Innocence Destroyed

pexels-photo-11518765.jpeg

( Advanced Level )

For many young men around the world, it is mandatory to enlist in the military. It is a duty but also an honor. Yet, in some circumstances, you may not have a choice.

Being part of the military strengthens the core of your being. Teaches you discipline. Helps you come into adulthood.

If you are lucky, when you enlist, there isn’t a conflict or a war. If not, do you think these young men and women are prepared mentally?

And what about the innocent people? Civilians? In times of a crisis, everything about their lives has been wiped clean. Innocence destroyed with the first attack.

Instead of sending your child to school and heading to work, you run for safety. You run to survive. Taking what little they can carry. Watching people die around you and feel helpless.

We as adults, understand or try to understand what the purpose of such an ordeal is. It is the innocent children who do not. Everything and everyone around them is changing moment by moment.

They are experiencing things that most of us only see through our television or in the movies. They are living it. “I cannot even imagine this.

We comment, “It saddens me to see this happening. This needs to stop.” Then we start our day. Never gave it a second thought.

We live in our protective little bubbles. If the situation is not right in front of us we tend to forget until we pick up the newspaper or watch a video on the internet. Unfortunately, they cannot.

Many lives are lost. Many homes, communities, and cities are destroyed. People’s lives will never be the same. Over what?

We know our nation’s leaders will take the correct measures needed. Not only to help the country in need but also to keep their own citizens safe.

Until then, all of us around the world watch idle. Hoping….hoping this will end soon. Hoping not too many more innocent lives are lost.

Written By: Angel

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Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

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Thoughts From Angel:

Dedicated to the men, women, and children of Ukraine. Your bravery and sacrifices have not gone unnoticed. Stand strong.

Photo by Katie Godowski on Pexels.com

If you appreciate what I do:

Vocabulary:

mandatory – adjective: required by law or rules

enlist – verb: enroll or be enrolled in the armed services

circumstances – noun: relevant to an event or action

core – noun: central or important part of something

discipline – noun:  a code of behavior

conflict – noun: disagreement or argument

mentally – adverb: prepared; relating to the mind

crisis – noun: intense difficulty, trouble, or danger

ordeal – noun: painful experience

protective – adjective: protecting, sheltering someone or something

situation – noun: set of circumstances

communities – noun: a group of people living together in one place

measures – noun: a plan or course of action taken to achieve a particular purpose

idle – adjective: without purpose or pointless

Question ( s ):

What, to you, is a reason to go to war over?

A Dog’s Love

( Intermediate Level )

There is something special no one can explain about a dog’s love for its human. They pick their person and are theirs forever.

Joey, as many people called him, lived on the streets and survived on the handouts given by passersby.

He would sit for hours just watching people. Never barking. Never causing trouble. It was as if he was looking. Looking for that special someone.

The butcher on Elm Street always had special treats for Joey. Handing him scraps from the meats he cut. Joey seemed to show up like clockwork every day around the same time.

“What a handsome boy you are. Are you here for your treats?” Joey would sit patiently as the butcher came to him.

Wagging his tail and staring into his eyes as if to show how much he appreciated this snack. He would gobble up the scraps, bark then head off to wander the streets.

Joey wasn’t anything unique. He was burnt orange and white with a few battle scars from other bigger and meaner dogs on the streets.

If you hadn’t had the opportunity to encounter Joey and his kindness you surely would pass him by.

What people didn’t know was his intelligence. How he seemed to interpret if someone needed help. Once he knew Miss Margaret needed help in crossing the road .She stood at the crosswalk for what seemed ten minutes.

Joey was watching from the bottom of the steps at her apartment building. He sprang into action and ran into the street standing in the middle barking at all cars that approached.

Eventually the cars stopped and Margaret was able to walk across safely. She stopped briefly to pat him on his head. “Thank you Joey. You are a good boy.”

That night Miss Margaret had a treat for his good deed. She had stopped to buy him a rawhide chew which he seemed to enjoy.

Days turned into weeks then into months and Joey still looked for his forever human. You could see him by the busiest supermarket in town or the town park. He would sit for hours just looking at everyone.

It was a late Sunday afternoon and six year old Stan Miller came out of the store with his mom. Joey’s attention focused on this little boy. He was shy and stood close behind his mom.

He approached the two carefully. Stan smiled from behind his mom. He slipped down and patted Joey’s head. Stan was all smiles. “Mommy, look.”

His mom looked down quickly, “That’s Joey. He belongs to the city.” Stan looked up with a frown on his face. “He doesn’t have a mommy or a daddy?”

As far as I know he never had owners. People are kind and they make sure he has food and shelter on those rainy days,” Mom said as they entered their car.

Joey sat staring down the street as they drove away in their car. He wandered off to the butcher’s to see what tasty morsels were on the menu today.

Something odd happened the next day. Joey had found his way to the school’s gate waiting for Stan. A place where he never went before.

Out of the hundreds of children who attended , he was looking for just one. Stan. After a year and a half on the streets had Joey picked out his human? Something drew him there.

These encounters happened everyday for about a month. Joey showed up at the end of school. He waited until he saw Stan, got his pat on the head then left as his mother showed up.

Stan would tell his Mom, “Joey came to see me today.” His Mom would smile and say, “Seems he rather likes you.” “He comes everyday, Mom,” Stan said, beaming from ear to ear.

On the twenty sixth Stan’s mom headed to school a little later than she usually did to pick him up. She was caught behind a traffic accident and all traffic came to a standstill.

She was frantic knowing her son would be alone waiting for her . There was nothing she could do until the police officers pulled the cars involved off the streets.

More than forty five minutes had passed and she was able to travel on towards the school. She knew her son would be terribly upset because she was late.

To her surprise, as she pulled up in front of the school, she was relieved. There stood Stan and his new companion Joey. He was there with him the whole time.

As she got out of the car she apologized to Stan and bent over as she approached Joey. “Thank you boy for watching over Stan.” as she gave him a pat.

“I wasn’t scared Mommy. Joey was here with me. I knew nothing bad would happen.” Joey stood up as Stan opened the car door. He wagged his tail and started to head off.

