While Orphanages are a thing of the past here in the United States, plenty still exists overseas. I wish I could take them all under my wing and support them as so many children need a loving and stable home. Sadly, these children have been separated from their biological families. Not sure what the circumstances indeed are that have led to the many children that end up in these orphanages, but no matter the situation, it is not suitable for the child. The parents could be deceased, substance abuse involved, or mental illness detrimental to the child. In some cases, the child is just abandoned.
Although I did not win, I wanted to thank everyone that did vote for me. It was such a fun short story for me to write, and it sure did bring back a very fond memory. As promised, below is the short story for your reading pleasure. As you can see, I placed the second runner-up in my category. As I continue to write, I am currently on chapter 10 of my second book titled “Overcoming Adversity Being An Aspie.” Many of you may or may not know that my son was diagnosed early with Asperger’s. As a result of his early diagnosis, he went on to finish college. I hope to share my story along with many of the emotional challenges he overcame along the way. He continues to surprise me every day, and we should be so thankful that this world has bright and unique minds that live amongst us.
Motivational & Inspirational
WINNER: Between Life and Death by Azmat
RUNNER-UP 1: The Simple Impediment by Hassan Rauf
RUNNER-UP 2: Three Blonde Wigs by Henderson
Three Blonde Wigs
By: Candace Webb Henderson
How three blonde wigs brought twin sisters closer and developed a deep, lasting friendship remains to be part of our family. There are those friends that are indeed one of life’s great joys. I know I have several of those friends in my life, making me laugh till my stomach hurts. They are always there in times of sorrow or just when I am having a bad day. Whether you met when you were in grade school or college, work, you are just so happy to have found someone to be yourself around.
Growing up in a small town can have its advantages and disadvantages. I suppose what I mean by that is the small-town mentality that taught me the importance of finding great friends who get you, and to this day, those friends are still my friends. You learn that it is okay to be you, and it does not matter how much money you have. It is not how beautiful you are but who you are on the inside that counts. Now where the disadvantages come in are fewer well-paying jobs and lack of entertainment. What you do not know outside of your small town and having your family should be enough for some people. But for me, it was not, and I always had an adventurous side to my personality. There have been moments in my life when I have been confronted with inevitable situations that may or may not have led me astray. Some good and some may have been bad choices; however, these life experiences have made me a better person. I suppose that is why I packed my clothes in garbage bags, loaded them in my car, and headed to Long Beach, California, where I would live and find happiness at the young age of twenty-two.
Two very hard-working parents brought me up. My father, Ron, was a full-time printer associate at R&S Printing, and my mother, Joan, was a registered nurse. She worked for a family practitioner in town, and everyone knew her and called her nurse Joni. Our family was considered your average middle class. I was not an only child, as I have a fraternal twin sister, Connie. While you would think that there are benefits to having twins, there are challenges in caring for two babies, especially with both parents working. However, having great neighbors to share the help and lend a helping hand eased the burden on my mom and dad. The Browns were our second family that lived next door.
Hello friends and family, I was invited to enter a short story contest and pondered the genera. I decided to write on family/relationships and pulled from an event from my childhood when I was just fourteen. As the saying goes, our parents tend to go overboard these days overprotecting their children. They don’t want them to experience the challenges that they did growing up. Instead, they expect to pile on the praise to build self-esteem. Now I do agree as a parent; you do want to praise your child when appropriate. However, nowadays, I think society is going a bit overboard as children need to believe in themselves. As parents, hearing the word No will disappoint your child, but in time they will get over it, and you don’t want to raise spoiled children. Children need to learn boundaries and patience along with having goals.
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Losing a child has got to be one of the most desolate journeys a mother and father can take, and the only people that can come close to understanding it are those who have experienced this kind of loss. My mom and dad lost a son to drowning when he was just three and a half years of age. My sister and I were only six weeks old and were robbed of the chance of ever getting the opportunity of meeting our beloved brother. He passed away many years ago on July 17, 1962 (p 195). Losing a loved one no matter what the age is probably the most challenging aspect of life that we all must endure in life. I have lost both of my parents, and I am now at peace, knowing that they are with their cherished son in heaven.
