Mom's Despair. With Love to William Dale Holland

Updated on December 7, 2019
manatita44 profile image

Manatita is an esteemed author living in London, UK. He writes spiritual books, flash fiction and esoteric poetry, his favourite genre.

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I never knew why mom constantly stared out of the window, nor why she always looked so sad. Until today, that is. She seems to have lost all interest in her appearance, in what is effectively a woman’s best asset. Gaunt-looking, disheveled and unkempt, she stands at the window at 0900 hrs daily, like clockwork, her eyes otherworldly looking, solemn … sad. Perhaps 0900 hrs reminded her of the time she last saw him.

She holds a black and white photograph in her right hand, discolored from being squeezed between her thumb and fingers. The star-spangled colours are draped in the background. Mom rarely looks at it now, for she cries whenever she does. I once looked at it, picked it up from beneath her pillow while she slept.

Mom was a beautiful woman! radiant smile, alluring looks and mesmerizing eyes, she had a slim to medium figure and a curvy shape, if you know what I mean. Breasts fully defined amidst an enchanting curvature, she was poised, elegant and graceful. She once walked with meaning and laughed like a child. I could still tell by the many photographs in her album.

Next to her in the photograph was a young handsome man, about 18, perhaps, in an Army uniform much too big for him; boots that must have felt uncomfortable on his size 10 feet, even with the shine on them. I take it that he must have wanted to fight … to honour his country. Perhaps he enlisted in a hurry. Who knows? Mom never says much, except that he is my father, as if he is still there.

Today I ask about him once more, as any ten-year-old would who has never seen his dad.

“He’s fine, my darling, he’s fine." She whispers, as like someone whose life-energy had just taken a dip, still staring out of the window. She’s crying as I look towards the window. I see the silhouette of a man, not unlike my dad in the picture, sending kisses to us both with tears flowing down his cheeks.

“Has dad come home, mom?” I ask. “Yes, honey.” She replies, with no conviction in her voice and her face drained of all colour in the light.

Manatita, The Lantern Carrier. 7th December, 2019


A Necessary evil

Is war a necessary evil?

See results

© 2019 manatita44


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  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    5 months ago from london

    To true. It's a sad state of affairs, usually driven by power and greed. Still, I hope I wrote a good Flash, even though, like movies, they can very often reflect real life. Thank you so much!!

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    5 months ago from Houston, Texas

    War destroys lives as well as buildings, etc. It is a literal hell on earth. The woman and her son that you portrayed in this piece is just one example of the effect of war on people's lives.

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 months ago from london

    Hi again, Bill.

    My condolences to your best friend. I believe you wrote about him before. May he rest in Peace.

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 months ago from london

    Hi Bill.

    Something is going wrong with my notices again. Sorry I'm late here. A big one with many viewpoints war. We try Bro. We try. Much Peace

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    6 months ago from Olympia, WA

    So strange that I missed this. I'm sorry....oh, wait, you published this the day my best friend died...that explains it. Well, I'm sorry I'm late to the party. War? Good God, what is it good for, absolutely nothing, to borrow from the lyrics of an old rock song. When will we ever learn, indeed, my friend. Rich old white men get rich while young men of varying colors die for profit. I'm sick of it all.

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 months ago from london

    To true, Mary too true. Thanks a mighty.

  • aesta1 profile image

    Mary Norton 

    6 months ago from Ontario, Canada

    There's so much more to read into this. The question while answered left out so much.

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 months ago from london

    I trust you, Nikki. I trust you because you are always honest. I grew up with honesty. Sometimes you have to be wise, though, but yes, I love your sincerity and your honesty. Om Shanti! Salaam!

  • nikkikhan10 profile image

    Nikki Khan 

    6 months ago from London

    War does sometimes become a necessary evil. But mostly, it is to impose power on the outer world. Loads of wars are fought just to comfort the ego of a narcissist. The examples are of Hitler in Germany and then, George Bush in the United States.

    Impact is far-reaching consequences. Destruction and devastation.

    This is a wonderful offering to Bill Holland. Your prose is immensely fabulous as your poetry is.

    Blessings to you always!

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 months ago from london

    You tend to spend time reading and appreciating my skillful weaving, Dee. As a Creative Writer and poet, I truly admire that.

    Better post Texas? Maybe you could visit my Sis next time.

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Weithers 

    6 months ago from The Caribbean

    Your story-telling is as skilled and expert in your prose as in your poetry. Excellent!

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 months ago from london

    Yes, Miz.

    Another one who suffered the aftermath of war. What can I say?