Stan looked at his mom then at Joey again. She knew what he was wanting. “Joey. Joey. Come here boy.” Joey stopped and looked back.

He turned and headed back to them. As he approached the car she opened the back door. “Joey, you want to come home with us? Without hesitation, he jumped into the back seat. You didn’t have to ask him twice.

Stan was in the car by then and gave Joey the biggest hug .”You have a forever home now boy.”

Written By: Angel

Follow me on:

Instagram: morningangel847

Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

Metaverse Business Suite: Angel’s Thoughts to Pen

Thoughts From Angel:

What kind of person would I be if I didn’t share pictures of my “Joey?” Meet my Bella. I am her human. She has brought so much happiness into my life.

I can’t imagine life without her now. When I arrive home from a busy day she greets me then sits and waits . She watches and seems to know if I had a good day or bad then acts accordingly.

Animals are amazing creatures and bring so much joy to your life.

If you appreciate what I do:

Vocabulary:

passersby – noun: a person who happens to be going past something

butcher – noun: a person who cuts up and selling meat in a store or shop

patiently – adverb: tolerance of delays

staring – verb: look at someone or something with one’s eyes wide open

gobble up – phrasal verb: to eat something in a hurry

intelligence – noun: the ability to apply knowledge and skills

interpret – verb: to explain or have knowledge of the meaning

sprang – verb: move or jump quickly

deed – noun: an intentional act

focused – verb: pay attention to

frown – noun: a facial expression showing disapproval

morsels – noun: a small piece of food

drew – verb: to cause to move in a particular direction

beaming from ear to ear – idiom: to smile happily

standstill – noun: no movement or activity

frantic – adjective: distraught with fear

wagged – verb: (animal’s tail) movement side to side

hesitation – noun: pausing

Question ( s ):

Do you have a pet?

Do you have many homeless dogs or cats on the streets in your city?

Does your city or country have no kill shelters?

My Brother Samuel

( Intermediate Level )

My brother Samuel often received stares from others when we were out in public. People concluded there was something different about him and shied away.

Many made the assumption that mom must have used alcohol or drugs when she was pregnant with him. This is not the case at all. Sam was born with an intellectual disability.

In the past, this was dubbed mental retardation, bringing much hurtful slang towards the ones with these disabilities. These slangs upset my mom terribly.

My son is just like all others” she argued. “He laughs. plays and does everything your child does. It may take him a little longer to understand but he eventually does.”

I always protected my brother when we were at school. We were 3 grades apart from one another and thankfully, we are at the same school. He always knew where to look for me after school . We would meet up and walk home together.

Some days he would have to wait for me. I was the editor of the school’s newspaper and sometimes we had a short meeting after school. He never minded. He always found something to keep him busy as he waited.

As the school year pressed on, Samuel was more quiet than usual. He was never really quiet around me as he was with strangers. I chuckled somedays as he chattered on about his day . It was hard to keep up with what he was talking about.

“Hey Sam, why are you so quiet? Something bothering you? I asked. Samuel looked up at him “No.” I knew this was not true. Something was. In his own time he would tell me.

I guess a week or so had passed and Samuel wasn’t waiting for me in his usual spot after school. I waited for a few minutes and began to look for him.

I asked a few teachers, when I passed them in the hall, “Have you seen my brother?” and each resounded a “No, they hadn’t.

It was the last place I looked where I found him. He was huddled up next to the bleachers in the gym. He was covering his head and you could hear him sobbing.

I yelled out, “Sam, what’s wrong?” He looked up at me and you could see a mark on his face which obviously looked as if he was hit. Tears running down his cheeks.

A bunch of boys kept pushing me around and calling me a retard. I tried to leave but they kept following me. I came in here and one hit me.” I was so angry at this point. I helped him to his feet and wiped off his face. His brother looked at him, ” Am I a …retard?”

“Don’t be silly Sam. You are you. Things in life are a little more difficult for you and may take you longer to do but you are not a retard. Now let’s go home.”

The brothers arrived home and explained everything to their mother. Of course she immediately called the school to alert them on what happened to her son.

A couple of weeks had passed and Samuel was back to himself. The school authorities suspended the students for the rest of the school year for what they did to my brother. I was happy the school took this step towards this type of bullying but I wanted others to know what I felt.

I had asked the principal if I could publish an article, in our school newspaper, regarding this incident. He agreed to allow as long as he approved the contents before it went to publication.

I began writing right away and finished so it could go out in our monthly newspaper. I immediately took it to our principal for him to read the next day.

I knocked on his door and entered. “I have finished my article. Can you read it over so I can make sure it gets published?”

He handed his heartfelt article to the principal and he began to read.

Dear Readers,

Most of you know who my brother Samuel is but do you know him? Have you ever stopped to say hello or have a conversation with him?

Let me tell you about my brother Sam. He is the kindest person I know. He finds good in everything and has the purest heart. If he is capable he would do anything for you.

He has an innocence about him that many do not have. He never judges anyone nor says anything bad about anyone. This is more than I can say about most, including myself.

When my brother was born, I was three, I had no idea of his disability nor do I really see one now. He is my brother. We had our fights growing up but we also shared secrets.

We enjoy playing sports and watching scary movies on TV, even though Mom gets mad at us because we do not go to sleep afterwards.

Does any of this sound different from you?

No.

I do not want to go into details but when Samuel was tormented and hurt by fellow classmates it saddened me more than it made me mad. How could a person do this to another? How could they do this without really knowing Samuel?

Next time you happen to pass my brother in the hallway, why don’t you say hello to him. Get to know him. You will discover what I have about him. He is the best person I know and has taught me a lot. I am proud he is my brother.

Editor / Samuel’s brother

Caleb

The principal finished the article and handed it back to Caleb. “You did a wonderful job with this. Absolutely, send this to print.”

The newspaper came out and Caleb took two copies home with him. He shared one with his Mom and the other with Samuel. He knew Samuel wouldn’t be able to read it so he read the article to him.

As Caleb finished the article and looked up, Samuel leaned in with a bear hug. “I love you too!”

