The poem below was created by my thoughts about my grandmother, whom I never knew. The influenza pandemic of 1918–1919 was the most severe influenza outbreak of the 20th century. A virus called influenza type A subtype H1N1 is now known to have been the cause of the extreme mortality of the influenza pandemic of 1918–1919. The disease that caused this devastating pandemic has also been called the Spanish flu.
The influenza pandemic of 1918–19 resulted from such an occurrence and affected populations throughout the world. An influenza virus called influenza type A subtype H1N1 is now known to have been the cause of the extreme mortality of this pandemic, which resulted in an estimated 25 million deaths. However, some researchers have projected that it caused 40–50 million deaths. Many were not reported; they got sick and died without it being reported. During this pandemic, an estimated 25 million persons worldwide died of the so-called Spanish flu, which was first widely reported in Spain but originated in the U.S. state of Kansas.
My grandmother got sick and was dead three days later, on January 11, 1919. It would be 1954 before my daddy would place a tombstone at her grave; I was 15 years old. All those years later my daddy let me pick out the writing on the stone. “Mother is not dead; she is only sleeping.”
Two days after her death, she was buried. My daddy always believed that she was in a coma. He would say that they opened the casket for him to say goodbye to her, and her hand felt warm. He ran from the cemetery and did not stop until he reached the woods surrounding Tarrant City, Alabama. He spent several days roaming in the woods to find a reason for her leaving; she was only 34 years old.
The tombstone states Emma Hall Evans, but she was never married to but one man, Thomas Johnson, my daddy’s father. His grandmother Jane Hall had asked him not to be placed on her tombstone. My daddy said she was never married to any man. She lived with Thomas Johnson until he found a younger woman. Her maiden name was Overton; she had two children by two separate men that no one ever knew. She called them both Evan’s. He was a womanizer. She was never supposed to go anywhere unescorted after moving back into her mother’s house when Thomas left her. It was always thought that my daddy’s siblings were his half-sister by a white man and his half-brother by a Hispanic man. Yes, she led a colorful life, slipping out of the house at night going to the nightspots in Birmingham, then she slipped back in before daylight. Daddy’s grandmother had him sleep in his mother’s room, thinking she would not leave or that he would tell on her. He loved his mother with all of his being. He never told of her roaming around in Birmingham, Alabama, after her mother went to bed. He would be punished when it was noticeable that she was pregnant. He remained faithful to her until her death.
Few have known this kind of love between a mother and her children. I have been so very fortunate that the love between my children and me has followed in my grandmother’s and daddy’s footsteps. I was married to their father, he is now gone, but the love and trust between my children and myself have not waivered very much throughout these years.
I have begun to post my days on my blog site for my followers, and for me, many may be facing the same problem, cancer. Documentation of my life. I have kept a diary most of my life, so this is only a different decision on how to do it. I will continue to create and blog my poetry.
Today has been the worse day in several weeks; the pain has taken over my spine. It does not help that I broke my back on July 4, 2021, and was in what they call a turtle brace for four months. It completely immobilizes from neck to waist. I live alone; therefore, no one sees the pain that must show on my face, and the movement of my body is slow and protective. My fur baby Dixie keeps a smile on my face, and the demand for attention does not allow me much time to lay or sit very long.
I am in Stage 3 of multiple myeloma. My daily fight is chronic infections, body pain, weight loss, muscle weakness, decreased appetite, thirst, constipation, fatigue, and nausea. Yes, the fight is the correct word. I have Chemo treatments 22 days out of each month. I have been hospitalized an average of 5 times a year. I am not asking for anything in telling you this; it is to know what happens when you have this type of cancer.
In addition to all the side effects from Chemo treatments, I have chronic depression. I stare down at the hole I know is about to fall in and stop at the edge. Balance wavering, I ask myself who is holding me from falling in. The Angels watch over me every moment of the day. My parents were not church people; my daddy never and my mother for Easter and funerals. I walked to church alone and sat alone since I was about five years old. I stopped church when the pastors lived higher than his poor parishioners. Yes, I have always believed in a Higher Power and Angels. I do not apologize for my faith and beliefs, and I will respect those of others. I do not believe in organized religion; my faith has no need for such. I believe that we are all accountable to someone or something. My body is my church, and right now, my church is being challenged.