    Thank you so much!

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    Doris James MizBejabbers 

    6 months ago from Beautiful South

    Manatita, is war a necessary evil? I don't believe it is because it must be started by someone. One can argue self-defense, but somebody committed the aggressive act that produced the war of self-defense. Get my meaning?

    Of course I can't remember December 7, 1941, because my parents didn't marry until a couple of months later, not very long before my father was drafted. I do remember sitting at my grandmother's feet later as she listened to Gabriel Heatter and tried to reassure herself that her "boys" were all right. Later, I remember feeling sorry for a few children in school who lost their fathers in the war, and feeling so fortunate that mine came home (and my uncle and an older cousin.) Our family was so blessed then.

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 months ago from london

    Thanks Audrey.


    Hi Cam,

    Good to see at least one of the Masters here. I trust that Frank is well

    I bow to you Bro

  • cam8510 profile image

    Chris Mills 

    6 months ago from Green Bay, Wisconsin...for now

    Is war a necessary evil? It seems we only know long after the last body has fallen whether or not it was worth it if ever it was. Wonderful job capturing the emotions and thoughts.

  • vocalcoach profile image

    Audrey Hunt 

    6 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

    I barely remember December 7, but even at my young age, I do recall the aftermath and the effect this had on our country. War is so sad.

    Thank you for this very touching story.

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 months ago from london

    I empathise my Sweet and yes, people are expressing the horrors of war.

    I wrote a creative piece of Flash about a woman longing for her husband who was lost in war. No more.

    But I appreciate the deep sentiments here.

    As I said to Devika, we all have a story. Let us pray.

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 months ago from london

    Yes, Brother.

    I remembered Kurukshetra, so I left the subject open. Thank you so much.

  • rdsparrowriter profile image

    Rochelle Ann De Zoysa 

    6 months ago from Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

    Profound meaning covered in truth about loved ones. We had war for 30 long years, and once I got lost in an hospital. I ended up where the soldiers were kept. When I saw them, I was crying all the way back home. It was truly upsetting to see young men who could have had a life over them, comes home with a missing limb or being back as a cold dead body. It's terribly upsetting. I honestly pray and hope that God would heal and comfort the broken hearted. Hopefully where there's no war...

  • emge profile image

    MG Singh 

    6 months ago from Singapore

    What a beautiful story. Touched my heart. I have been a soldier but war?? I don't know. Maybe we can take solace in Lord Krishna's words " not a leaf moves without my will. "

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 months ago from london

    Thank you for your contribution filled with awareness. It is a tricky thing as we are sometimes like patients in hospital. Everyone feels that his ailment is more important.

    Rightly so, perhaps. We become more empathetic to cancer or heart attack when our neighbour suffers.

    Still, war is not nice for the East or West and suffering is found everywhere. Sadly this has been a product of centuries of strife. Thank you so much.

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 

    6 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    War destroys people and I know that from the 1991 war with Croatians and Serbs it was the worst ever experienced in the Balkan region. Nice of you to write of this topic. In the past many have experienced war but it was nothing like the war in the Balkan region.

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 months ago from london

    Indeed Chitrangada, indeed. You do have a compelling viewpoint. Thank you so much!

  • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

    Chitrangada Sharan 

    6 months ago from New Delhi, India

    This is a heart touching story, Manatita, very well narrated.

    Wars don’t help anyone. It leaves scars, which can never be healed.

    Thanks for sharing. Wish you a blessed day.

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 months ago from london

    Oh! I know of this naturally but not the date. I tend to be as wise with politics as I can be and usually do not enter that field, even while recognising its importance. If I can chat with you it's cool because you may not be that passionate with me.

    Many, even here in London, are quite passionate! We have an election coming up soon and I hear so much passion in poetry!!

    Spiritual people work best through prayer, but yes, like Bill I love writing and don't do it enough really, purely because the spirituality has taken over.

    It is worth noting that life is evolving all the time. It is good and necessary knowing the past but not to dwell on this as it can create resentment and hate. But again, where will we stop? With the Europeans? With the Romans? Life has happened and we are evolving and I'm more thankful that I'm here in this journey of evolution.

    All hail to Orville and Wilber Wright but we are much further along today. Be as wise as Solomon and as gentle as the dove. Peace, my spiritual sister.

  • Carb Diva profile image

    Linda Lum 

    6 months ago from Washington State, USA

    December 7 is a day that people of the United States (my parents' generation) remember very well. On this date in 1941 2,403 citizens of the United States were killed and 1,178 injured in a Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. This led to the United States declaring war on Japan the next day and thus entering World War II.