Written by: Angel

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Instagram: morningangel847

Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

Meta Business Suite: Angel’s Thoughts to Pen

Thoughts From Angel:

Is this behavior due to the lack of understanding? Who is to blame for such actions? Is it the parents? The education system?

If you appreciate what I do please support:

Vocabulary:

stares – noun: a long fixed look at someone or something

assumption – noun: accepted as true without proof

concluded – verb: arrive at a judgement

shied – verb: avoid

intellectual disability – noun: limits to a person’s ability to learn at an expected level and function in daily life

dubbed – verb: to give an unofficial name or nickname

slang – noun: very informal words or language used mostly by the younger generation

pressed on – phrasal verb: to continue moving forward in a forceful or steady way 

chuckled – verb: laugh quietly

chattered – verb: rapid talking

resounded – verb: echo

huddled up – adjective: to sit in a bent position with your arms and legs close to your body

bleachers – noun: bench seat at a sports arena or gym

sobbing – noun: noisy crying

suspended – verb: to stop someone from going to school whether temporarily or permanently

publication – noun: the act of making an article available for others to read

heartfelt – adjective: sincere

innocence – noun: being innocent

tormented – adjective: physical or mental suffering

bear hug – noun: tight embrace

Question ( s ):

Do you find yourself staring at someone who looks different? Maybe dressed differently or in a wheelchair?

Why do you think we do this?

Autopilot

road under cloudy sky

( Intermediate Level )

Janie felt her life was at a dead end. The same routine day in and day out. She was single but she felt as if she was married to her job.

When she looks back, to when she was in high school, she yearned to be an adult. No responsibilities for studies or homework.

How different her life would be when she didn’t have to go to school anymore. Freedom. Or so she thought.

She soon realized how much her parents had provided for her. Simple things like the laundry or having dinner every night, never fail.

She never paid much attention to these things. Maybe she was like all other teenagers at the time.

Working nine to five every day, sometimes six days a week. She barely had time for herself. She was usually too tired to go out with the few friends she had.

I am on autopilot, is how she explained her life to her parents.” I do the same thing every day, Mom. From brushing my teeth to making coffee.”

” Most of the time when I head to work my mind is so focused on the things I have to get done that I feel my car drives itself to work.”

“Honestly, I do not know how you and dad managed so many years. You had me and Johnny plus the house and work. And you never complained. I try to be strong like you were but I feel I am breaking inside.”

“Welcome to being an adult, Janie,” is what her mom always said to her. Janie knew her mom meant well and probably she, herself, felt the same but couldn’t do anything about it.

Janie knew she had to do something about this. She was slowly losing herself. Slowly losing the ambitions she once had. She was tired of driving down the desolate highway of life and going nowhere.

Work deadlines needed to be met and Janie knew she couldn’t think about such nonsense. If she was to make it in the adult world she needs to buckle down and focus.

Vacation time was in two weeks. At this time she could reevaluate her life. Was she like all others in the world, working a nine to five job and they too felt stuck? She hoped to find the answers.

The first three days of her vacation was bliss. She didn’t need to set the alarm. She had the choice to get out of her pajamas or not. She didn’t have deadlines to meet.

To her surprise, she woke up at the normal time as she would if she was getting up for work. She tried to sleep in but she kept tossing and turning in her bed.

To add insult to injury, she found herself in that same routine. Starting the coffee, showering, grabbing a small breakfast. Why was this? She was on vacation.

Janie had planned a lunch date with her mom for noontime today. They would meet up at their favorite eatery, The Barbecue Shack, at the mall and afterwards do a little window shopping.

“Hi Mom. It is great to get out. I was going crazy. Here I have two wonderful weeks off and I find myself already bored after three days.” Her mother smiled at this comment.

I used to feel the same as you, Janie. I felt I was stuck. My life wasn’t going anywhere but I soon realized without routine in my life I didn’t have a purpose. I made myself take time out for myself. To do the things I enjoyed.”

“Some people had argued this was selfish of me. I am, after all, a wife and a mom to you and your brother. This time was just for me. Selfish? No, not really. It helped me continue knowing my identity. Who I am and what I love to do.”

“Your father did the same. We spent our time together and then we had our own special time alone. We were much happier as a married couple and as individuals.”

Janie listened carefully. She didn’t have the responsibilities of her mom or had a husband to think about but what she said made sense. What time did she set aside to do the things she loved to do? She hadn’t.

“Mom, you’re right. I haven’t painted since I graduated from the university. I haven’t gone out hiking or even swimming in a long time. I was focused so much on my career I gave up on living.”

It is not that you gave up on you, it is that your priorities are set up in the wrong order. In order to be the best person you can be you must first take care of yourself and enjoy what you love doing. I went many years like you until I discovered this.”

The two finished their lunch, paid the bill and headed out into the mall. Neither one had anything special to say but but each was enjoying the other’s company.

After spending hours going in and out of shops it was time for them to part. Janie turned to her mom and gave her a big hug.

“Mom, thank you. Thank you for today and thank you for your honesty. When I return from my vacation I will have new priorities in place. Work is important but I should come first. Always.”

Written By Angel

Follow me on:

Instagram: morningangel847

Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

Meta Business Suite: Angel’s Thought to Pen

Thoughts From Angel:

I think all of us feel like Janie sometimes in our lifetime. Is the grass greener on the other side? I do not believe it is.. I found that believing in yourself and following your passion you can achieve the necessary balance in life and enjoy every moment.

If you appreciate what I do please support me:

Vocabulary:

dead end – noun: no exit, no way out

yearned – verb: wanting something

never fail – phrase: someone or something always does what is expected

autopilot – noun: doing something without thinking

focused – verb: pay attention to someone or something

complained – verb: dissatisfaction

ambitions – noun: desire and determination to achieve success

desolate – adjective: emptiness

deadlines – noun: the latest time or date by which something should be completed

buckle down – phrasal verb: to finish a task with determination

reevaluate – verb: to look or evaluate again

bliss – noun: happiness or joy

insult to injury – idiom: make an already bad situation worse

eatery – noun: a restaurant or other place where people can be served food

window shopping – noun: just looking at products or items in stores without the intentions to buy

purpose -noun: the reason for which something is done

identity – noun: who or what a person or thing is

responsibilities – noun: a role, job or obligation

priorities – noun: most important

Question ( s ):

Have you found yourself on autopilot?