For some, the holidays can be a sad reminder as I tend to remember the awful phone call on December 14, 2015, regarding my mom. We spent our Christmas holiday that year with my mom in the hospital, where she eventually passed away on December 29, 2015. During this time, very dear friends of mine were there for us to give us some solace, laughter, and some much-needed time away from the hospital. Holly and Brad Blissit. My mom has always told me time and time again; time has a way of healing our wounded hearts. Although time doesn’t really heal the pain associated with a loss; it’s what we do with that time that matters. Dealing with grief is the process by which we heal. As much as we don’t want to, I think it is essential that we experience the pain. It can’t be healthy to try to escape it. For me, therapy helped and I do think my writing has also been a coping mechanism that helped me get through the grief. Whatever your coping mechanism may be, find it as it can actually help you feel better in the long-term.
My mom knew Holly and Brad and was thrilled that we were stepping out of the hospital to celebrate a bit of Christmas cheer. Anyone who knows Holly and Brad would agree that it is just what the doctor ordered. Brad had us laughing. We had not laughed in days. I did not think I could ever consider getting through this holiday with a grin, let alone laugh.
A question that looms amongst many of us is there really life after death? Do we leave this earth and come back as something else or do we turn to dust? Losing a loved one can often lead to many unanswered questions as to why, and I often wonder if my mother is watching over me. I clearly remember when she got sick and hospitalized that her prognosis was not good, and death would soon ensue. I was able to see her in the hospital and say good-bye. It was incomprehensible to me to think that I would never see her again. So, I asked myself what happens to people when they pass away? I remember my mother always told me that once she passed away, she would look over me as my guardian angel. Is this the beginning, middle, or end of our existence? Have we lived before in another time, another place? What awaits us when we die? Is the physical being all there is to our existence; or is the spirit or soul what makes us who we are? No one truly knows what happens to us when we die.
When I began my journey to write “Blessed to Be Unwanted,” at that time my mother had no real answers to any of the many questions I had as to why she wanted to write a book about how she was put in the arms of the Doyle’s. However, she was determined to get her story told as she wanted to share with the world of how she was handed over to strangers on a street corner in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania at just five days old. The month of May is Foster Awareness Month as well as recognizing Court Appointed Special Advocates, otherwise known as a CASA. As many of you may know, I became a CASA in October of 2017. I have been working with a beautiful young child, and I know I have made a positive impact on her life, and you, too, can volunteer as a CASA. Read More
In observance of National Nurses Day celebrations across the United States I decided to write about nurses to honor my mother and my grandmother as well as to pay tribute to their work as nurses. Not to mention so many other nurses that I have met throughout my life in the course of my work as a hospital biotech specialist, as well as friends. Did you know that National Nurses Week is the birthday of Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)? Florence Nightingale was born in Florence Italy, on May 12, 1820. Apparently, the city in which she was born is what inspired her name. Florence was evidently socially awkward and did not like to be the center of attention. From a young age, Florence took up ministering to the ill and poor people in her village. “She eventually concluded that nursing was her calling; she believed that vocation to be her divine purpose,” (biography). My mom used to tell me, “Those that make great nurses are choosing a career to walk alongside patients to help them during their difficult times is a calling.”
In honor of World Autism Month, I have decided to write on behalf of my son, Devin Doyle Henderson who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at a very early age, at just 18 months in 1991. Read More
When I hear people tell me that they don’t think that they can’t write a book or can’t manage to exercise because something is stopping them, or just simply making excuses for why a person can’t get the job they want, or why they can’t improve their lives and so on. I think you get the point. It makes me feel that all you are doing to yourself and your well-being is letting an excuse hold you back. People make excuses for all sorts of reasons. I get it life is not easy, and my life is not by any means perfect. Read More
How to keep my mother’s dream alive and aware that is the question? I am not a celebrity, just your average girl who was brought up in middle America and fought to make a better life for myself and my family. I suppose that is all we can ask for until your mother comes to you with a lofty request to write her story none the less on her deathbed. As many of you may or may not know, I fulfilled my mother’s request, and I finished the book my mother started, titled “Blessed to Be Unwanted.” It was a long and exhausting process with lots of bumps along the way. Read More
Thank you for the great write up Danville! I had a wonderful time speaking back there and connecting with everyone! Read More
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