The Gift That Almost Wasn’t

Every time little Billy went to town with his  Mommy he stopped in front of the toy store and watched the little train going round and round on the track. A big black engine with plenty of shiny silver on it. Four cars followed it in colors of red, green, blue and gold.

Mommy always tugged at his arm to follow him but he fought it, wanting to stay one more minute to watch. He heard the familiar words of how she wished she could tell Santa to bring it to him on Christmas morning but Santa had too many other children to visit and she wasn’t sure he would be stopping at their house this year.

Mommy had lost Daddy. He had worked in the mines. One day there was a terrible accident and Mommy told Billy that God needed Daddy so he wouldn’t be coming back home.

Life had been different since Daddy was gone. The three of them used to hold hands and pray before they ate their meals but ever since the one chair sat empty, Billy ate in front of the television and Mommy stayed in her private room.

If Billy stopped chewing he could hear his Mommy crying. She sure must miss him. Mommy sometimes went to other ladies houses and came home all dirty and tired. She would walk in the door and barely smile at Billy before she went to her room.

Soon he would hear the tub filling up with water. Mommy would come out later and give him a hug and then go to the kitchen and find him something to eat for supper. They used to have grand meals.

Just sitting here thinking about it made his mouth water. Nice big pieces of meat with lots of fluffy white mashed potatoes. Now a lot of the times she brought him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. When things were good he got milk to drink. Most of the time though it was water.

One time a knock came at the door. It was the neighbor. A kind looking lady who asked Mommy if she could take him to church with her this coming Sunday. Mommy said yes and from that day on Billy went to church.

Billy began to open up to his new Sunday family. He made new friends in his Sunday School class. The day before Christmas his Sunday School teacher gave him a white sack. When he opened it there was an orange and lots of chocolate pieces of candy.

That night as we was watching TV Mommy walked out and sat beside him on the couch. She put her arms around him and she started crying. He stopped eating and listened to her as she explained why she wished with all her heart that she could have gifts under the tree for him, but she just couldn’t do it.

He rubbed his Mommy’s hand and told her it was alright, that he didn’t mind. She stood up and went back to her room. He finished eating and watched TV until time to go to bed. After he went to bed she came out to the kitchen and made herself some coffee.

There was a knock at the door. When she opened it her neighbor and their friends from church were standing there with wrapped gifts. Mommy started to cry as she let them in and they quietly placed the gifts under the tree.

As the last person placed his gift Mommy went to him and gave him the biggest hug she could muster. They each hugged and said good-bye. Mommy got her coffee and went to bed smiling.

The next morning Billy got up and went out to the living room to turn the TV on. His eyes became big as saucers as he noticed the shiny packages under the tree. But the biggest surprise ever was the little train going round and round with the big black engine with the four cars following it.


#FWF Free Write Friday; Image Prompt

free-write-friday-kellie-elmorebearBig like my Daddy

Warm like Mommy’s arms

Soft like Grandma’s lap

I look at you and I feel love

I feel safe when I’m with you.

Will you be my friend?

In times I want to cry?

When I feel so all alone?

When I think no one understands?

Will you play with me

Will you follow me where I go?

Will you be my best friend?

For today I do not feel good

Mommy and Daddy are in heaven

And I feel all alone

Please say you’ll stay

You remind me so much

Of how good life used to be

Today, I need a friend.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd



#FWF Free Write Friday; Gratitude


Memories of yesterdays

Wishing I could go back

Laughter and chatter

Kids racing outside

Daddy’s snoring

Mommy’s gossip

My head laying peacefully

In Grandma’s lap

Belly full yet more dessert

Today I didn’t hear no

Oh what I wouldn’t give

To see Grandma sitting right there

In her comfy recliner

Daddy laying on the couch

Aunts doing dishes

A table full of food

Candles lit in the middle

All holding hands saying grace

Tears come to my eyes

As I go back in time

And remember those days

Of freedom and loving

Now many years later

I have my own children

Forming new memories

But I can’t help but to mingle

Intertwine the old with the new

A complete life of me and my family.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd


Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpegthanksgiving tablebook4free-write-friday-kellie-elmore


Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

Now I lay me down to sleep

Now I lay me down to sleep,

I pray the Lord my soul to keep.

If I should die before I wake,

I pray the Lord my soul to take.

God bless Mommy, Daddy, Janae, Preston…

Remember that poem?