Do you feel as if you are working to pay bills and not enjoying life?

What hobbies or activity can you start to break up the daily grind?

Charlie, A Boy, A Man, My Dad

silhouette of a man during sunset

( Intermediate Level )

Author’s note: “Those who follow me know my writing is completely fiction derived from life circumstances. Today’s story is true and dedicated to my father who passed less than a week ago. The raw emotions that well up inside you at that moment are sometimes difficult to express. I wanted to share some of my thoughts with you, my readers.”

As my dad walks towards his final resting place, those of us left behind mourn his passing. I reflect on the moments we shared together…

Those heated arguments I had with him as a teenager. I know he wanted the best for me but at the time, I felt he was unfair.

I reflect on the many times I laughed at him when his temper got the best of him. When he saw I was laughing at him it made him even madder…

Great memories!

But most of all, I think of those three tiny words I should have said more often, “Ï love you, Dad.”

My mom said , “He knew.” Still, there isn’t a reason why I hadn’t said it more often.

I told myself over and over again that I wouldn’t grow up to be like my dad. Guess what?

I did.”

I hear myself saying words that he said to me saying them to others. I take a step back and gasp, “Oh, I sound just like my dad!

I was told I was just like him in many ways but truth be told I didn’t believe it. I thought everyone was crazy until I got older…

Yes, I am just like my father.

A great portion of his life was spent in a group home. His life was filled with many obstacles that any young person shouldn’t have to experience.

He kept private, in these matters so honestly, I do not know much about his past. Maybe it was his way of protecting the ones around him, or not wanting sympathy, or it was a way to forget the past…

I will never know. Maybe I should have asked more questions.

When my mom told me he wanted comfort care only, I said, “He needed to fight. Tell him! Tell him to fight! He shouldn’t give up!”

I swore. It was my only response to him saying this .Of course, my mom told my dad I said, “$*#^(@@$&,” and she could see him smile behind the oxygen mask.

Once I was told of his choice of comfort care only he left this world within hours.. It was as if he wanted me to know and somehow be ok with it.

How unfair was it of me to ask such a thing? Ask him not to give up. Just for me. Because I wasn’t ready. Ready for him to go.”

He didn’t want machines keeping his body going. He somehow found peace by wanting to leave this world. He wanted his dignity and to go without suffering.

He did just this. He is at peace now and will be missed…

“I love you.”

Written By: Angel

Thoughts From Angel:

In loving memory of my father,

Until we meet again……

Follow me on:

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Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

Meta Business Suite: Angel’s Thought’s to Pen

If you appreciate what I do:

Vocabulary:

mourn – verb: feeling of deep sadness or sorrow

reflect – verb: think deeply or carefully

heated – adjective: conviction

truth be told – idiom: truth or real facts spoken

obstacles noun: blocks or blocks or hinders progress

sympathy – noun: sharing feelings of sadness

comfort care – noun:  a form of medical care that focuses on relieving symptoms and optimizing comfort 

unfair – adjective: unreasonable

dignity -noun: sense of pride

suffering – noun: pain or distress

Question ( s ):

No questions this week. Just a time to reflect……..Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to share my thoughts.

Grandpa Dragonfly

( Intermediate Level )

Every weekend little Beth spent the weekends at her grandparent’s 5-acre farm. This was a special time for her. They had a simple house with a few farm animals.

Friday night Grandpa would drive into the city to pick up his granddaughter from school and stop by the ice cream shop to get a vanilla shake that they would share.

“Don’t tell grandma. She will be mad at me for spoiling your dinner. This is our little secret.” Beth would smile. She knew Grandma had figured out, months back, what those two were up to.

Grandpa had surprised her with her own little pony one year. Beth would ride for hours. Using her imagination when she rode. Exploring foreign lands and discovering new civilizations.

Her grandparents had a small pond on their farm. Grandpa had stocked it with a few turtles and fish. Every now and then he would go fishing for that night’s dinner.

Beth would sit on the bench under the tree and just watch. She enjoyed watching the butterflies, frogs, and dragonflies.

Everyone loves butterflies but she had a fondness for the dragonflies. Some were red. Some were orange. And some had no special color at all. They were almost translucent.

We can use those dragonflies for bait. They might help us catch a big fish.’ her grandfather mentioned as he watched his granddaughter .”No Grandpa, they are much too beautiful for a fish to eat.”

Weekends after weekends, summers after summers, never fail, Beth could be found at her grandparent’s. It saddened her that once she started at the university she couldn’t spend as much time there.

Although she couldn’t visit often she made sure to call them at least once a week.” Your grandfather and I know your studies are important. Don’t you worry about us. We will see you on Christmas and spring break.”

Beth was majoring in agricultural business with a minor in animal science. One day she hoped to do research regarding sustainability. Possibly collaborating with others from around the world. Her grandfather was proud of her choice.

Her grandfather believed we should keep the earth the way it was meant to be. “Why do we abuse it so?” he would ask. He never had an answer.

One day when your grandmother and I pass, this small farm will be yours, if you want it. I hope you do.” Logically the farm was well outside the city and once she started her career she knew it would be a commute back and forth but she knew how much it meant to them. “Of course Grandpa. This is home to me as well.”

The years have passed, and the cycle of life moves on. Beth graduated from the university and she started her career as a professor at the same university she graduated from.

Her grandparents were gone now and she moved, as promised, to the farm. She spent much of her free time outdoors tending to the grounds as her grandfather did. He never used pesticides and fed his animals’ organic feed.

“If we are going to eat what we grow or raise, I want it free from everything. We do not need chemicals inside us.” Beth never really understood this concept until she was much older.

Some days were difficult for Beth. Keeping up with her work, research, and the farm. They were related to each other in a way.

She always kept in mind the three pillars of sustainability. Economics, society, and the environment. The data gathered from the farm was valuable in her research.

Could these methods be done on a much larger scale? This was her biggest question to answer. She needed to somehow prove this in her paper.

