She was poor. He was poor. The two together were rich in love. They scraped and saved and were able to put a down payment on a small property outside of town. It had one acre which was plenty big enough for the garden they wanted to plant. The house was needing a lot of love and they knew with time; they could fix it up real nice.
One by one the five children were born. Money got tighter but they made it. They grew their vegetables. They butchered a cow once a year. They canned wild berries and peaches from the trees. They made their own applesauce. Nothing was wasted.
Christmas and birthdays were celebrated with a home-made cake with a vanilla frosting and there was always a stitched gift of some sort that each child needed at that particular time.
The kids were sent to the one-room school which had stood for over one hundred years. They attended until the parents thought they had learned enough and then kept them home to help out on the land.
The kids seemed good in the parents eyes; but their deep thoughts were on anything but this home. They wanted more. They had read plenty of high society magazines and books and they knew there was a bigger world out there.
As each one grew up and found their own way, they either moved out and on or got married and bought a property in town. There wasn’t much communication between the kids and parents after those days. They seemed to be more interested in obtaining what they thought they lacked as kids and the parents were dealing with more and more health issues.
They didn’t have health care insurance. Oh, they got sick now and then. A cold, a flu to deal with or a bad stomach ache. Neither of them had thought or been taught about what would or could happen when they got old.
Pa had recurring pain in his chest until one day he fell down. He never got back up and the family came and paid their last respects out back underneath the big oak tree. It was right after that; they left to go back to their lives.
Ma tried her best to carry on what needed to be done each day; but she was not able to keep up. She was tired. She was ailing and she was old. Her gray hair was thinned. Her fingers had bumps in them from Arthritis. Her legs ached.
After about six months went by, she had a stroke. No one actually knew the real facts about how long she lay in that house until help arrived. She was checked over by the county doctor and placed in her bed.
Once a week the doc would come check on her. He would shake his head trying to figure out what was actually keeping her alive. She knew, but she wouldn’t speak of it. Words for her were hard to get out. Looking around her room, she saw work that needed to be done; but no one helped.
The kids came by about once a month. Their children played outside. It was almost like this was a task more than a visit. It was so filled with webs. The kids mainly sat by her bed and said few words. When they felt like the proper time had been spent, they called for the kids letting them know it was time to depart. No child ever said, goodbye grandma.
She was lonely. She yearned for the love of her dead husband. She had no reason to live. She made up her mind to take this in her own hands and so that next morning she willed herself to die.
Once again, the kids came to pay their respects. After the funeral was over, they went through the home and took what they wanted and took the remains and tossed it in a big burn pile out back.
When only ashes were seen, a sudden downpour of rain hit. Lightening struck. Trees were turned over. The sky dark. Thunder was as if it was cursing the kids for what they had done to their parents.
The lightening hit the barn and the house, burning it to the ground in no time at all. The kids who had run for cover, found no cover remaining. They were forced to watch as the home they grew up in was demolished. They were forced to hear the demons ravish their souls.
It was then, and only then, that the kids seemed to understand what had happened. They came together and held hands. They looked out and over the once loving home that their parents had given them and they wept; but it was too late. They would live with their guilt for the rest of their days.