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"The Writings of a Mouse"


Chapter 1
I Cry

By Ramona Agin

I cry. .

I listen to Celine.

"I'm Everything I am Because of You." The words ring so true.

This has always been one of my songs to you.
.
I cry even harder.

Again torturing myself because I wasn't there for you. There when you needed me the most.

I was in denial. So many things had happened. I had chronic pain. I was addicted to pain medication.

I cry some more.

My marriage was in shambles I got divorced.

I cried harder.

I moved to Lisa's. A month later Lisa died.

I cried my heart out.

A month after Lisa died I came to see you.

Dad told me you were going to die. I didn't believe him. If you were going to die YOU would tell me.

I cried and I prayed.

You looked thin and weak. I told myself this was because you had been so sick. I told you to rest and get better.

I cried even more.

You kept looking for things to give me while I was there as if you would never see me again. I kept telling you to relax.

I cried my eyes out.

I watched you sleeping on the couch looking so thin and frail and

I cried more and more.

We made plans for me to come back in September for the Willow Tree Festival.

I couldn't cry anymore.

My two week visit went by so fast. I got ready to go. I prayed that night for your quick return to good health but...

I didn't cry.

We had coffee the next morning. I told you September would be here before we knew it. I told you I loved you and to rest and hurry up and get better.

I don't remember crying.

We said goodbye to each other at the front door. We hugged each other tight and told one another I love you.

As always we BOTH cried.

That was the last time I ever got to hold you in my arms and tell you how much I loved you.

I got the call five weeks later that you were dying. I didn't believe it. I asked the nurse she said you were holding your own. Good. I thought. That means she's fighting.

I didn't cry.

I went to you a day later. Afraid. I got there. Dad met me and told me not to...

cry in front of you.

I saw you. You looked awful. You were so swollen. You looked miserable.

I wanted to hold you and...

cry but I had to be brave for you.

I got to say hello. I love you Mom. Then you slipped into the darkness.Later that night...

I cried and I cried.

I wished that I could turn back the clock so I could be with you those last five weeks.

I cried fresh tears.

I prayed to God not to take you. That you were far too young and that we had so many more things left to do and say.

I cried and I pleaded.

I tried to remember our last phone conversation. Did I miss a cue? Why didn't YOU tell me.

I cried some more.

Exhausted. I finally fell asleep.

The next morning I went to the hospital. Despite my prayers, there was no change. You were in the darkness.

I cried inside.

You lingered in the twilight for another day and night and died in the wee hours of the morning.

You took your last breath at 3:59 am on September 6,2015.

My World has changed forever.

I haven't stopped crying.

Author Notes I am no poet. This is just written from the heart. My Mom was my best friend. Our birthdays are both in September one week apart. She died two days before her 74th birthday. We were only 18 years apart. We always celebrated our birthdays together.


Chapter 2
Time

By Ramona Agin

They say that time heals all wounds but how can it mend a piece of you that's gone?

I sit and look back on our visit the year before you died. Did you know then? Had the deception already started?

I knew our time was limited but I thought we had years not months. Had I known we had months I would have done things so differently.

I'm sure you had your reasons. Maybe you even tried. I guess you just couldn't bear to break my heart.

Well, it's broken now anyway. Shattered. I will never be the same. My laughter never as rich.
The sunlight never as bright.

I love, but now with the fear of loss ever present. You gone. Lisa gone. So many others gone. My family, friends, pets all dwindled off to nothing. Gone.

How can you love freely when you fear that which you love the most will be torn from you at any time?

How do you open yourself up to love when you fear the pain of loss so much that you joke and pretend you don't need anyone but you are really terrified of being alone?

How do you stop the past from replaying over and over in your head? Wishing somehow you could change the outcome, knowing logically, you can't?

My soul dying over and over again. The crushing weight in my chest. The breathlessness. The tears. Over and over I lose you. Again and again. It never stops. Some days it's just not as painful.

You are with me every day. Always present in my thoughts. Rare is the moment that goes by when I don't think of you. I wonder if you can see me. If you can hear me.

