Voices on the Wind
What Used To Be
by John M. Wills
She fell in love with a young Marine while world's at war.
He came home and their love brought peace.
Barely youngsters themselves they married,
the years brought six children to cherish and adore.
A daughter, sister, friend, wife, and mother,
she lived first for others, no time for herself.
Times were harsh, money was wanting,
threadbare clothing and thin-soled shoes the norm.
Meals at home, leftovers and canned goods.
Invitations to dinner few, too many mouths to feed.
Despite it all the family flourished, nurturing each other
with companionship and love.
Years slipped by and worries increased.
He found it difficult to bear, his heart revolted,
attacking him time and again, yet he fought through.
Finally, an invisible monster consumed from within,
taking him from them.
Still she persisted and shouldered the weight. Alone.
She fed and clothed, educated, loved, and advised.
They grew and prospered, then, one by one—they left.
One day she looked around to find she was by herself.
A joyful house once teeming with family and love,
now just a space, its memories in photo albums.
A clock no longer needed, a calendar of meaningless pages,
a world reduced to one shared room in a place unknown.
Nothing to do, nowhere to go, imprisoned each day
in her wheelchair watching out the window.
A visitor today—“Hi, Mom.” She stares, “Who are you?”