeling? You do understand what happened don’t you?”

“I think so Grandma.  Daddy’s never coming home.  It’s sad, but I don’t remember him, Grandma.” she said.

“It’s alright, Felicia. We know.,” her mother began, “Over the next few days a lot of family members will be here.  Your grandparents from Hawaii will be here too, and they’ll be so glad to see you.  They came last year, remember?”

“Yes Mama. I remember.  They gave me that picture of Daddy and his trinket box.” she said.

“That’s right–the one with your daddy’s baseball card collection is in the attic too.  He loved baseball just like you do.” Annie said.

“And that little necklace you have that he sent you from Iraq is in the trinket box.  You should  wear that to the service, okay?” Ida said.

“I’ll wear it but it won’t break will it?” Felicia asked worried that the chain would break.

“No. I had it fixed a month ago. It will be fine.” Ida said.

End of Part One