I pray that you have forgiven me for not being there for you. I rant at you. Angry that you did not talk to me. That you relied on Papa Geno to tell me. Not my real Dad.

I mean. I know you didn't like to make phone calls but don't you think this one was worth making?
It would have been nice to hear the news from my real Dad. Then I might have believed it. But as much as I loved Gene, he was still an outsider. He wasn't you and he wasn't Dad. You should have known I was only going to believe family. Even Missy. You never told Missy.

Damn Mom. Was I supposed to take the word of a blood stranger? Sure I knew him but he wasn't blood. He wanted to put you in a nursing home. He said you wanted to go. I asked you. You said yes. I told you I could take care of you. You just smiled. What did that mean?

Eventually, Gene took care of you. I guess you didn't want to burden me. As if you could ever be a burden. I look back and I thought we had more time or I would have stayed.

Hindsight is always 20/20. I missed the cues that were being given. I did notice you were sleeping more. I should have gone home when Missy did. I wish I had. I miss you Mom. So very much. Sometimes it hurts so bad my chest aches. My stomach aches. My throat closes and I can't breathe.

Author Ramona Agin

Author Notes I wrote this the day after my Mom died. She was my best friend. Without her my life just has not been the same. A huge piece of my heart is missing.


Chapter 3
Greatest Love

By Ramona Agin

How can I even begin to tell you the way I feel about you?
The way my heart sings when I hear your voice on the end of the telephone.
How much I love to get packages and cards from you in the mail.
The little secrets that we share, just you and me.
The smile on your face.
The warmth of your hand.
The feel of your lips on my cheek.
I am a part of you.
You gave birth to me.
You make the days lighter.
When I'm with you we have fun no matter what we do.
Your smile lights up the darkest of rooms.
Your laughter is contagious!
You make me do crazy things just to make you laugh.
I love you more than anyone.
You are my Greatest Love.

Author Notes I have an awesome Mom! Thinking about her makes me Happy!


Chapter 4
Lillian

By Ramona Agin

One hundred and forty two pounds of love and affection.

I look at you lying there curled up beside me and my heart squeezes. I love you so much!!

You are my love. My heart and soul. The one who sustains me.

Soft brown eyes. Golden hair. Getting a little gray now.

I can't bear to think of a life without you. But yours will be shorter than mine.

You bring me your toy. I smile. You're seven but you still play like a puppy. This makes my heart sing.

I look at you and laugh. Today's no day to be sad. I have you here with me NOW !

Author Notes My dog Lillian is my constant companion. She does everything with me. She is the apple of my eye and my little (big) Angel.


Chapter 5
Love and Light

By Ramona Agin

I try to cry but even tears elude me.

There's an ache inside my soul since you left me.

My heart is heavy. My brain so dull.

Each day so dreary. One just like the other.

I long for your voice on the phone. To hear your laughter once again.

To share secrets and stories. To remember the past.

You left so quickly. I had no chance to say goodbye.

All I have left are memories. Somedays if I really try I can see your face.

Are you lost to me forever? Or will we meet again someday?

Will our spirits walk together in that land of love and light?

Author Notes I wrote this from a place in my heart that still yearns for my best friend who died in 2015, my Mom.


Chapter 6
Him

By Ramona Agin

Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of sexual content.

Sarah

Bedtime

She was only 9 years old the first time he ever touched her. She was in bed sleeping between him and her Aunt Beverly. She could smell the alcohol on his breath as he whispered in her ear " be still and don't say word or I'll kill that damn dog of yours." She froze and tears filled her eyes. He was talking about Solo. Solo was her dog. His rough hand was in her cotton panties with the pink roses on them. She just laid stiff as a board, she wanted to vomit. Not knowing what to do. She just did what he said. She held her breath. Fear blossomed in her chest. Finally, he pulled his hand away from her little flower as her Mom called it. No one was supposed to touch you there except Mommy or yourself her Mommy had told her. Now it hurt down there and she had to go pee but she was afraid he would wake up and get mad. She still heard his words ringing in her ears "I'll kill that damn dog," She shivered. Solo was all she had now that Mama was away working and Daddy had died. Her sisters were all living with other relatives. She wondered if they were going through the same thing and she quietly started to cry. Eventually, she heard his breathing deepen and he started to snore, she knew he was sound asleep. She snuck out of bed and went to the bathroom, it hurt when she peed. She cried some more, dried her eyes, slipped quietly back in bed and tried to sleep, but it was almost morning before she drifted off. When she woke, at first she froze in fright, afraid he was still beside her, then she relaxed as she heard his voice downstairs.

