Mind over Matter

Kingwell By Kingwell, 9th Feb 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1rajzskw/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

A grandmother forgets she can’t walk when her grandchild’s life is in danger.

A Woman's work

Margaret at 24 already had 5 children and an invalid mother-in-law to care for. She had married at 16 to a man exactly twice her age. This was not uncommon in Newfoundland in 1911, where girls sometimes married as young as 13, and often to men old enough to be their father. Margaret’s husband Jim, like most men in the community, was a fisherman. They also had 16 sheep, 11 hens and a cow. Added to this was a potato garden and a smaller, but well cared for vegetable patch, which contained among others, carrot, turnip, cabbage and beet. In spring and summer a normal day would begin at 4am. Margaret would have Jim’s breakfast on the table and his lunch packed, so he would be ready to leave at dawn. Bread and tea was the usual fare with some jam made from the berries she had picked on the nearby marshes and barrens. Sometimes there would be an egg or two, but with a family of eight to feed, these times were few. Margaret would wash the dishes and by the time Jim had left the house, would have the bread pan ready to mix another batch of bread. Later she would go to the well for water which she would than heat on the wood stove to wash clothes. By now the children would be awake and wanting their breakfast. Mary, the oldest of the children was now 7 and considered old enough to help her mother by washing the dishes and sweeping the floor. The children would soon be sent outside to play, all that is but Jimmy who at 18 months, was too young to go outside except in the care of an adult. Margaret could now hear her mother-in- law Malinda, in the one downstairs bedroom and knew she was in need of attention.

Caring for her Mother-in-Law

It never occurred to Margaret to complain about having to look after her mother-in-law, it was accepted that the children would care for their elderly parents, and Jim was Malinda’s only child. After she had helped “Gran”, as Margaret liked to call her, get dressed and washed she carried her (she weighed less than a hundred pounds) into the kitchen and sat her in the old rocking chair, a relic which had once belonged to Jim’s great-grandmother. Margaret than proceed to get Malinda’s breakfast and feed her with the small spoon that she always preferred, and was one of the old lady’s few remaining possessions. Although she was unable to walk, and had almost no use of her hands, the stroke had not affected Malinda’s speech, something for which both women were extremely thankful.

The Incredible happens

The routine that had marked every day that summer except for the Sabbath, showed no sign of being broken on this the last day of June. It was now almost 9am and Margaret was hanging the last of the washing on the clothes line, when she heard Malinda scream. Suddenly she remembered that in her haste she had left the tub of water on the floor. She ran for the house, but stopped abruptly in the doorway as her eyes took in the scene before her. Malinda was sitting on the floor by the washing tub, a good 10 feet from her chair with a look of utter disbelief on her face, beside her was a very wet and blubbering Jimmy. Margaret scooped Jimmy into her arms but upon realizing that the boy was fine except for being wet, she laid him on the floor again and turned her attention to the shaking and very distraught Malinda. “Jimmy fell into the tub—-” began the grandmother, speaking almost in a whisper. Margaret picked up her once again completely helpless mother-in-law, and laid her gently in the old chair. “Gran”, said Margaret, finding her voice at last, “did you walk across the floor”? Turning slowly towards her daughter-in-law, Malinda spoke softly, “no my dear I didn’t walk across the floor – I ran”.

Tags

Chickens, Children, Cows, Homemade Bread, Invalid, Marriage, Miracle, Mother-In-Law, Potatoe Garden, Vegetable Patch

Meet the author

author avatar Kingwell
I am 75 years old and retired.I like writing short stories, poetry as well other articles of interest.

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Comments

author avatar Phyl Campbell
9th Feb 2014 (#)

Amazing stories such as this happen every day. Thank you for sharing.

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author avatar Kingwell
10th Feb 2014 (#)

Thank you Phyl, Sometimes we lose ourselves and it's then that so called miracles happen.

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author avatar Mariah
10th Feb 2014 (#)

Great story Kingwell, thank you

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author avatar Kingwell
10th Feb 2014 (#)

Thank you Mariah

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author avatar M G Singh
10th Feb 2014 (#)

essence of hindu thought. Great post

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author avatar Kingwell
10th Feb 2014 (#)

Thank you Madan

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author avatar piathought
11th Feb 2014 (#)

Another amazing article here!

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author avatar Kingwell
11th Feb 2014 (#)

Thank you Piathought

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
11th Feb 2014 (#)

Super human, but within the realms of possibilities. Where there is a will, there is a way. Inspiring share, Kingwell. And to think we grumble at the slightest inconvenience - siva

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author avatar Kingwell
11th Feb 2014 (#)

Thank you Siva. I believe this to be a true story, although of course names have been changed.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
12th Feb 2014 (#)

Interesting post!

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author avatar Kingwell
12th Feb 2014 (#)

Thank you Fern

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author avatar Delicia Powers
12th Feb 2014 (#)

The power of love is awesome, and so are your writings...thanks Kingwell...

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author avatar Kingwell
12th Feb 2014 (#)

Thank you Delicia, especially for your encouragement. I agree with you about the power of love.

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author avatar Nadine May
18th Feb 2014 (#)

Oh I loved your story. The ending gave me a emotional jolt. Well done!

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author avatar Kingwell
18th Feb 2014 (#)

Thank you Nadine

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