Friday Fictioneers – Martha’s Mind

Dale Rogerson

Photo courtesy – Dale Rogerson

Martha’s Mind

Word count:  100

 

Martha inhaled deeply, held it momentarily then exhaled slowly.

She repeated this twice before settling into practice.  It was a warm evening with low humidity so she took the opportunity to meditate on the back deck while the mosquitoes were preoccupied.

The sun warmed Martha’s face; eased her frown lines, and smoothed her crow’s feet.  The cushion beneath cupped her bottom with ease which promoted a relaxed attentiveness.

Bird evensong and faraway car sounds floated by for her consideration but she paid them no mind.

For thirty minutes, Martha simply was.  Nowhere to go.  No-one to be.  Nothing to do.

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When there was nowhere else but down

Seven or eight years ago, life had become very difficult for my little family.  I could try to explain the whys and wherefores but the events are past tense.  To try to break it down, make it coherent, and string everything together would require more time than I care to give on the subject.  Suffice to say, things were a mighty struggle all around.

Local news today of a father who shot his wife and three young children before shooting himself reminds me of a day or two during that time when I had considered doing the same thing.

The man’s motivation appears to be that of concern over his marital problems and likely, the knock on effect it would have on the relations with his children.  But I presume; I do not know the truth.  I only know sorrow for the situation and relief for my own.

The details were loose.  I didn’t own a gun, and I didn’t know how to get one; I certainly didn’t have money to buy one.  But I remember standing in the living room of our little, rented house staring at the curtains in front of me.  Just standing and staring.  My husband was at work and our children, at school.  I had been crying.  Heartbroken.  My soul wrung out.  I felt desperate.  As if there was no way out.

In hindsight, I think I had a small breakdown that day.  I believed that if we weren’t here, the burden would be lifted.  I imagined if I had that gun, I would kill the kids first, upstairs, then I’d shoot my husband when he came home in the wee hours, and then I’d shoot myself.  I actually visualized it.  I visualized wrapping the kids’ bodies in blankets and waiting for my husband.

So disconnected was I from myself that I thought it would be easy.  I didn’t visualize the  fact that I’d witness my children’s brains scatter, or watch my husband’s body fall, or the last thing I’d see would be the barrel of a gun.  I didn’t pay any mind to family and friends who would be so shocked and saddened. I only visualized a world where our own struggle and suffering ended.

Dark times, indeed.

I am grateful for my own inner strength which pulled me through when my body and soul were limp.

And I hold this dear family in the light today.  I wish the Dad had found some tiny thread to help pull him through.