Tag: Heart

HEART: Waiting for God By Mike Cecconi

Word: HEART
Word Count 496

Waiting for God
By Mike Cecconi

When Andre Roussimoff’s eyes opened again, he was in the back of a truck in the fields of France, just like when he was young, even though even then he had not been small. He’d been Andre The Giant, a professional wrestler and actor, known for his seven-foot-four height and for projecting a gentle likability despite his size. He’d played ninety-thousand seat arenas, he’d been in big movies but here he was in the countryside of his youth, in the farmland northeast of Paris. He’d been too large for school buses by twelve so he was often driven to school in a pick-up by his father’s friend Samuel.

“Mister Beckett?” he asked the man driving the car. “Yes, Andre?” “How can we be here, sir? This is… thirty years ago, when I was a child. I had heart problems, Mister Beckett, I think I may be dead.” “Am I dead, Andre?” the driver asked back. “I think you died four years ago.” “Well,” Beckett responded, “I suppose we’re both dead, then, yes.”

Samuel Beckett was one of the great playwrights of his time, in both English and French, who had moved from Ireland to the continent and to the country to escape the shadow of his birth nation’s great James Joyce, to be his own man. He wrote seminal experimental plays, dabbling in existentialism and minimalism, about how little we as human beings really can know. He was best regarded for “Waiting for Godot”, a play about two men with barely enough detail to tell each other apart from themselves, stuck in a cycle of anticipation for a third who never arrives.

“If this were heaven,” Andre pressed the issue, “wouldn’t you be with your family? Wouldn’t I be with mine? Or wouldn’t you be receiving your Nobel Prize? Wouldn’t I be in the Superdome being cheered for by one hundred thousand Americans? It was nice of you to drive me to school when I was a boy, but I don’t think this is either of our heavens.”

“Maybe this is how life after death works,” the writer considered, “maybe there is no heaven and we only live on in the stories of others so that’s why we’re here. Two people who were famous for very different things and now we are ghosts in the stories that people tell when they find out we knew each other outside of my writing or your wrestling. Maybe. I’m just theorizing here.”

“Like in one of your plays.” “Yeah,” the driver smiled, “kind of like one of my plays.” Andre paused, there, in his still giant-sized child’s body and decided “If this is what has to happen for one to live on, there are worse places to be than the fields of my youth.” The writer agreed.

“I guess that’s why we’re talking in English.” “I guess so.” “Goddamn Americans”. At that, they shared a laugh and continued their drive through that countryside, all the way off into eternity.

HEART: Circle of Life By Peg Scarano

Word: Heart
Word Count: 500

Circle of Life
By Peg Scarano

It was late August and my oldest, Jenny, was heading off to college for her freshman year.
A U-Haul was rented to move both Jenny and her cousin to Oneonta. We might as well make this an adventure. We had two girls, a mountain of stuff and a lot of stairs to conquer.

My dad had been in declining health all summer and two days before the big day, he worsened significantly and was hospitalized. By Saturday night, he had slipped into a coma. My mom asked to have some time alone with her on-and-off again husband of 50 years. (That’s a story for another day). She exited his room misty-eyed but with a serene aura and asked to be taken home. Jenny obliged, taking her two sisters home and leaving my husband and me with dad.

Jenny returned to the hospital and the three of us spent the night reminiscing about her grandfather. There were funny stories; wonderful and regretful memories; tales where I was naughty and the appropriate punishments administered. And then there were the sagas of the years dad made epic errors in judgment and wasn’t such a great father figure. As we threw him under the bus, he just lay in peaceful repose with no expression on his face, never moving.

When morning dawned, I told Jenny to go home, shower, and finish packing to be ready for the 11 a.m. caravan. Rock took her home and I found myself alone with this man I loved all of my life. A nurse I knew very well came into the room and tried comforting me, “Talk to him. People in a coma can truly hear you. Let him know its ok to go.”

I was devastated. He could hear us? Oh my God! Did he really hear everything we said during those long hours of the night? I had a lot of apologizing to do and apparently, not a lot of time. I had been rubbing rose petals throughout the night – like a worry stone. I placed a rose petal and my hand on my dad’s chest and starting talking to him.