Many evenings she could be found sitting on the bench by the pond her grandfather started. She was amazed at what her grandfather had accomplished knowing he hadn’t finished high school.

Somehow he knew simple was best. This was evident in the way he lived his life. Sure, maybe it was out of necessity but you never heard him nor her grandmother complain.

One evening, Beth noticed something different. She noticed a beautiful tri-colored dragonfly. It was deep blue, black, and had a turquoise body. Never had she seen such a beautiful dragonfly around here before. The ones she remembers were not as vibrant in colors.

It seemed to appear on those days when she felt frustrated and sat by the pond in deep thoughts. Was this a sign for her? Could this be, somehow, a sign from her grandfather?

Oddly enough, Beth found herself looking for Grandpa Dragonfly, as she named him, each time she sat by the pond.

Out of nowhere, he would appear and just sit there as if he was listening. She would share her day with him. She felt silly at times talking to this dragonfly but she didn’t care. It helped her stay focused on what is important to her and what was important to her grandfather.

She eventually completed her research paper with acknowledgement from colleagues and researchers worldwide. She wanted to share this news with the mysterious dragonfly but he was never to be seen again.

He seemed to have arrived into Beth’s life when he was needed the most and then unexpectedly left. Miracles come when you least expect them. In this case, a dragonfly.

Beth continues to expand on her research and can still be found sitting on the bench by the pond, hoping one day to catch a glimpse of Grandpa Dragonfly.

Written By; Angel

Follow me on:

Instagram: morningangel847

Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

Meta Business Suite: Angel’s Thoughts to Pen

Thoughts From Angel:

There are so many unexplained things that happen in our lives. Are they miracles? Or just a coincidence? No one knows. If it brings comfort , as it did for Beth, then let it be.

I also have a fond childhood memory of dragonflies.

If you appreciate what I do:

Vocabulary:

spoiling your dinner – phrasal verb: to decrease your appetite

imagination– noun: creative

fondness – noun: affection

translucent – adjective: semitransparent

sustainability– noun: avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance

collaborating – verb: work jointly on an activity

logically– adverb: sound reasoning

commute – verb: travel some distance between one place and another often place

cycle of life -noun: changes in life from birth to death

pesticides – noun: a substance used for destroying insects

organic – adjective: without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial agents

research– noun: investigation

methods– noun: procedures

evident – adjective: obvious

necessity – noun: need

tri-colored – adjective: having three colors

vibrant– adjective: brilliant

focused – verb : pay attention

acknowledgement – noun: acceptance of the truth or existence of something

unexpectedly – adverb: not expected 

glimpse – noun: a momentary or partial view

Question ( s ):

How important is the environment to you?

Do you believe in miracles? or something you may not be able to explain logically?

Culpability

woman sitting on wooden planks

( Intermediate Level )

Melissa has taken full blame for what happened to her younger brother Frank. He, as any younger brother would do, bugged her to let him tag along with her and her friend to the lake to swim.

She should’ve said no. She should have told him he was too young and she didn’t have time to watch over him. She should have but she didn’t. Now she lives with the guilt.

The guilt that would eat her up inside. The guilt that her parents separated shortly after her brother, Frank, drowned.

Nothing will change what happened but maybe she could make a difference . Somehow. Some way.

Melissa would sit hours ,at the lake, talking to her brother, as if he could hear her. “Frank, I miss you. I miss you annoying me to watch something on TV fully knowing I was deeply interested in what I was watching.”

Mom and Dad aren’t together anymore. Dad is having a terrible time dealing with the fact he lost you. Mom stays to herself and barely talks to me. I only have you ,kiddo. Are you upset with me too?”

She knew she wouldn’t hear an answer. It made her feel better just being there. Her schoolwork suffered and her friends gave up trying to talk or come over.

That day keeps playing in her head over and over again. “Melissa….help…help….” Each scream she had ignored him thinking he was goofing around.

Little did she know he had gone into the water while her and her friends were up by the car listening to music. He went out a little too far where he couldn’t touch the bottom. He panicked.

He was told not to go into the water when she wasn’t there to watch him. Like usual he hadn’t listened. She should have been more responsible.

Years had passed and Melissa moved away to attend college. Somehow, she managed to get through school. Her high school years were a big blur.

Once a year she returns home on the anniversary of her little brother’s death. She sits on the docks and fills her brother in on all she had done over the past year.

The hurt she felt has subsided to a dull pang in her heart now. Her mother has forgiven her for not being more responsible that day.

Her dad, also, had moved back home after a year. Each needed their time and way to heal. Melissa, too, had chosen to volunteer at the local YMCA giving swimming lessons to the youth.

She told her brother once at one of her visits, “See Frank, good things can come out of bad. Mom and dad are closer than they have ever been.

“I am getting stronger as the years pass. I tell the kids that little brothers or sisters can be a pain but you are lucky to have them. I miss you Frank. “

Written By: Angel

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Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

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Thoughts From Angel:

Guilt will consume every ounce of your being. To heal you must forgive yourself. Forgiving is not forgetting, it is just a vessel to move forward.

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Vocabulary:

tag along – verb: to follow another

eat her up – idiom: to bother or be obsessed

goofing– verb: spend time idly or foolishly

responsible – adjective: obligation

blur – noun: unclear

anniversary – noun: the date on which an event took place

subsided – verb: become less intense

pang – noun: painful emotion

volunteer – verb: freely offer to do something

Question ( s ):

Was Melissa responsible for her younger brother’s death?

Do you believe time heals all wounds?

Should Melissa forgive herself?

Voices

( Intermediate Level )

At a very early age, Matthew saw things and heard things that others could not. He explained this to his mom and she shrugged it off as having a vivid imagination.

He, too, believed this until he couldn’t ignore it any longer. The voices grew louder and fleeting images appeared. He never feared them. He just didn’t understand why others couldn’t.

It wasn’t until his early twenties that he realized he had a gift and he wasn’t crazy. He kept hearing a man’s voice saying the same thing over and over again when he passed by the corner restaurant.

“Tell her I am ok and I will always be here for you. Tell her this.” Every day no matter what time of the day it was. He finally decided to listen.

