She lay in bed letting the darkness of the night engulf her, hoping for relief from the stresses of the day.  But her dreams were restless and all through the night her thoughts went back to the difficulties in her life.  Her son had been born with a syndrome that caused severe irregularities in his breathing and weaknesses in his heart. (As she slept, she felt a heavy stone laid on her chest.)  At first, she spent her days caring for him while her husband went to work.  But one day her husband came home and said that he wasn’t in love with her anymore, he wanted a divorce so that he could go on with his life.  (Another stone crushed her ribs.)  Her mother moved in to help her when she took on a job as an aide at the local school to help pay their expenses. After all, the astronomical medical bills were piling up.  She worked all day while her mother cared for her son.  Then one day while getting ready for work, she felt a lump in her breast.  (The stones were getting heavier.  It was getting harder to breathe.  Was she still asleep?)  Her brother called her one night and told her that he thought she was taking advantage of their mother.  He said some awful things to her in his anger that could never be taken back.  (Another stone on top of the others.)  When the school budget was cut, she lost her job.  (The weight was so much now that she could no longer move her arms and legs.)  She lay there in the darkness and thought that maybe this wasn’t so bad.  She could just stay in bed under a blanket of stones and never get up again.

The morning came and she could hear the birds singing outside and the roar of a neighbor’s lawn mower.  Life was going on in spite of her burial under the stones.  Perhaps she should stay here in bed.  Choose not to face the day and to leave it to her mother and son to figure it out.  But then she thought of how much she would miss.  Especially her son’s smile and afternoon tea with her mother.  Simple things, but each so valuable and precious.  She pushed away the blanket of stones and stood on her own two feet and walked into another day of her life…   Author of The Tin Box Trilogy


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