Although this is fiction, I knew the love and struggles of a large family.
It's been years since I've returned to the place of my birth. I've really never had the desire to come back, but lately I felt the need to see the home that harbored my mama and twelve children. My daddy unknown to me, he left soon after my birth.
I'm standing here with tears flowing, looking at the old abandoned church where we went every Sunday, rain or shine. My mother, brothers and sisters all buried here among the dead grass and beautiful wild blue flowers.
The older kids walking on an old dirt road to a one room schoolhouse. They trudged through rain, ice and snow because of mama's favorite saying, " To have a better life, you must get a good education. "
We were a happy family. I have memories tucked away of days filled with laughter and tears.
Twelve children sitting around an old worn kitchen table eating mama's delicious fried chicken and homemade biscuits.
In the summertime we'd swim in the most beautiful blue lake, It belonged to our neighbors who were wealthy. The boys worked for them in the summer, plowing the fields, feeding the livestock etc. Mama worked for them too, cleaning and cooking,
The older kids left as soon as they graduated, moving to different parts of the country to find good paying jobs.
They all married and had family's of their own. They would come back to visit at least once a year in the summertime, and we'd have a ball, swimming in the lake, going to church, and best of all, sitting around the old kitchen table, eating and talking about the good times we had growing up.
As for me I want to move back to our old homestead, do some major repairs on the house and see that the church grounds are well taken care of, and when my time comes to meet my Savior, I want to be buried beside my mother.
I wish it was warm enough to go swimming in the lake. I would don my bathing suit, make a basket lunch and swim in the bluest lake I've ever seen. I can hear the kids now, screaming with glee, diving into the water, yelling " I'll beat you to the other side. " I can almost hear the water splashing as they all jump in hoping to be first to reach the shore.
Then if I listen carefully I hear our mama yelling, " It's time to come home kids, it's suppertime. "