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 months ago from london

    Well, well, Brother Sean,

    So good of your to re-produce my poem, one of my favourites. I feel awesome! Ha ha.

    Thank you, Bro. So happy that you like my Flash. I am a writer, a proper writer. Didn't you know? I hide my skills. (Chuckle) Gratitude.

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 months ago from london

    I heard a poem from a girl on Thursday that was much shorter naturally, but quite touching. She ended it brilliantly! All my words are very different but the essence is similar.

    Now is December 7th special for something? I once published a poem on Memorial Day incidentally, about a Japanese Kamikaze Pilot and got some stick for it, but I have no beef with anyone. Why do you ask? I have no T.V and am not generally interested in news. Things that are important tend to come to me somehow. Thank you so much!

    Finally, when I start the poem I do not usually have any idea of where I'm going, but my thoughts flow freely. However, I tried to find photos of a soldier and wife and one thing led to another until I came up with the Star Spangled banner.

    At this point I decided to dedicate it to an American and who better than Bill? He not only appreciates my work but like me, he likes these types of stories and share similar thinking to me. So here you are Sis, an insight into how I think. Ha ha. Have a great weekend.

  • Carb Diva profile image

    Linda Lum 

    6 months ago from Washington State, USA

    Manatita was it by accident or conscious choice that you published this on December 7, the day that will go down in infamy? Sad, touching, and truthful telling of the aftermath of war.

  • Sean Dragon profile image

    Ioannis Arvanitis 

    6 months ago from Greece, Almyros

    “When I am gone, remember me.

    No. Not because I saw in you the Light of my Beloved.

    No. Not because of the sweet inspirations,

    Whispering through the magnificence of our Souls.

    I have made a covenant in the sanctuary of thy heart.

    My breath, like the grace-like enchantment of a ballerina,

    Floats effortlessly in the ether, and yet,

    Remember me not for these things.

    I have sung songs in your Spirit,

    Woven a magical tapestry of the heavens;

    My words a lover’s paradise in the celestial spheres.

    Remember me not for these things.

    You will find me, in the supernal beauty of a glorious dawn;

    The fluttering of your heart, when, like twinkling stars,

    I waltz through the constellations.

    Yes. Your eyes will sparkle at the wonder of the firmament,

    And say: “This too, is Him.”

    For out of the frailty and infirmity of this bodily temple,

    Was squeezed the last ounce of splendour.

    When I am gone remember me.

    I will be in the delicacy of the snowflakes on a winter’s morn;

    The purity and innocence of a child’s smile,

    And the sweet cadences of Cosmic Light.

    I will be in the radiance of your sunset,

    And in the sand pebbles, you will find my gems.

    The greatness of the horizon’s edge,

    Will give you a sweet and tingling inner glow,

    And you will know that we are meant to BE.

    When I am gone remember me, remember me …” -Manatita

    From a poet I love to a writer I love too!

    Gratitude for both of you, Bill and Manatita!

    Every end is a start!


  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 months ago from london

    Thanks Ruby.

    I'm better at making them mean. Ha ha. With poetry, I have more control. Have a great weekend.

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Richert 

    6 months ago from Southern Illinois

    This is a heartwarming story. I love the pictures! War leaves many heartaches. I am more than pleased that you have branched out to writing stories. You have a gift....Keep writing.

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 months ago from london

    Thank You Elijah.

    I appreciate your comment. I trust you have a great weekend.

  • The0NatureBoy profile image

    Elijah A Alexander Jr 

    7 months ago from Washington DC

    I enjoyed it, Manatita, and recognize the "come home" has two meanings. The boy was asking about the physics house while the mother was saying yes about his other world home called heaven. IMO, very well done, thanks.

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 months ago from london

    Funny Eric,

    I like that. Keep it up! Awesome! Have a great Saturday.


    Thank you so much, Bro. Poignant yes, but reflects life for many with families in conflict. I also need to use the lesser side of the Light sometimes, no? Ha ha.

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 

    7 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    Just love this Manitita. I have not known despair for a long time so it is good of you to remind me of other's.

  • Jodah profile image

    John Hansen 

    7 months ago from Queensland Australia

    Nice story, but sad manatita.

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 months ago from london

    Ah, my friend Tiyasha.

    A fine sentiment indeed!! Thank you so much!

  • Cattaleya profile image

    Tiyasha Maitra 

    7 months ago from Gurgaon

    This is a very touching piece Manatita. And such an eloquent narration.


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