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Category Archives: Mental Illness

The Coffee Table…

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This is a very, very short story of a long marriage that “ends” after thirty-six years with spurts of happiness and much tribulation; the end came over twenty-five years ago. Now that the logistics is out of the way, this numeric information is relevant to the title…the coffee table. 

I chose to end the marriage that had been filled little happiness and many tumult periods from the beginning.  It is important to know that before ending such a marriage my children were adults.  I walked away on a sunny June morning with a suitcase, my dog and a rented car.  I did not want anything that was a part of my past.  The coffee table bought in the mid-sixties was going to be tossed in the mid-nineties; it had been in the basement of my sons’ home.  Cleaning time. 

I said yes, I would take it.  Somehow it meant something to me; the only thing that I would have from my marriage.  This ageless contemporary piece of furniture carried with it many memories.  Shopping for furniture in 1979 was during a better time, my then husband and I spent an entire day searching the stores until the one meant for us was found.  A few days later the table would be tossed across the room in a rage of madness, the inside frame broken.  I repaired the table and it was like new.

It would appear that the coffee table itself was somehow demonic.  Over the period of ten-years, the coffee table would split open the chins and one cut above an eye of two boys wrestling in the living room.  It placed cuts on grandchildren that tripped and fell on its corners.  It left bruises on shins of the entire family who chose to hurry around the object of discussion.

 

It had its good moments too.  It served as desk where hundreds of thousands pages of homework was done.  Throughout its “life” served as step stool, craft table, coloring table, and eating and snack table.  It has held plants, books and other things during the different seasons.  I smile as I think back at the many good times my children and I had sitting around this table when my husband was out of town.  We glorified the days without chaos.  When I received the coffee table, I painted the dark wood white, a pure color that would remove all turmoil significance.  Throughout these past years, it has been repainted the same white many times.

This brings me to the present and for the record, I have stated many times that the table is being held together by the paint.  Apparently, it was…my four-year-old grandson used it as a bounce board and then I sat on the table to talk to my granddaughter and poof; I ended its life and an era.

 

Well you would not believe the “moans” from my children, “ah can’t it be fixed”?

 

There was no pain in its exodus from my home, well maybe a little as it was heaved into the trash.  I suddenly understood that I had held onto it for the memories, memories that are embedded deep within me.  The good ones I will keep, the bad will soon be hauled away.  I thought about what could have been and never was; time wasted, and I looked for the last time at the only thing that was left of a long marriage… the coffee table.   

 

 

 

©2017.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

 

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Bayou Gauche Death…

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Bayou Gauche Death

untitledDrawing by Anneka Reay

 

At dawn, Ruby Waters life light went out, in the dark her children cried; a candle glowed against the rustic rough boards of the shanty shadowing the souls left behind.  Laid to rest quickly in the Louisiana heat; the moon cast a glow on her shallow grave.  The children’s tears burn hot upon their dirt-streaked faces as relatives who heard the shots took them away.  Drunken Gat Waters had shot his emaciated wife because she was pregnant again then yelled, “Now dat’ are two less mouths to feed”.  They were swamp folk no one outside Bayou Gauche would ever know.

 

 

 

 

Text Copyright © 2016 by Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree 

Publishing Rights AsterialThoughts.100WordShortStories 2016 by Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree

asterial_thoughts_cover_for_kindle-jpg  https://www.amazon.com/Asterial-Thoughts-Journey-into-Thought-ebook/dp/B01MXWUZ4X/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487141103&sr=1-7&keywords=ann+johnson-murphree

 

Bayou Gauche Death is a work of fiction.  Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

 

 

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Causalities of Life…

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The homeless cannot sleep on cold nights, some gather around burning barrels, men, women and children, forgotten, shattered and despised by those who are more fortunate… those who have a home, a job.  In the distance, you may hear a baby cry.  Mothers’, Fathers’ are begging for food, living on the streets, no jobs, the family no longer sound. 

Government talks end up in contradictions, a lifetime of poverty is the homeless prediction.   The spirit freezes, fruit of labors rot, life squeezes and struggles persist.   Bad luck smothering heart and soul, hope ceases to exist.  Shifting winds turn into storms, will the world grow wiser or beaten back into servility?  Trust departed, a cardboard box in the streets is where the homeless make their beds, hope disappears and the future appears dead.  Wake up America! 