“Dad, I’m really sorry about everything we said last night, but, we didn’t say anything you don’t already know. But what I want to tell you now is the most important thing ever. We all love you so much. It’s OK to go. I have your heart in my hand where it will stay with us forever. We will never forget you as you are unforgettable. I love you.”

I looked into his eyes and there were tears running down his cheeks. Chills ran up and down my spine while my heart burst with love for this man. Fifteen minutes later he was gone.
I went home. The caravan was packed and ready to go. I left my mom and youngest daughter comforting each other as the rest of us took Jenny off to begin her new life adventure. As one life ends, another begins.

HEART: Heart of My Heart By Sally Madison

Word: HEART
Word Count 492

Heart of My Heart
By Sally Madison

Eleanor sat that Sunday afternoon in a faded day dress that only years of wear can produce. She had changed from her Sunday, store bought, navy blue dress and her hat with tiny blue feathers. Her daily praying had been completed as routinely as her life had been these last 21 years. The smell of her meager lunch of tomato soup and bread still lingered in the air. She rolled the gliding rocking chair, listening to the barbershop quartet on the Philco, “Heart of my Heart, I love that melody…” Her toe taped as her fingers automatically moved to the rhythm of the song, knit one, pearl one, knit two, pearl two, round the bend we go. Her memory learned as a child, threaded the yarn with the click of the needles. The soft light-weight wool soothed her soul, as she felt she was caring for her Tommy.

Looking down at her warn apron, she still recalls the day when Tommy came to her to show his loose front tooth. “Looka here, mama,” Tommy said as he opened wide to expose the dandling tooth to his mother.

“Which one is it?” she feigned ignorance. Her fingers wrapped in her apron surrounded the tooth and in a flash, it was in her hand before he could answerer. How he had obsessed over the other front tooth, when it was in a precarious position. “Better to be gone, than putting dirty fingers in the mouth,” was her excuse to his indignant dirty shocked face. Over time, it had become a cherished memory which only a mother and child can share.

Now, in her rocker, she felt the love begin poured into the summer socks that she knit, just as she had poured all her love in the cookies that Tommy would devour after school with his afternoon milk. She was not pleased with Tommy’s decision at the time, but Tommy had the need to prove that his blood line was an honorable as another, regardless of his father’s behavior. She tried to talk him out of it, but he was determined to make her proud.

The rhythm continued with the soft music, until there was an ominous silence, and then “We interrupt this program for a special announcement,” was heard from the Philco. Her knitting stopped, as well as the rocking. Her eyes focused on the wooden cabinet. “We have just learned that the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor! President Roosevelt has called a special meeting of his cabinet, the Senate and the House of Representatives! Stayed tuned for further developments.” The soft music continued, but fell on deaf ears.

Eleanor screamed, “Dear God, why have you done this to me! I can’t take it! I’ll do anything you ask! I’ll apologize to my mother! I’ll write to my sister! Anything you want! Her face in her hands, she cried hysterically for her broken heart. Her mind blended between the present and the past.

