The joy for some comes easy. Growing old, pop sitting in the recliner, mom rocking in her rocker. The TV on, a show playing, lunch over.
Pop closing his eyes while mom watches him, thanking God for these many blessed years she has been given him to share life with. Rose closes her eyes. She opens them when she hears Pop coughing.
He clears his throat and continues on with his nap. The doorbell knocker is heard. She raises up from her rocker and quietly walks over to the door. Opening it up, there standing is the youngest daughter.
Mom invites her in but not without giving the hush sound, pointing at Pop sleeping. Sara goes into the kitchen and grabs two cups of hot coffee. Taking the lead, she goes out onto the sun room, where they both sit and enjoy a few sips.
Sara ask about Pop and how he is doing. She asks if there is anything the two need. The conversation bounces around from that point to how nice the weather is. Sara talks about her vacation coming up and how she is anxious to not set the alarm.
The two visit for about half-an-hour. Sara looks at her watch, stating she must be heading out, that she has one more errand to run before returning back to work. The two stand up and they hug each other. Sara plants a kiss on Mom’s cheek, telling her she loves her.
The two head for the living room. Looking at Pop, they both think how peaceful he looks. Sara holds her breath. She walks over to him and feels his hand. Cold to the touch. While the women were talking, Pop went to be with the Lord with a smile on his face.
The joy for some comes hard. Ruth and Eddie had a good life, or so they thought. They both met during the war. He was a soldier and she was a nurse. After the war was over, the two got married.
Within a year, their first son was born. About six months later Eddie started having bad headaches. He had terrible nightmares that woke him up drenched in sweat or sometimes screaming.
By this time, they had also learned that baby two was on the way. Night after night, Eddie suffered. Memories of the war popping up constantly.
They went to the VA many times and were told the same thing. This is caused from the war. There is nothing that can be done. He was given prescriptions for pain and some narcotic pills to try to calm him down.
The job that he had at the local hardware store was put to a halt. He was told by the boss, they just couldn’t afford to keep having him show up late or go home early. They liked him and all, but this was life.
Eddie stayed home. Ruth tried some babysitting but Eddie couldn’t stand the noise. She then turned to doing some housecleaning for others, but only on a part-time basis, because Eddie’s symptoms worsened with time, and he needed her help.
Christmas was gloomy at times. They did the best they could, but it wasn’t much. There just wasn’t enough money. Winters were the worst. High heat bills, and beating down church doors for donations to help pay the bills and put enough food on the table.
When the kids were old enough; they wanted out. They knew they could have a better life away from home. Eddie and Ruth managed to do for themselves without the kids being there, but life was lonely and frustrating.
The two grew old together, clinging close to each other. Sometimes there was a visitor. A minister, or a girl scout knocking at the door selling cookies.
The streets were quiet. Snow was falling softly outside, covering everything. Eddie and Ruth laid in their bed together, using each other for extra warmth. Morning never returned for these two.
photo taken by Terry Shepherd