The Official Writing Challenge
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You take the reader through a number of emotions in this piece. I like writing that makes me think and makes me feel. This piece does both. Well done.
Both my mom and an aunt blossomed after the death of their spouses, so I can understand the freedom your mom felt. Maybe that's why my mom takes 2 hours to do her monthly shopping at Walmart!
I went through a wide range of emotions, too, reading your entry: anger at your dad. sympathy and admiration for your mom, an appreciation of your ability to be honest, frank and not gloss over the hard parts of your life. Isn't it interesting that while shopping with your mother that you saw her in a new light and since that time have discovered an even greater love for her? A very sensitive, meaningful entry. It's something you'll want to keep for your own kids and grandkids.
This reminded me of my mother-in-law. She would go up and down each aisles having the time of her life. It is the little things, indeed. Thank you for sharing.
This piece makes me think about how different each relationship is and how they are certainly not all rosy. You captured your thoughts about your mother’s aging very well. It IS a shock to see a parent and suddenly realize they are not young anymore. Thank you for sharing this.
Your title is perfect! Only someone who saw the contrast of your mom's life with your dad and afterwards would recognize it in such a "little thing" as shopping. Your portrayal of the subtleness of emotional abuse through control is so spot on. Great entry.
Such a powerfully emotional piece, thank you for sharing this with us.

God Bless~
My heart was saddened by all the happiness your father stole from you and your mother. Maybe your father couldn't understand the difference between love and control (I have no idea what his childhood was like).

I am happy that you and your mom can start enjoying the little things.
This is a very moving story (I presume a true one) and it has a happy ending after years of unhappiness. Thank you for telling it so well. One tiny 'red ink' matter: Where you have written 'and by extension that of my brother and I.' it should be 'my brother and me.'Great writing though!
You used a simple task, shopping, to show the emotional pain of many years. Well done. I could relate, having a relative who only blossomed after her husband died. He'd been abusive and none of us were aware of it.
A powerful story on so many levels. You're a gifted storyteller.