The Morning

Sarah got dressed and snuck downstairs to feed Solo and sit on the porch with him. He was the only one she had to love and feel loved by with Mama gone. Aunt Beverly tried but she was always so tired and worn down. Every now and then she would bake her some cookies. These she cherished and rationed like a soldier with water in the desert. Of course she always shared with Solo. The sun was starting to come up. What would she say when she saw him? Would he even remember or was he too drunk? She prayed he had forgotten. A sick feeling overcame her and suddenly she wasn't hungry. She got up suddenly. So fast Solo was startled and jumped to his feet ready to bark at an offending stranger. When he saw no one was there he looked at her quizzically. 'Solo, she said, I swear you can always read my mind.' 'Let's go for a walk.' He wagged his tail enthusiastically. He knew when they walked they would go down by the creek and he would probably find some frogs or squirrels to chase.

The Creek

The creek ran along the back side of the house. You could follow it all the way to town and then somewhere it finally fed into the river. Aunt Beverly had told her she could walk along it but to stay out of it unless an adult was with her because there were 'dangerous currents' whatever that meant. She didn't care. She just liked to go to her special thinking rock.

As they walked the short distance she could smell the creek and the freshness of the water. She listened to the water gliding over the rocks as the noise grew louder. Finally they arrived and she climbed the rock. Solo jumped up and sat beside her. Now she could cry. She wrapped her arms around his neck and sobbed into his thick black coat.
'Oh Solo, it was awful.
I don't know what to do. What if he does it again?'


She cried and cried and thought about how much she missed her Mama and her sisters. She knew her Mama would have never left her here if she had known what would happen. Mama had a good job now and was trying to save money to bring them all together again. She thought about telling her but she was ashamed. She thought that maybe she had done something to cause him to act that way. She was frightened and she didn't want Mama to lose her job. She was working so hard. She sniffed and wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. In the distance she could hear Aunt Beverly calling her name. It was time for breakfast. She wasn't hungry but she didn't want to risk making HIM mad. But SHE was mad. She could feel the anger simmering below the surface and she started to see black. She could feel darkness coming behind her eyes and she knew she was going to faint. She focused on calming herself and things returned to normal.
'Come on Solo, let's go see if I can keep some of my breakfast down. I'll save you some biscuit.
If it weren't for you I don't know what I would do.'

Breakfast

Breakfast was over quick. HE had already left. She helped Aunt Beverly with the dishes then went out to start her daily chores. It was summer and school was out. She had a long morning of chores ahead of her. She wanted to be with the animals to clear her head.

Chores

She started with milking the cow. Her name was Norma. She milked her then fed her and brushed her down a little. Gave her a once over. Pronounced her sound , gave her a kiss on the nose and moved on to the horse. The horses name was Norman. She started with putting him in the pasture so she could muck his stall. Once she was done mucking, she mixed his oats and gave him some fresh hay. Brushed him down until his coat shined, pronounced him sound and give him a kiss and gave them both fresh water. She could hear Chester the Barn Owl rustling softly as he slept in the rafters up- stairs.

After she finished watering she headed out to the chicken coop. Noisy as can be, they calmed down when they saw her coming. She let them out, collected eggs, threw out some feed for them and cleaned the coop all the while talking to the chickens while she fed them and changed their water. The sound of her voice soothed them and they were content.
Aunt Beverly was picking fruits and vegetables around on the side yard so she and Solo went to help. Aunt Beverly shooed her off and told her to go have some fun. It was early summer and not too hot yet. She didn't feel like a swim but maybe dangling her legs.