I am accountable for my transgressions alone and will pray for guidance. However, we must all make decisions that will affect those around us and ourselves. I pray for the “right” one to be shown to me as I travel along this difficult road. I wish all my followers health and happiness.
My books of poetry, a biography of my daughter Charlotte who passed in 2010, and a book of my artwork from 2010 to 2021. Today I share the poem that I created below. Please enjoy.
Evidence is clear about an unwanted Soul; the possessor wanted to cast away fear or greed upon conception. One life could not see a future, yet starvation by the mother did not kill the seed, no fear… self-greed.
Why did the tiny Soul survive, destiny or fate; it survived life without love, never held by the mother with her heart filled with hate. The new Soul is born within a life of oppression from the moment of birth, scared and burdened with emotional wounds throughout its journey on earth.
All of its tomorrows found the Soul’s path long and steep; it searched a lifetime to find out why the mothers’ anger ran so deep, to the moment it laid the mother in the ground. Truth in its abandonment never found this abused Soul tries to remember that sanity and sorrow are closely bound.
Today is Wednesday; I try to do things that help distract me from the pain in my body since I woke. It is, of course, a daily thing, yet I must push it aside. Taking care of my fur baby Dixie is my first concern, then all the medications, dressing, and starting a new day. My day is filled with painting, checking out what is on the internet, email, Twitter, creating poetry, and things of interest to me. Sometimes, I sit quietly, hoping for the pain to go away. I talk to or text my wonderful children and grandchildren, which holds me up when I can no longer stand alone. Their love takes away the pain. I thank God daily for giving me these wonderful angels. I continue to write my autobiography; recalling all that I need to put in it takes me to another level. It takes away the presence and carries me to the past, reliving the years that have gone by so quickly.
It seems as if Cancer controls my life. I let it think so; I own my life. Its presence makes me stronger, braver, and wiser. It is I who chooses how to live. The word “Cancer” does not live in my soul. I have not been afraid of it from the moment given the diagnosis. My soul belongs to God and me. It can never touch the divine spirit that cries out, “I am not my body.” My soul will not allow it to pull me down into the depths of despair. Those close to me will surround me, and they will fight with me to let Cancer know that I, We, will not surrender to it. Cancer does not own me, I own myself, and it will not kill me without a fight.
My son, Chuck Murphree has a new book coming out April 2, 2022, published by ten16pess, somewhere between the trees and clouds is a must read.
Somewhere Between the Trees and Cloudswritten by Chuck Murphree PaperbackYA Fiction - Mental Health - Sexual Abuse - Novels in Verse404 pages
ABOUT THE BOOKI’m damaged goods,Torn apartIn my mind. This is how Dylan describes himself, how teenage boys feel when they are sexually assaulted. Damaged. Yes, it happens to boys too. It isn’t until Dylan meets Audrey that he feels like he's something other than torn and damaged. She too has her darkness. Her assault is recent, from a party where she was taken advantage of, and she is forced to move schools only to face rumors that make her feel like she did something wrong. Together, they help one another navigate their pain and possibly find some healing and grace. Somewhere Between The Trees And Clouds is a story about loss, internal wounds, healing, love, and hope.
ABOUT THE AUTHORSomewhere Between the Trees and Clouds is Chuck Murphree’s second novel. He lives in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, with his wife and spoiled dog. When Chuck isn’t writing, he can be found teaching adolescents, talking to others about mental health, reading, biking, doing yoga, or taking a mindful hike deep in the woods or straight up a mountain.
Somewhere Between the Trees and Clouds [paperback]
My life has consisted of stolen moments whispering voices descending from yesterday’s clouds waiting for the winds of tomorrow. They gently caress the heart, trying to take away all pain and sorrow. In the quiet twilight, a glimpse at dominant emotions and the spirit cries yesterday will never return, and the life of painlessness will never come.
Will the soul ever be free! Evolving into the now from a world of pain, time journeys onward, and the spirit understands life stays the same. Emerging from a life that only the mind and body know, and then there is the never-ending wait for a new life without pain to begin, yet there will never be a new beginning.
Tears no longer fall upon paling cheeks; truth stays hidden deep within the soul; finally, I realize that the true story may never be told. Living alone day after day becomes a way of life; the cocooned pain keeps away sorrow and strife. I wait for the pain to end!