Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FRESH START (01/05/17)
TITLE: Ordinary Days
By Leola Ogle
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
New beginnings. Fear ricocheted inside Nora’s bosom making her breathless. She inhaled slowly and deeply. I can do this, she told herself.
In her life of days, most days were ordinary. Woven throughout ordinary days were days of wonder and miracles and beauty and blessings, but also days of sorrow and disappointment and tragedy and fears. Ordinary days were the glue that held the other days together.
That day. It started as an ordinary day. It gave no warning of being anything else. A Saturday. Cliff, mowing the lawn while she prepared for after-church lunch company the next day. She made the best lemon meringue pie and pot roast in the county. Or so people told her. It was Cliff’s favorite meal.
Cliff – he won her heart when she sixteen. He was six years older. They ran away and got married. Her hero. Her knight in shining armor. Forty years, two children, and five grandchildren later, it ended. Without mercy. Without a grace period to adjust. How could she go on without him? He had always taken care of her. He took care of everything. Everything!
Some of her friends had envied her. Some scoffed. “You’ve never had to work? You’ve never seen a bank statement and can’t balance a checkbook? You’ve never put gas in your car? You’ve never paid a bill, talked to a creditor, or anything? God help you, Nora, if anything ever happens to Cliff.”
Something did happen to Cliff. That day – an ordinary, sunshiny day. When Cliff was outdoors longer than necessary to finish the lawn, she stepped outside to bring him lemonade. The glass crashed on the sidewalk, sticky liquid and ice cubes everywhere, as she rushed to his side. Sunshine turned to torrential rain – only the rain came from her eyes, not the sky.
A heart attack. It was quick. He didn’t suffer. Words meant to comfort her. But, words could not penetrate the cocoon of numbness, disbelief, and shock encasing her. Days upon days of cowering under a pall of gloom that never lifted.
Six months later – six months of very few ordinary days. Her heart longed for ordinary days to replace days of anguish, of sorrow that drained energy from her, of waking each morning and reaching for love that was no longer there.
Days of realizing that Cliff left her unequipped to handle normal, mundane tasks. Their children, Jonathan and Marie, did what they could before their lives took them away. Jonathan was stationed in another state with the Army. Marie had three kids and traveled often as a flight attendant.
“Mom, you have to learn to do these things on your own. Dad should’ve seen to it that you could take care of yourself.” Jonathan couldn’t believe his mother didn’t know how to do simple tasks. “You’ve never put gas in the car? Never? I grew up in this home. How did I not know this?”
“Oh, Jonathan, we thought it was wonderful how our mom was always home for us. That part was okay – Mom not working. In fact, it was great. But this other stuff – wow! We need to find a way to help Mom. Seriously, I’ve already shown her how to put gas in her car. You do remember what I showed you and can put gas in your car now, right, Mom?”
“Yes, Marie.” Nora wished they would stop talking. She wanted to curl up in bed with the blankets pulled over her head.
Now. On this ordinary day that was not ordinary at all. It was a day for beginnings, achievement, and life change. Today was the day. Nora clutched her purse. She had put gas in the car last night. She’d bought a small bookbag. She had put the items she needed in the bookbag. She took a deep breath. She was attending her first class for displaced housewives or women like her who didn’t know the basics of managing finances and life.
“I can do this.” She spoke aloud to the fear of challenge and change. She remembered feeling this way when she was the shy, new kid in school.
But, she was determined to embrace the future of ordinary days, knowing it would be laced with days of extraordinary and wonderful things to bless her – those days that would see her through the not-so-wonderful days.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.