Time

The next few months consisted of a series of nights much like the one before until finally Sarah had had enough. He had not only been molesting her he was beating her and her Aunt Beverly. She needed to think about what she was going to do. She had to escape. It was never going to happen again. And he wasn't going to hurt Solo or Aunt Beverly again either. She knew she had a power within her, she just needed to learn how to harness it. This time she was going to use it to defend herself and those she loved.

Payback

That night he came home drunk as usual. Like a King he demanded his supper. Barely even able to make it to the table he plopped in a chair and with no manners at all shoveled his food in. He managed to put down two more beers during all this and was even drunker. He made a grab for Aunt Beverly who rebuffed him and told him he smelled like a distillery and to take a bath. He told her to go to hell. Just another jolly night at home. Suddenly he took a lunge at Sarah and she screamed! Then she remembered she had planned to deal with him once and for all tonight. She easily slips his grasp and he doesn't see the knife in her hand until it's too late. She stabs up and into the soft spot in his neck. His face blanches with pain. Blood spurts out all over her hand. All over the linoleum. Her mind is suddenly filled with images and she remembers all the beatings he has given them. She remembers the sexual molestation last night. He has crossed so many lines. She feels a small sense of satisfaction as his life's blood pours out on her small hand and on to the floor. His face is contorted. He is gurgling. Then the thought occurs to her that he had probably done this to young girls during the war. For food and safety a helpless woman or girl would probably do anything to survive. What a horrible man. He deserved to die. Some where in the distance she could hear Aunt Beverly saying something. She was just so mad she was not listening. Then the smell of copper filled her nose and she realized it's his blood. She started to come out of the black out state and look at the corpse lying in front of her. She feels nothing. Nothing but relief.

The Cover Up

Suddenly, Aunt Beverly swings into action! She starts by saying;
"There's no proof!" Aunt Beverly is ranting hysterically. "We clean up this mess!" "We bury him and there's no proof!" She keeps going on!

"We just say he never came home." Planning how we can hide my terrible crime. "Move on and run the farm without him." Yes, we can do that.

"Heck we practically have been already." She hugs me.

"You're a good girl Sarah." Aunt Beverly tells me.

"I think we're gonna be mighty happy from now on." Sarah looks at her and sees she is serious.
They smile at each other and head out to the barn to get some shovels.


It is well after midnight by the time they finish. They are both physically and emotionally exhausted. Neither one of them say anything as they walk back to the house. They both crawl into bed and fall into a deep,dreamless sleep.

Aftermath

My Aunt and I never spoke of that night again until her death bed many years later. We went on to run the farm and answered the Sheriffs questions when he came calling. The Sheriff looked at the two worn women. Well, woman and young girl and chalked HIS disappearance up to the misanthrope of a drunk.

When my mama came two summers later we had a happy reunion. "Im so happy to be with you again Mama!" Sarah said

"Im happy to be with you too sweetheart." Her Mother replied

"How was your stay at Aunt Beverly's?" her Mother asked

"We had a great time together." Sarah replied

"I learned how to cook and grow vegetables and take care of the animals." Sarah told her.

"It was REALLY great after HE went away." Sarah commented.

"We had to work harder but we had a lot more fun!" Sarah said enthusiastically! "Boy was HE ever a pain in the neck!"

As they rode on together Sarah smiled as she looked out the window and into the
field where they had laid the remains of her uncle. She supposed she should feel guilty but she didn't. She had saved her and Aunt Beverly that night.

From the other side of the car Sarah's Mother smiled and said "I'm so happy things worked out for you dear, it's a such a joy to have you back!"

Author Notes While this is not your typical story about honor I hope you will see it as one. What could be more honorable than a little girl defending herself and her aunt against an Ogre. It is my hope that you will concur. This little girl had no one to defend her so she had to be her own hero and slay the dragon.