Matthew walked into the restaurant and sat at a table. A waitress came and gave her a menu. He was unsure how to start or what to say to her.

Can I get you something to drink?”

Yes. Can I get a vanilla shake?” “Sure, I will be back shortly.” As Matthew sat looking around at the other occupants the voice began again. “Tell her.”

The waitress returned with his shake. “Have you decided on what you’d like to order?” She said as she placed the shake in front of him. “Ma’am, You are going to think I am crazy but please hear me out.”

He looked at her and smiled. “I was told, no demanded, to give you this message. I don’t know who it is specifically but he seems to know you.

Mathew swallowed and began, “Tell her I am ok and I will always be here for you.”The waitress, Julie as her name tag read, was shaken. “Who? Who said he would always be here for me?”

Matthew tried to explain. He told of his experiences in his early childhood to the waitress as she stood hanging on every word he said. He explained, “He has never given me a name and I saw him one time in my mind.”

At that exact moment, he heard that same voice but louder “Tell her it’s her dad. Gary. Gary Richard Brown.” The waitress dropped to her knees.

Gary Richard Brown was her father who had passed away 8 weeks ago. He lost his battle to uncontrolled diabetes.

“Julie, are you ok?” She told him who Gary was and that he had passed. This was a validation to Matthew that he wasn’t crazy. Somehow he was able to hear and see things.

Word had traveled fast in his neighborhood. He was said to be a miracle. He simply explained he was a conduit for those who left this world.

Of course, he was under the watchful eye of those nonbelievers but he continued to do what he did. He never tried to bring attention to himself.

He answered requests for private sessions. He chose not to have any further contact with those who requested a reading until the actual meeting. This way skeptics couldn’t say he was a fake.

Matthew and Julie kept in touch. He would stop by the restaurant at least once a week for a milkshake and a conversation.

Julie was the only one he could talk to about other regular events or things. They would sit for hours talking about their dreams and goals in life. Once in a while, they would catch a movie together.

Matthew never knew why he had this gift. He knew it was important to share these messages with those who were intended to receive them.

He didn’t need to prove anything. He was just their voices. Voices he heard and needed to be heard.

Written by: Angel

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Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

Meta Business Suite: Angel’s Thoughts to Pen

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Special note from the author: “I believe if it helps someone move on in their life or have closure, this is what truly counts. Skeptics will be skeptics and believers will be believers. This is their choice. Should we question this? Losing someone or not being able to say good bye can play havoc with your emotions.” – Angel

Vocabulary:

shrugged -verb: dismiss something as unimportant

vivid – adjective: powerful feelings or strong, clear images in the mind

imagination – noun: be creative or resourceful

fleeting -adjective: brief or short

gift – noun: natural ability or talent

hear me out -phrasal verb: to listen to

demanded – verb: insist or require

specifically – adverb:  a way that is exact and clear

hanging on every word – idiom: to listen very carefully or closely to 

diabetes – noun: a disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired

validation – noun: affirmation or approving

miracle – noun: extraordinary

conduit – noun: a channel

watchful eye – idiom: supervise or to watch (someone or something) closely

nonbelievers – noun: a person who does not believe in something

skeptics – noun: a person inclined to question or doubt

fake – noun: not genuine

Question ( s ):

Do you believe someone can speak to those who have passed away? Or are you a nonbeliever?

Have you ever had your fortune told?

How can you explain what a medium does?

Heart of Gold

bed empty equipments floor

( Intermediate Level )

Billy Ray looks back at his life, as he lies in the hospital bed awaiting a donor’s heart. “Why him?” he asks himself. He wasn’t the nicest person in life. He wasn’t successful. He was unmarried and recently lost his job due to his illness.

He knew that by receiving a heart another lost his or her life. How unfortunate for that individual but for him it meant a second chance.

He waited nearly two years for a donor. When he gave up all hope he received the long past due phone call. ” Mr. Gambino this is Nurse Smith. Dr. Abraham asked me to call you.”

“Please immediately come into Clark County Hospital. We have a donor heart for you. It will be here within the hour. We need to prep you for surgery. Do you understand Mr. Gambino? We finally have a donor heart for you.”

He arrived at the hospital within thirty minutes. He changed into a hospital gown and had an IV connected to his arm. He looked around and noticed he had a neighbor in the same room.

In the next bed was a young teenage boy. Billy Ray tried to have small talk with him but he was too frightened to carry on a conversation.

At the age of sixteen, Craig collapsed in PE class. The school sent him directly to the emergency room. His parents were notified to go to the hospital.

The doctors ran a battery of tests upon arrival. “Unfortunately, your son has a very weak heart. We call it hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It usually shows earlier signs.”

He, too, received the same good news Billy Ray did. “Please get to the hospital as soon as you can. We have a heart for your son.”

As the two lay in their hospital beds the sounds of nurses bustling around. Every so often they came in to take vital signs of each. Asked how they were doing and offered ice chips. “It wouldn’t be much longer,” they would say on the way out the door.

Nearly one hour passed. Dr. Abraham came into the room. “Hello, gentlemen. Today is your lucky day. I and Dr. Ingram will orchestrate your surgeries.”

“We have received the donor’s hearts and everything looks perfect. The nurses will be in shortly and get you ready. You will wake up with a new lease on life.”

The doctor left the room and the two looked at each other. “See you again soon buddy. I will be waiting for you.” At that moment the nurses came in and ushered each in their hospital beds to the surgery rooms number one and two.

“Mr. Gambino, just relax and take deep breaths and count backward from ten. You will wake up in four to six hours with a new heart beating inside you.”

The same thing was happening in the next surgery room. Craig was a little more nervous. His parents said they’d be just outside waiting for him.

We love you” was the last words he heard from his parents. He started counting. “Ten, nine, eight, seven… ”

Each of their surgeries went off without any complications. They would wake up, in recovery, next to each other. Mr. Gambino’s took a little longer. Dr. Abraham had to massage the donor heart to have it begin to beat in its new recipient.

Each of the respective doctors came in to see their patient before they headed home for the night. Tomorrow Dr. Abraham would read a letter to each of them written by the husband and father of the donors.