I am repeating it now

Because I need sleep

Phones ringing

Deliveries made

Restless mind wondering

Al came home tonight

Tremors followed                                                                     newborn

Tears right behind

Dear Lord

Please let me

Lay down to sleep

If you want to take my soul

Then please do it while

My eyes are closed

Just do me one favor God

Take care of Al for me.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd


Weekly Writing Challenge; 1,000 Words

#Weekly Writing Challenge

alone-on-the-playgroundIt was her first year at school. Preschool, a way from Mommy and brother and sister.

She was shy  and stayed a way from the other kids at recess. She sat on the merry-go-round watching the other students. She could hear them laughing but inside her little soul she was crying.

Marcy had always been the baby of the family. She was growing up with Mommy and her siblings Terrance and Ruthie. She had a cat named Sam too. Each night when she went to bed, she would kneel at the edge of her bed and she and Mommy would say her nightly prayers.

Mommy was the best mommy in the whole wide world. Mommy had the best smiles and made the best pancakes in the whole United States. When ever they went shopping Marcy always got a small toy for being good.

Right before school started she and her mother went school shopping. They picked out shirts and jeans and she even got a new pair of sneakers. Mommy made her a special breakfast this morning. Pancakes shaped like Mickey Mouse. They even had chocolate chips for eyes and the mouth.

When Mommy and her walked into the school, Marcy started to back a way but when Mommy leaned down whispering in her ear that she was so proud of her for acting like a big girl Marcy stood more relaxed.

When recess was over Marcy went to the seat assigned to her. She was looking around at the other boys and girls when she felt a tug on the back of her hair. She turned around,” what are you doing? Why did you pull my hair?’

” I don’t know. Do I need a reason? I just wanted to.”

Marcy was looking into the eyes of a little boy about the same build as her. Looking at his face she noticed his two front teeth were missing. ” Did someone hit you?”

“Why do you ask? What a stupid question. Of course no one hit me. I lost my teeth because that is what we are supposed to do when we get this age. I see you still have your baby teeth.”

” I am not a baby. Don’t call me a baby.”

” I’m not calling you a baby. That’s what grown ups call our teeth before they fall out. And if you save the teeth and put them under your pillow, the tooth fairy will leave you money.”

” Really? Did you get money when you lost yours?”

” Sure I did. What do you think? The tooth fairy doesn’t forget anyone. Just put the tooth there and go to sleep. When you wake up make sure to look under your pillow.”

The two smiled at each other and then they heard the teacher rap the desk with her hands.

” All right class, it is time for a new  subject. Today we are going to begin to learn to write in cursive. Do any of you know how to write this way yet?”

The class looked around at each other. Two hands went up. Marcy darted a look at the boy behind her to see if his hand was up, but it wasn’t. Miss Trump went to the chalk board and wrote out the cursive letters and had each student copy them down on their papers.

When this practice was over she called each student up by twos and they gave a shot at writing their names out on the blackboard. Marcy and Darrell were called next.

So that was his name, Darrell. He looked like a Darrell, always talking.

The two smiled at each other as they made their way to the board. Each of them worked hard and when finished they turned around showing the teacher and class their work.

” Good job Marcy and Darrell. Very nicely done.”

Darrell beamed from ear to ear and Marcy blushed. They each went back to their seats and the teacher continued to call more students until each had written their own name for her to see.

At lunch time Marcy found herself on the merry-go-round again. She opened her brown bag. Inside was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, grape jelly, her favorite. Mommy had baked some sparkly sugar cookies and there was one also in her bag. Carrot sticks, yuck, she hated carrots. In fact she hated peas too. Anything green or orange she hated.

She left the veggies sit and sunk her teeth into her sandwich. Chewing it she looked up at the shadow over powering her. Standing there in front of her was Darrell.

” Hey, do you mind if I sit with you?”

” I guess not as long as you don’t talk to much.”

Darrell smiled at her and sat down. Together the two ate in silence. When they were done Darrell held out his hand to her.

” What do you want now?”

” Nothing smarty pants. I just thought I would be nice and offer to throw your bag a way for you. But if you want to do it yourself, you can.”

Without saying anything about the carrot slices she handed him her bag. Darrell felt something in the bag and put his hand inside and pulled out the wrapped carrots. He held them out to her.

” I don’t want them. My Mommy thinks I need to eat vegetables but I don’t want to. You can have them if you want them.”

” Think I will. My mom says they give you good eye sight.”

” Really? My mommy never told me that. You go ahead and eat them. I can see good enough.”

With that he took the three slices out and chomped on them. When he was done he took both bags to the big barrel and threw them a way. The bell rang and lunch was over. It was time to go back in and learn more stuff.

When school was over, from a distance, Mommy watched Marcy and Darrell walking home together.