Chapter 7
Copper

By Ramona Agin

Copper

Chatfield Reservior

It was a hot sunny day in South Littleton, Colorado and we had taken all of the dogs on a walk to the reservoir for the first time. We had heard about it from other dog owners but had never been there ourselves. Now here we were walking the trails me, my husband, Buddy, Kidd and Copper. We had just adopted Copper from a rescue in Evergreen, Colorado. He was a Senior Citizen and a purebred Yellow Labrador Retriever. Copper's previous owner had committed suicide so he had lost his home under tragic circumstances. Copper was yellow with white splashes throughout his coat and he had the biggest feet I have ever seen on a Labrador. They were as big as the palm of my hand (and I have big hands) and he had the softest, golden colored eyes. This was one of his first long walks and I was walking sweet Copper while my husband was up ahead with our two younger dogs. While the other dogs rushed ahead, Copper took his time and stopped to smell each little flower and plant we passed along the almost barren path. He wasn't slow by any means. In between points of interest, he would trot along with his head held high, nose in the air enjoying each aroma.

Eventually we reached the path down to the beach. I approached it with some trepidation. It was smooth but it looked a little bit steep. I wasn't sure if Copper should be attempting such a high angle. The next thing I knew I felt a tug at the leash in my hand and almost lost my balance as Copper went down the hill ahead of me.

Once we were at the bottom Copper became a whole new dog! He started barking and pulling on his leash and trying to get in the water! The primary focus of his attention seemed to be a half a dozen or so ducks sitting just off shore near a small island. I laughed! "You want those ducks do you?" "Good luck!" I said as he looked longingly at the ducks then back at me. "I think they can fly faster than you can swim. " Again, the forlorn look. Then, he turned and ran straight into the water jerking the leash right out of my hand! To say I wasn't expecting it was putting it mildly! As I watched him swimming toward the ducks I ran into the water, shoes and all, calling his name all the while praying he wouldn't grow tired. Wonder of wonders, he turned around and came back to the shore. I grabbed his leash and hugged him and told him he was a good boy for coming.

Squeaky tennis shoes and all we started heading back along the shoreline. The dogs walking in the water, Copper watching the ducks as they floated by. His facial expressions were adorable. You could tell he wanted to go and chase those ducks so bad. Every now and then he would venture into deeper water and I would have to remind him "no ducks."

Later, on the ride home Copper was so worn out he hogged the back seat so badly that poor Kidd, our Greyhound had to stand on the floorboard behind my seat. Buddy our other dog wouldn't give an inch of his space. Poor Kidd looked so dejected. Fortunately, we didn't live far. Meanwhile, Copper was sleeping soundly, oblivious to all the trouble that he was causing. He just kept snoozing away. I couldn't help but laugh. The old man had taken over. Without even trying! Who would have thought it possible.

I looked back at all three of them and thought about how I was worried that they might not get along. I hope this lasts, I thought. As I watch the sun sink down I wiggle my wet toes and think about Copper and the ducks. Pretty spry for thirteen! Old timer, you may have a few miles on you but I'd say you still have a few more to go.

I reached back and stroked his face and thought, I sure hope we have a lot more days like this one old man. After all you've been through you deserve nothing but the best.

I sit back in my seat and close my eyes. Content with the day and content to be with my "family." Three boys. And they say boys can't get along. Not my boys. Not with Big Copper around.

Author Ramona Agin

Author Notes Copper went on to live another two and half years. Every morning and every night he would bark for his breakfast and dinner. Then he woke up one morning and he did not. I took him to the Vet and they could discover nothing wrong with him. Later that evening he could not walk. The next day he passed from cardiac arrest. It all happened so fast. His big loving heart just got tired I guess. When he died he took a piece of my joy with him. Copper was like an Angel sent to cheer me everyday. It was impossible to be sad with him around. I have, do and always will love all my dogs but Copper touched me in a way that no other dog ever has before. He was my Joy Boy. He died February 18, 2009. A piece of my heart died with him.


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