They rested comfortably during the night. The nurses took turns taking vital signs. It was of great help having both in the ICU.

“Good morning, the doctors both agreed if you are up to it, we will set you up and you can try to eat a light breakfast. They will be in sometime this morning to see you.”

“Craig, your parents will be here in about forty-five minutes. They called earlier to see how you were doing. They stayed quite late and we sent them home to get some rest.”

Breakfast was finished by the time Craig’s parents arrived. Mom gave her son a huge hug and kiss. Unlike most teens, Craig hadn’t pulled away. He actually felt comfortable having his parents there.

Billy Ray had not one person call or show up to see him. He had pushed most away in the years past. He used to have friends and a girlfriend. One by one he eliminated them from his life. Why keep them around if he was going to die soon.

Dr. Abraham arrived just before noon. He looked over their charts and told each of them, “Everything looks wonderful. If this progress continues we can let you go home within the week, of course with limitations.”

One more thing. I was asked to read this letter to both of you afterward. The donors were a mother and daughter who died in a terrible car accident where they both perished. It was the husband who signed the consent to donate their organs.”

He reached into his doctor’s coat inside pocket and took the letter out of its envelope. This would be the first time he would read it. He promised the husband he would read it so now he follows his wish.

“This is very unusual and I have never had to do this before. I saw how important this was to him so I gave my word I would read this to you both.”

He began to read,” I never, in my wildest of dreams, thought I would be writing such a letter. This is not how life should be. Saying goodbye to my wife and my precious daughter.”

“Actually, I do not feel as if I am saying goodbye but, in some strange way, I feel as if I will be saying, hello “

I want to tell you a little about my wife first. She was a magnificent woman. She had a huge heart filled with love for everyone and everything. She never complained and was always willing to lend a helping hand.”

“My daughter was a curious one. She always asked tons of questions wanting to know how everything worked. She was eager to learn new things and loved to sing and dance.”

“As a matter of fact, they were on their way to dance practice when they had the unfortunate accident that ended both their lives.”

“I gave my consent to donate their organs in hopes that their spirits would live on inside the body of others who needed them the most.”

” For those who receive their hearts, I want you to know you have received hearts of gold. Filled with goodness and kindness. You were given a second chance to live. Please, treat them well.”

The doctor carefully folded the letter and returned it to its envelope. He looked up to see Billy Ray burying his face in his hands.

He finally knew what it feels like to love so much and to sacrifice more than he could ever imagine. From this day forward he would not live in self-pity.

He hoped to reunite with his friends and most of all his girlfriend who never stopped loving him.

Craig knew he would not be like others his age. He knew, though, he had a second chance to live life to its fullest.

Written By: Angel

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Instagram: morningangel847

Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

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Vocabulary:

donor – adjective: the act of donating something. For example money, organ or time

unfortunate – adjective: bad luck or unlucky

small talk – noun: a conversation about unimportant or matters

hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – noun: a disease in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick

bustling – adjective: moving in an energetic and busy manner

vital signs – noun: measurements of the body’s most basic functions

orchestrate – verb: arrange

new lease on life -phrase: continue living

ushered – verb: to show or guide

backward – adverb: opposite or forward

nervous – adjective: tending to be anxious

complications – noun: complicates, difficulty

recipient noun: a person or thing that receives something

respective – adjective: belonging or relating

ICU – noun: intensive care unit at a hospital where patients are needing around the clock care

limitations – noun: restrictions

afterward – adverb: later

perished – verb: suffered death

precious – adjective: of great value

magnificent – adjective: impressive

curious – adjective: eager to know or learn something

heart (s ) of gold – idiom: a kind and generous disposition 

burying – verb: to hide

sacrifice – verb: to give or offer

self-pity – noun:  self-absorbed unhappiness 

reunite – verb: come together again

Question ( s ):

Have you or anyone you know signed up to be an organ donor?

Do you know anyone who is on a list to receive a donor organ?

Love Letters and The Book

( Intermediate Level )

While Arthur was away on deployment, he made a promise to Evelyn. He would write as often as he could to her. He would gist with her saying. “I don’t want my best gal to forget who I am.”

Arthur kept to his word. The letters would come on a regular basis. This let Evelyn know her husband was still alive.

The mailman looked out for these letters, too. He knew she anxiously awaited word from him. If she wasn’t outside waiting for the mail, he would take a few extra steps to hand-deliver the letter to her. Walking to her door and knocked.

She would read each letter over and over again until the next one came. This went on for two and a half years until he returned to her arms.

He made fun of her when she showed him she had kept all his letters neatly folded in their envelopes, tied in a red ribbon. “I am home now and safe. You can get rid of those silly old letters. You have the real me.”

“I will do no such things Arthur Munsee. Those are my letters and I will keep them forever. Tucked in the last book we read together before you were deployed.”

When Arthur had passed away, Evelyn kept his love letters to her safely tucked in a book they read She remembers how each would take their turn reading a chapter or two to each other, in the evenings.

Evelyn eventually had to move into a nursing home. Her daughter Elizabeth had a family and a busy career where she didn’t have time to care for her.

Evelyn took only a few belongings with her when she went. Her daughter would close up the house and take the items her mom requested to her in the facility. It was difficult moving into such a place but she knew it was for the best.

The house was left to Elizabeth’s daughter, Emma. Evelyn knew her own daughter would not give up her home and moved back to her hometown. Maybe her granddaughter would love to start her adult life in a small town.

She will graduate from the university this year and start her new independent life. She could certainly move into what was now her home and search for employment.

As Evelyn went through the packages her daughter brought from home she was missing the most important things to her. Her love letters from Arthur and the book. This is what kept Arthur’s memories alive for her. They were nowhere to be found.

Evelyn called her daughter regarding these missing items. “Mom, I couldn’t find them. I searched. The place where you mentioned but they weren’t there. I will look one more time before I head to the airport. If I find them I will surely bring them to you.”

“Emma will be coming in spring. I can have her look also. I am sure If I cannot find it she can. I am sorry, Mom, but I have limited time .”