HEART: A Patchwork Heart by G Ackman

Word: HEART
Word Count 499
A Patchwork Heart
by G Ackman

Of course my heart is broken.  One cannot love without risking a broken heart.  I can’t even count on both hands the number of times my heart has been broken, but I can vividly recall the utter anguish that accompanies it.  And yet, I would not go back and not experience that empty ache because then I would not have had the love that went before the tumult.  
One of my first heartbreaks was Missy.  She was a rectangle of a dachshund, her over-fondness for pancakes evident in her dragging belly.  She was a patient soul and my childhood companion.  She let me dress her up, bandage her up, and she could sit up for an hour (mostly because her hind end was a perfect square).  Missy loved to play hide and seek, and the opening of the closet door was her siren call.  She eagerly walked in, turned around, and faced the door.  After shutting the door and trying to trick her with various cabinets being opened and chairs moved, I would release Missy and in an ecstasy of exploration, she would search diligently until she found her ball.  Missy left me after I left home, but her loss was tangible.
Next was Brandy, my four-legged psychiatrist.  Her patient brown eyes saw everything, judged nothing, and loved unconditionally.  I nursed her through parvo and paralysis and our bond was unbreakable, in spite of the ravages of time and circumstance.  Alzheimer’s invaded her brain and her body weakened, but her soul was pure to the end.
Then there was Izzy, my best friend.  His goofy expression, all-over spots, and mismatched eyes could always make me smile.  He was a psychotic mess, the poster child for separation anxiety, but in our presence, he was a faithful, loyal friend.  He trotted at my side, tethered only by love and devotion.  His body failed him and I cradled his head as we helped him cross the Bridge.
Now I have Oscar and Harry.  Oscar is my perpetual toddler, a dynamo of energy one moment and sound asleep the next.  Cradled in my arms, Oscar’s huge brown eyes reflect the trust he has in me.  This is a huge gift, as coming from a puppy mill, Oscar’s trust is not given easily or lightly.  Harry is my shadow, a quiet follower of few demands.  His love is hard-won, but once given, it is given completely.  Far too soon, these two will also leave me.
Each of these dogs has been more than “just a dog” and their passing in and out of my life has affected me profoundly.  When they left, they took a piece of my heart, that’s for sure, but they also gave me a piece of theirs to hold forever.  My heart is a patchwork quilt of the dogs who have peopled my life.  Yes it hurts when their time is done and they leave, but then, they are never really gone as long as they live in my heart.

HEART: Heart—Guff’s Story B.A. Sarvey

Word: HEART
Word Count 500
Heart—Guff’s Story
B.A. Sarvey
“H…how does a h…home abandon?” Howard asked.
As they walked, Luna shifted the net of words and crystals slung across her back. “What better thing did you find?”
Guff waved his hand. “You will hear all. But it is my tale, told my way.” The moths had winged ahead, but doubled back and hovered near Guff. “They understand me?”
“Most assuredly. Our new companions are eager to know you.”
“Humph.”
Silhouetted by moonlight, they were an insignificant intrusion to the wilderness, barely noticed by grazing deer and rabbits, a small band of adventurers, full of their successes, returning triumphantly home.
Guff spoke softly. “My entry into the world was normal enough, considering my father’s origins were questionable—a stranger with considerable powers, so gossip went. I never met him.”
“M…my sire is unkn…nown,” Howard admitted.
Nodding his understanding, Guff continued. “My mother did not love me. Abhorred is too strong a word. I think I frightened her.” Guff fell silent for a time. Howard finally asked how a child could frighten a mother.
“That buzz of lightning you felt, Luna, taking my hand when we first met? My mother often accused me of spelling her with it.”
“I wasn’t sure if that was you or some other magic.”
“My bane and my blessing. Folks in the village cursed me: threw stones at me, called me Magician’s son. Mother left me to the elements when I was five.”
“How awful! In a way, I feel I have abandoned my family, not the other way around. Never have I felt unwanted. My home is safe. Warm. Loving.”
“I have come to know that feeling. But no one there wanted me. They drove me out. To them, I was a hydrophobic wolf, not a little boy.”
“P…people t…treat me that way, too.” Howard’s wings fluttered. “That’s why I have always stayed in my c…cave. Until n…now. L…luna….”
“We each need someone special, Howard. A gentlewoman found me far from the village, brought me to the river settlement. Told me a notion filled her head. She could not rest until she set out that night, into the meadow. There I was, curled up alongside feverfew flowers, near to dying. Drained of spirit. Meme took me in, called me Son.”
“And now, Guff, you left her without warning?”
“Oh no! Meme always knew my purpose. For ten years, she has raised me, prepared me, praised me. Accepted me. Meme’s heart is within me, guiding my every step. My mother never did any of those things.”
“H…how c…could you l…leave?”
“Meme bade me go. She knew Luna as soon as she saw her.”
“Saw me!” Luna halted. “Knew me?”
“When you tried to hide near camp,” Guff said, chuckling. “Meme pointed me toward my destiny.”
“D…destiny, again.”
Guff playfully tugged Howard’s wing. “Everyone has a destiny, Howard. A purpose. Only the fortunate ones ever discover what it is.”
“And the better thing?” pressed Luna.
Guff grinned. “All connected to destiny. And another tale.”