The Mine

We knew the mine would not last. Generations had paid the price of it, though. Men were born into it, going one after another into the dark depths of the mine. Some never came out. 

The mine had taken many men, the shafts becoming their tombs. Some died young; the easy way out. Others died a slow death of defeat. Either way, the mine took their soul.
The mine is gone, now. When all was said and done, man would have nothing for all of their blood, sweat, and tears. All that was left would be a black hole and pile of rocks. 

The earth was bound to reclaim itself. Soil, plants, animals, and even rocks would eventually need to go back. 

The trees stood their ground around that black hole. The earth is rising back up, again. It is determined to heal itself, and all of us.

*Story by McGuffy Ann Morris
Word Count= 150
Image by Pamela S. Canepa

*There are many abandoned mines in America. I have found old mines, as sometimes they are hidden. They often quietly try to heal themselves in the background of old towns. John Prine sang of mining in his song, ParadiseAfter reading my story, my husband, Bill, suggested I include this song. There is also a 1974 article that tells the back story of John Prine’s heartfelt song. Mining is an important part of a history, and of its people, too. 
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His Dream

Sore and tired, he slowly lowers his old bones down to his bed. He yawns and stretches, then lays his grizzled head down. He doesn’t understand how his routine walk got to be so difficult.

As he drifts off into sleep, his feet move, remembering when it was easy. Once again, he is just a pup running through the grass.

Story & Photo: McGuffy Ann Morris
 Grits, age 13 years

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The orphaned newborn kitten was very sickly from the start. Unable to breathe, she had to be fed with a syringe every 1-2 hours.

Slowly, like a delicate flower, the kitten began to blossom. Her funny little ways filled heart and home with expanding love and joy.
And, so her name became Chloe, which means “blooming”.

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Her Victory

She had spent all of her life trying to keep the peace for others. Now aged and battle worn, she knew she must address her own private war. The past unceasingly haunted her with its unresolved memories.

With winds of her own changes, she erased figurative lines in the sand. Walking away with her head held high, she finally won her own self-respect.

Written by McGuffy Ann Morris

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The Difference

She knew that it can be good or bad that when things are different. Things can be better than we anticipated. However, things can be worse than we ever imagined.

This was the reason she believed that time can make all the difference. In her heart, she was at peace that time is fueled by hope.

By: McGuffy Ann Morris

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Loved by everyone, Emma had lived in the nursing home for many years. However, the ravages of emphysema now kept her confined to her room. Every day, the nurses put her through difficult, but necessary breathing treatments.

Happy when it was over, Emma would carefully climb back into her bed. She would say with a weary smile, “I need a breather from those treatments!”

Story*: McGuffy Ann Morris

*This is dedicated to my real-life friend, “Emma”. She was 79 years old and quite ill with emphysema when I met her. I was nineteen years old, working in a Catholic nursing home. She and I became very close in the short time I was honoured by her friendship.

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Pieces of My Mother

A Memoir

By Melissa Cistaro

This book is a very poignant story of a girl growing up without a mother. The truly heartbreaking thing is that the author’s mother chose to leave her. Melissa Cistaro shares how it was to go grow up with this knowledge.

 Throughout her life, Melissa’s mother would come back into her life, only to leave again. In this heartbreaking memoir, the author shares how her mother’s choices affected her. She consistently struggled to connect with her mother but was never quite able to. Melissa tried to find answers as to why her mother kept leaving, and also how to make her stay.

In her mother’s final days, Melissa travels to her bedside. She still hoped to find answers and perhaps a meaningful connection. She finds some unsent letters and searches through them. The letters are to various people in her mother’s life. In the letters, Melissa finally finds some insight into her mother’s thinking. 

This book is a painful portrait of a girl abandoned by a very self-centered woman. However, in spite of her mother’s ways, Melissa manages to form a life very different than what she knew. This story also shows how what our parents give us does not have to define us. We decide what does that. 

The Nurses

A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital

By Alexandra Robbins

This book follows four nurses through one year of hospital nursing. Four very different women share their stories in their own voices, from their own perspective. They bravely reveal what it means to be a nurse today.

The nurses in this narrative shares both personal and professional issues. Sam is a first-year nurse who must fight for her place in a tight, sorority atmosphere of nurses. Lara is trying to save her nursing career as she battles prescription addiction. Molly takes a fearless stand against the hospital policies put upon nurses. Juliette is a nurse who will do whatever it takes to be a solid advocate for her patients. 

These real women do their best to navigate the world of medicine as they try to make a difference. The raw portraits are sometimes difficult to read but are honest and brave. However, their stories are both interesting and thought provoking.