Much to her dismay, there was nothing Elizabeth could do about the letters or the book now. She must wait until spring when Emma visits.

The nights were chilly so she kept her mind busy playing cards or helping on a jigsaw puzzle in the common area. Every now and then, she tried to pick up a book to read but it just reminded her of the one missing.

“Elizabeth, you have a phone call. Would you like to take the call here or I can transfer it to your room. It is your granddaughter Emma,” the duty nurse asked. “In my room, Please.” Elizabeth hurried to her room so she could speak with Emma where it was much quieter.

“Hi, Grandma. I will be heading your way on Friday. I have the keys to the house so I will let myself in. I get in late so I will wait until the morning to visit you. Is there anything you want from the house?”

“I cannot wait to see you! I wish I could have traveled to your graduation. As you know, It is difficult for me to get around now.”

“And yes, please find my book. The one your grandfather and I read each night. I know it is in the house somewhere. Inside there are all his letters to me.”

“Ok, Grandma. I will look for you before I come to see you on Saturday. I love you and I will see you very soon. Hugs and kisses.”

Evelyn hung up with her granddaughter and sat there looking at the phone. Some felt her obsession with these letters and the d book were a bit too much. For her, it was much more. She couldn’t explain why to anyone other than it was a memory she wanted to hold onto.

The week moved along slowly. Evelyn spent time sitting outside during the day, soaking up the sun and enjoying nature. She watched a family of hummingbirds frequent the feeders. Each took their turn sucking up the sweet nectar it offered.

She noticed she hadn’t felt herself lately. She tired more easily and her appetite decreased. She chalked this up to the worry of finding the letters.

Emma arrived at, what is now called her home, around half past eleven in the evening. It was an exhausting day for her. She told her mom before she left she was unsure when or if she would come back.

As a newly graduated young adult, she felt it would be a great opportunity to seek work. She wouldn’t have to pay rent since her grandmother left the house for her. She wouldn’t have that worry.

Her mom had done a wonderful job at closing up the house. All the furniture was draped in sheets and all the windows were locked. She called ahead to have the electricity on when she arrived. She found the bedroom that her grandparents had once shared. She pulled off the covering and quickly fell asleep.

Evelyn, on the other hand, was still awake at one in the morning. She had a restless night so she sat at her table playing games of solitaire. She played, what seemed, hundreds of games before she felt tired enough to sleep.

Emma woke at six in the morning. She searched the kitchen for coffee which she eventually found. She never ate breakfast but today she realized she was hungry. She decided to shower and get ready to leave a little earlier to see her grandmother so she could stop to have a bite to eat at the local restaurant.

After her shower, she moseyed around the house. Looking at old pictures on the walls and uncovering the furniture. she marveled at how well kept everything was. Her grandparents had exquisite taste in everything they had.

She dressed and started looking for the book her grandmother spoke of. She knew these items were of great importance to her. She looked and looked for what seemed forever.

The very last place she looked was the bedroom closet in which she stayed the night before. Tucked on the top shelf she saw an overstuffed book with a neatly tied red ribbon around it.

As she pulled it down, she realized this was what was so precious to her grandmother. It was the book and the letters she treasured so much. Her grandmother would be happy to see them once again.

She placed the bundle on the kitchen table and finished getting ready. She couldn’t wait to share this wonderful news and see her grandmother’s face when she delivered it to her.

She was about ready to leave when she noticed she had forgotten her cell phone. She remembered she sat it on the bedside table after turning it silent. She wanted to get a good night’s sleep.

Her cell phone was just where she put it the night before. As she retrieved it she noticed she had several missed calls from her mother. She thought to herself her mother was worried and wanted to make sure she arrived safely.

She listened to the voice mails. Her mother’s last voicemail sounded urgent. “Emma, please call me immediately when you hear this. It is very important that you speak to me as soon as possible.”.

As she walked back into the kitchen, she dialed her mom, “I was so tired when I arrived last night I fell asleep before I called you. I am sorry I worried you.”

There was silence. “Mom? Are you ok? Mom?” Her mother cleared her voice. “Emma, Grandma is gone. She passed. The nurses called me just a few hours ago.”

“Apparently, she had a rough night and couldn’t sleep. When she finally laid down it was about three in the morning. The nurses didn’t see her at breakfast so they checked on her. This is when they found her.

“Oh Mom, I should have gone to see her last night. Even if it was for a brief moment or two. This morning I found her book and her letters. Now, she will never know I found them .”

” I will be catching the earliest flight I can to help make the arrangements. I am so sorry that I had to tell you over the phone. I will see you soon.”

Emma hung up the phone and sat at the table staring at the book neatly wrapped in its red ribbon. She found herself untying the ribbon to get to the letters. Why were these so important to her grandmother?

She carefully unfolded each letter, careful not to damage any in the process. The tears ran down her cheeks as she read through them, one by one.

The pure love that her grandfather had for her grandmother was read in each stroke of his pen. How lucky she was to have experienced such love like this.

Written By: Angel

Follow me on:

Instagram: morningangel847

Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

If you appreciate what I do:

Vocabulary:

deployment – noun: movement of military troops

gist – verb: engage in chat

anxiously – adverb: eager

passed away – phrasal verb: die

close up – phrasal verb: to lock all doors and secure a building/ home

facility – noun: a place

independent – adjective: not depending on another for livelihood

employment – noun: paid work

regarding – preposition: with respect to

dismay – noun: distress

common area – noun: property available for use for all tenants

transfer – verb: an act of moving something or someone to another place

obsession – noun:  idea or thought that continually preoccupies a person’s mind

soaking up – phrasal verb: to absorb  or enjoy something that is around you

sucking – verb: the act of feeding/nursing

chalked – verb: that all hope is lost

exhausting – adjective: the feeling of being very tired

moseyed – verb: walk or move in a leisurely

exquisite – adjective: extremely beautiful

overstuffed – adjective:  stuffed or filled to excess 

precious – adjective: of great value

urgent – adjective: immediate action

arrangements – noun: plans or preparations

Question ( s ):

Do you have a possession that is precious to you that you’ve held onto?

Do you think Evelyn passed away due to grief of not having her letters?