May Story A Day – Day 2
Here’s another prompt that’s going to make it difficult for you to try to write a brilliant story. We’re focusing this week on productivity, quantity not quality. And here’s the secret, when you’re not too worried about the quality, you quite often find that your writing is better than you expected.
The Prompt – Day 2
I made the attempt to marry the prompt for today with the Guest Prompt by Jerry B Jenkins … hopefully my attempt works!
Write a story containing all of these words from a fourth grade spelling list.
This is a ridiculous and fun little exercise. Try it!
Guest Prompt by Jerry B Jenkins – Day 2:
You head the credit union at a company that requires employees to explain needs for loans. One pleads privately for confidentiality, and you talk the board into his loan, based on their trust in you. You go to your grave without revealing his secret, which is…
The Secret …
My mother had always been an activist of sorts. Just how much I didn’t realize until she was almost 80 years old.
She worked a while after high school to save money for college. Then, like many of her contemporaries decided to join the Peace Corps and see the world while hopefully making a difference and learning something in the process.
She was amazed with the possibility of traveling to several different countries. Before she left, the mayor of her hometown decided everyone needed to know her decision. She and several other people from across the state met at the airport for a public send off. After being acknowledged, they all walked to a waiting airplane and off to a training center before getting their assignments. For many of these young people, this would be their first flight of many yet to come.
My grandparents were sure she would back out before she finished training and come home like she had been on holiday! However, my mother was raised with determination and loved the training. Soon she left for the first overseas assignment.
Before her time in the Peace Corps was over, she worked in many underdeveloped countries. Along the way she met my father, but not before finding and losing a love she would never forget.
Returning to the states, she and my father married and settled down, but her heart remained across the Atlantic in a small South African country. She kept in touch with those who were still there as well as many of the children who stole her heart.
Years went by, she became a teacher and still worked her heart out for the disenfranchised. Through her dedication she volunteered with the homeless community, the local women’s shelter, the elderly, and helped my brother and me with whatever current project we were involved in at the time.
My father owned a construction company that supported Habitat for Humanity and in turn all the volunteer activities my mother embraced. Neither blamed anyone for the hardships other faced, but made sure they could give when and where they could. It was not unusual for them to work side-by-side each weekend help frame a new Habitat home. Mom would tie a carpenter’s apron around her waist filled with nails she automatically reached for to hammer home where she happened to be working.
Dad created a work pail recalled it that held all the extras needed during a weekend of intense construction. They both contributed items they needed and knew the first timers would need as well. New volunteers rarely remembered things like sunscreen, bug spray, and sometimes even work gloves. The two would make the rounds introducing themselves to the volunteers, pointing out the work pail, and quietly relaying the information. The only requirement was to only take what they needed and to pay it forward with their next project.
Volunteering to help others was a shared joy. Both not only gained the satisfaction of doing something for others, but met wonderful new friends along the way. They continued to help build houses with Habitat well into old age.
Nearly a year after my father died, mom came to me in a panic. She needed a large sum of money, needed my help, but could not (or would not) tell me why she needed the money. She refused to let me take out a second mortgage and told me she wouldn’t either. The loan needed to be as private as possible and not tied to our family at all.
At the time, my brother was the CEO of a large financial institution and I knew he could help if anyone could. I still wondered why mom didn’t go to him, but asked no questions and respected her wishes. My brother and I decided to meet the next afternoon at our favorite microbrewery to discuss the situation. We both wondered why mom needed the money and that much money especially. The final decision was that it must have something to do with the community in South Africa where her heart still lived. There were secrets from that time she never told and even a couple of years when no one heard from her she refused to discuss.
Without any justification, my brother made the loan happen. We got our mother the money with no questions asked and over the course of several years every loan payment was made on time. Those payments continued after her death. No one knew who made them, a check arrived on time until the loan was repayed.
On his deathbed, my mother’s lawyer handed me a letter. A letter that was not to be opened until a year after his death and my brother and I must read it together. He gave me no clue about the contents only that it was from my mother and he was following instructions left to him at her death. Not trusting myself, the letter immediately went to my brother for safekeeping. I knew he was curious, but would have the ability to not break our mother’s trust.
We make plans for dinner one year later to celebrate the opening of her letter. When the evening arrived, we each enjoyed our favorite meal and decided the letter would be read during dessert. To make it more of a celebration, we had someone else invited to share dessert and read the letter to us so we heard the information exactly at the same time. Our parents long time friend who was with them in South Africa was the perfect choice.
With dessert, our dear friend and ‘other’ mother opened the letter with a flourish and twinkle in her eye. Little did we know, she was our mother’s confident about the loan and kept the secret all these years. Smiling and not reading the legalese of the letter, she told us something we never would have guessed.
“My lovelies,” she said. “Your mother and I, with the help of her long-lost love built a village for the people we love so dearly in South Africa. Our friend still there is the administrator and quasi-mayor who runs things. We have saved and educated hundreds of children and their families with our project. This village was built-in honor of your father and the two of you and is completely self-sufficient. This model is being replicated all over that area to help the people we love to become independent. There were four young idealist people who wanted to save the world. Knowing we could never do that, we saved a little slice of it where our hearts remained when we left.”
My brother and I were speechless but knew we should be traveling to South Africa soon. We were sitting with the perfect guide to lead our way.
As she was leaving our dear friend said, “by the way” “this was planned completely before your father died. Your mother and I knew the two of you would make the dream happen,” as she smiled through tears.
Copyright © 2016 Annie Original Fiction
Always…I wish you peace, joy and happiness, but most of all I wish you Love.
As Ever, Annie