Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash
Roger Shipp is the host for FFTPP. “Allow the prompt to take you anywhere you want to go! (Limit your stories under 300 words.) This challenge is open until 11:00 pm Thursday night, April 7th, 2022.”
Growing up without much money or space meant that everything had a place and a purpose. Being the only girl meant I didn’t have to wear many of my brothers’ hand me downs. Sweaters and sweatshirts were the exception. Keeping warm was more important than fashion, any day of the week. We used the things we had until they were no longer useful.
I remember when my older brother went off to college. He earned a football scholarship. We were very ecstatic about his golden opportunity. No one in our family had ever been out of our town, much less gone to college. Once he left, we didn’t hear much from him. We guessed he was too busy studying. His visits home became more and more infrequent. We missed him terribly.
We didn’t have the money to go to his graduation. He came home with a diploma and pictures to share with us. He told us of a wonderful opportunity he was offered to intern at a firm several states away. My mom’s eyes teared when she heard the news. Then he dropped the best present on her lap. He told her he had turned down the offer because he wanted to work close to home. He explained that he could never forget his roots, nor his family. His success was our success.
As a permanent reminder of his connection to us, he gave my mom his worn pair of shoes. He had filled them with plants from our garden. He sat them on an old chair on the front porch. His visits came more frequently now that he could afford to come home. His continued connection to the family greeted us every day. Nothing went to waste in our house.