 

 

Writing

©2017.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

 

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Thinking of Charlotte…

19.charlotte winter

This coming summer I will walk by the creek where we scattered your ashes seven years ago to nurture the strokes of nature, the wind spreading them across the rippling water.  The children will skip and dance in the tall grasses in the meadow, paper and paints in hand ready to create “we love you” notes to tie to balloons.  Their fingers will become the shades of a fresh rainbow, flowers drawn in pinks and purple her favorite colors.  The wild flowers will surround our much-loved place, hallowed ground where a bench sits inscribed with her name.  We will all laughed, tell stories, paint and dance among the flowers.  In reality, our daughter, sister and aunt would never be seen again.  The underlying truth was that our lives have never been the same, in life, she taught us patience and love; in death, she taught us to appreciate every moment of every day

©2017.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree  

Authors Books on Line:

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http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/ann+johnson+murphree

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A Motherless Child…

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A Motherless Child…

I believed and continue to believe myself to be a motherless child.  A simple family gathering where my Aunt Vina made the statement when correcting a story regarding my daddy.   She said, “No, that happen after Roy came for Ann”; then added, “Remember, she was with me until she was two years old”.  I heard her.  The truth freed a family secret; Southerners are very good at keeping secrets.  My mother unflinchingly said, “Well, it was Roy who wanted her back home, not me”.  The words cut like a knife; they would not be the last damning words to me that my mother would say.

charlotte-36-copy(This is the only picture of my mother that I have)

Questions of a lifetime were answered.  I was a tough child, strong minded, creative and resourceful; I knew how to survive.  My daddy took care of me as best he could until I was five years old; he then brought home a wonderful black lady called Aunt Francis (yes, it was the day where such names were given that today would be offensive, but I loved her) she would be my mother until I was old enough to no longer need the care a mother would give a child.  Was my mother there, of course, she was…doing her own thing.  My mother was a brilliant woman with great potential; she also had love in her heart but it was reserved for others not me.  She did not want me at birth and she did not want me the day she died.  However, that’s another story

I survived, I grew up in the tranquility of the woods that surrounded the house I lived in, I had daddy, and Aunt Vina my daddy’s sister was still in my life.  Aunt Francis taught manners and how to live with adversary; my Great-grandmother taught me how to survive in all ways.  My mother instilled fear in me.

I loved my mother with every breath I took, I remember pretending that she would put her arms around me lovingly, calling me with a voice filled with love and caring.  No, in all of my life, my mother has never put her arms around me or told me she loved me.  And, I survived it all physically, mentally is still being questioned.  Nonetheless, I flourished under those heavenly Alabama skies, I am still silent within my own loneliness, a motherless child before and after she died.

 

Note from Author:  These stories are true…there were many children in my situation, yet few continued to love their mother as I did; I have accepted the fact that it is my destiny to be alone and to be lonely.  However, writing the stories will be my gift to all who read them, I will write until the well of words dry up. 

 

 

©2017.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Authors Books on Line:

https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=ann+johnson-murphree&sitesearch_type=STORE

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/ann+johnson+murphree

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=ann+johnson-murphree

 

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Fire, Rain and Lies…

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Excerpt from the works of Fire, Rain and Lies…

It is spring, warm breezes float through magnolia trees.  A gracious but cold-hearted woman of the South rises from past memories; her thoughts behind ice blue eyes. She sits on the bank of a pebbly brook under a Blue Bird sky, the scent of lilac rises from her.  She dips her fingers slowly into the cool water; she is old and life has passed her by, she never achieved the life she desired; and the depths of her truth will never be known.  In her secret place of selfishness within her, the hate for an unwanted child never ended; she stops to ponder her own question; do I deserve the name “mother”.

©2017.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Authors Books on Line:

https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=ann+johnson-murphree&sitesearch_type=STORE

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/ann+johnson+murphree

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=ann+johnson-murphree

 

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Fire, Rain and Lies…

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 “FIRE, RAIN AND LIES”…

An excerpt from the beginning of my autobiography:  

These days I contemplate the mystery of life, of my life; and that I exist at all, born in the South during a time when people were trying to pull out of the Great Depression, the year was 1939.  The rural South I am told, was affected the most.  My daddy worked as a tenant farmer, never making enough money to get ahead, but just enough to buy some store bought foods.  I guess that you could say that we were better off than most, many were forced to beg, train hop, or look for daily work to feed their families. 

10.Cabin in the Meadow

“Above is a watercolor painting I did of the place where I was born, fortunately it was there long enough for me to place it in memory.  It was unoccupied and burned down by vandals in 1949”.

 My daddy use to say, if Hoover had been reelected everybody in the south would have starved to death, he was tired of eating Hoover gravy; as it turned out he lived on Hoover gravy and fatback for years.  Even when Mr. Roosevelt was elected and long after the depression was over my daddy would find himself no better off.

My mother and daddy married in May 1932, my sister was born in February 1933; this would be the only child my mother ever wanted.  She was almost happy in those days, then in 1938, she found out she was pregnant with me…

I repeat these days I contemplate the mystery of life, of my life; and why I exist at all!

[This autobiography is ongoing and has been for a few years, complicated, thorny and heartbreaking I continue to write about a life fill with abuse, sprinkles of happiness and mammoth lies.  I will bring you updates from time to time.]  

 

Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree    

Authors Books on Line:

https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=ann+johnson-murphree&sitesearch_type=STORE

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/ann+johnson+murphree

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=ann+johnson-murphree

66th

 

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