Use Your Words: September 12, 2014

Happy Friday friends!

Today’s post is a writing challenge.This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.

I’m using:

death first ~ neverending ~ love ~ honor ~ green jello

They were submitted by: Robin from Someone Else's Genius.

Thanks Robin :)

The sun shone dimly through the kitchen window. I stood in the kitchen I had grown up in, shaking and gripping the counter for dear life. The day that was just breaking should be full of promise and hope but it was simply breaking-like I was.

My younger sister sat in her well-worn, blue flannel, robe, her hands loosely holding the cup of steaming tea in front of her. Earl grey. It was her go to when life became too much. Some people turn to alcohol; my sweet sister turns to tea, her hypnotic, narcotic for her soul. Her eyes were staring far away, maybe to a distant memory of a happier time, maybe to the last vacation we took with our parents, I just knew she was anywhere but here and now.

I just knew when I got the call at 4:00 a.m. that the only place I could be, the only place that would bring me some semblance of comfort was wherever my sister was. I drove blindly, begging the tears to stop and praying for courage and strength to get me to the house where we grew up.

My parents had a love that was legendary and never-ending. It was bold and comforting. My father loved my mother with a quiet passion that was undeniable. They would rather face death first then renounce the love that had for each other. When you were in the same room as them, you could feel the love fill the room. When they left, they left a little of their love behind, a trail to a happy life.

They worked hard their whole lives. My father worked at a factory 6 days a week. He came home dirty and foul smelling. Whenever my sister and I would scrunch our faces at the chemical smell that clung to my father when he got out of work, my mother would admonish us. She told us that smell was the smell of sacrifice and hard work. That was the smell that put food on our table and clothes on our back and we should be honored to smell it. Her love for my father was just as fierce as the love he had for her.

My mother worked hard as well. She kept the house, kept us, somehow kept her mind and was always taking odd and end jobs. There was no job that was too big or too little for my mother. She would clean people's houses and do clothing alterations for the women in our neighborhood. Eventually, they saved enough so she could open her own little dry-cleaning and alteration shop.

It was even more hard work, but my parents loved it because it was theirs. They made their dreams come to life and had love to support each other and every one of their endeavors. When it was time, they sold it, for a good profit. I sometimes thought I should have shown more interest, invested myself in it, wanted that life, but I didn't. My parents never expected my sister or I to take over, but I wonder if we would be sitting here this sour morning if one of us were still running that little store.

After they retired, my parents started enjoying vacations they had always dreamed of taking. Mexico. The Grand Canyon. Thailand. An Alaskan Cruise.

And this cursed one, to Machu Picchu, in Peru.

Absentmindedly, I opened the fridge looking for something. The normally, scrumptious left overs held no appeal to me. The tea and lemonade on the shelves would not quench my thirst. I shut the door, I would not find anything in here, I was searching for answers and peace, not green jello.

On my still shaky legs I left the fridge and went to the table to sit with my sister. She stopped staring at the calendar on the wall and turned slowly to me. The phone began to ring and we both jumped up. When I picked up, it was a bad connection, with a person speaking English poorly, but we did not care. We hungered for information, for any news on our parents.

"Hello, is Clara there? Clara? This Eddie, we talk earlier. Your parents are at hospital now, we were able to rescue them and get them to hospital. They not conscious and have lots of injuries. I have passed your information to hospital; they call you when they know more."

'Thank you', I say, numbly and quietly but with much love. 'Thank you, for keeping us updated' , I whispered and hung up the phone. My hand gripped the base of the phone, clutching at my only connection to my parents wondering when we would hear again. Slowly, I forced my hand to slip off the receiver, letting go and hoping when we did hear, that it would be good news, better news.

I was still in shock from the first phone call that woke me up this morning. The one where I first spoke to Eddie, their travel guide, who said they had fallen off Machu Picchu and that there was a rescue effort in progress but they had not reached them yet. I was confused, so confused, I knew they were going there to see it, never in my wildest dreams would I think they would attempt to climb it. But they did and were not successful.

My sister and I clung to each other and cried. We wished and prayed to anything and anyone that would listen. We needed good news. We needed them to be okay.

We needed our parents.

The sun began to shine through the window, brighter and filling the room with its light. Reminding me that things can always get brighter. Dear God, I needed that reminder that things could get brighter.

Please stop by the other brave bloggers who linked up and see what they did with the words they were given::

Baking In A Tornado

Spatulas On Parade

Stacy Sews and Schools

Sparkly Poetic Weirdo

Evil Joy Speaks

Someone Else’s Genius

Confessions of a part-time working mom

Follow me home . . .

The Bergham’s Life Chronicles

The Sadder But Wiser Girl

Battered Hope


  1. Jenn, I'm crying! Is this your story? Are you Clara? Am I silly for asking?
    I love the kind of love between two people who work so hard at life. <3

    1. Michele it is never silly to ask!

      No, I am not Clara, this is a work of fiction (my first one too!) :)

  2. WOW!!!!!!!!!! I was in tears, too! I was so convinced that this had to be real!!
    GREAT JOB!!!!!

  3. OMG, I'm so glad this isn't true. What a moving piece. I had tears and goose-bumps all at once.

    1. Me too, I am not sure if I could write it if it happened to someone I I would probably be in tears and not able to type..

  4. Phew, I was going to say "please don't tell me this really happened" - so congratulations on a kick-ass piece of fiction! You had me holding my breath...

    1. Thank you Tamara! It never hurts to try new things! So maybe I'll keep trying my hand at fiction... :)

  5. I had to read the other comments to see if you were living this right now! Wow. You are an amazing writer! I was scared for you and your sister!!!

  6. Beautiful, heart-felt, and pulled at my emotions. Nicely done. Was this a true story? If not, you made iv believable.

    1. Carol, a friend of mine recently went to Peru and told me that it was actually quite dangerous to climb and people have gotten hurt...and that's what inspired this story.

      Thank you very much!

  7. Oh my gosh. I had to read some of the comments to see if this was real. You seriously brought one of my worst fears to life. My parents are always traveling to exotic places and I fear something will befall them when they are away.

    Well done on the Words. The green jello was an intended wrench, but you handled it beautifully!

    1. Never intended to ever put fear anywhere in your heart friend!

      & that green jello was a bitch.


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