Umber (47.34 — Oleander’s Story)

September 10, 2012 § 2 Comments

Without Daddy’s rodeo paycheck, Mama had to work more shifts at the hospital to keep the electricity and water turned on in our house.  It seemed like the house was colder when I got up for school in the mornings.  We had to be careful not to burn too much firewood, or we might run out before she could figure out where to get some more.  We went to church more often.  At home, Mama spent a lot of time clutching her black rosary beads and reciting novenas.  She sighed a lot, and she had developed a permanent crease between her eyebrows.  She kept adding little statues of various saints to the sideboard in the dining room, until it looked like a miniature sanctuary, complete with votive candles, which were always lit.  Each day when I rushed through the front door to get out of the cold, the flame of each little candle flickered inside its cobalt blue or wine red glass container.  When a candle burned down until it finally went out, it would be replaced with another the next day.


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