Story Seeds – Day 5: The Ditch

No matter what they told me about Aunt Mona, I never believed a word until she failed me. Always dressed to the hilt, my mother would say, as if that was a bad thing, a waste of time.  Aunt Mona changed the conversation when she arrived.  She smiled and hugged the children first –  even the teens lined up, in spite of the latest stories they’d overheard in the kitchen.  She wore layered dresses and blouses and smelled like jasmine.  When she backed out of her long hugs, she looked right at you and found something about you that you had no idea, until then, that was just what you needed to hear.  “You have the longest lashes I’ve even seen…Such an elegant neck… Oh, if only you could bottle that green in your eyes and give me a speck…”  She kept her smile true as she greeted her way around the adults, and though her spunk was completely unappreciated, she never seemed to notice.  

In her early twenties, she spent several years in a mental hospital, before they had a name for her extreme highs and lows.  And when she came out, her husband had taken her children and married their widowed neighbor, Janet – a woman who only wore pastels.  Mona was not even allowed contact with the children.  When I was older, I realized there had been a hesitation in those compliments following the hugs she gave us, perhaps a ping of sadness…

~ Megan M. Codera

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