Friday Fictioneers: An Extra Word For Mom

Friday Fictioneers is a 100-word flash fiction challenge with a photo prompt. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, manages to keep us in line and encourage endless creativity. Check out other stories and how to join, on her blog, Addicted to Purple.

Two weeks in a row, rusted metal… it takes me many places, but this week I was ambushed. I apologize that I’ve been unable to visit as many blogs as I’d like. I’m still catching up, after 8+ weeks away! As always, I welcome honest, constructive feedback. Please leave a comment and tell me what you think.

© David Stewart

© David Stewart

An Extra Word For Mom

It’s never been easy with you; so I step delicately around the things I want to ask you, and watch you recoil and spring.

“You’re too sensitive,” you say, as tears spring to my eyes.

That’s a lie. I am a sensitive person. It’s not a bad thing; it’s who I am.

“You’ve always been over-sensitive and too defensive.”

I’m defensive when threatened; don’t attack.

Just tell me why––

“Your dad didn’t take care of us,”

That’s a lie. I stand taller.

“I had no choice…”

That’s a lie too.

It’s diamonds and rust with you.

“I did my best.”

That’s the truth.

“I loved you.”

I loved you too. Happy birthday mom.

It doesn’t matter that you’re gone four years now; we argue on in my head.

(101 words)

Carole J. Quyle September 16, 1943- December 31, 2011, whose eyes were “bluer than robin’s eggs.”

*   *   *

GIPYHelp Me Reach My Goals! I’d love to see the Tales From the Motherland Facebook page reach 800 likes in 2015. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. I love to hear what readers think. Honest, positive or constructive feedback is always welcome. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.  ©2015  Please note, that all content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, please give proper credit. Plagiarism sucks.

About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
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56 Responses to Friday Fictioneers: An Extra Word For Mom

  1. Cathy Ulrich says:

    I still argue with my Dad in my head, too, Dawn. And I also got the “You’re too sensitive.” That one seemed to hurt the most.

    Your one hundred and one words so very articulately describe a complicated relationship. And also one where love resides. Beautifully done, dear friend!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Honie Briggs says:

    Do you always get the last word? Realistic dialog, for sure. You do dialog so well. Congratulations again on your newest arrival.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to tell my ex he was too sensitive. Oops, I almost felt guilty about that. Not this time!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I realize you put your heart and soul into this one, Dawn. So well written. I remember the picture of you mom. She was a beautiful woman. I was too sensitive when I was young, but I got over it when I started working in an office. My boss was a Type A personality and critical. I toughtened up to survive. I know how hard it can be. I got another job, and that first boss died about a year later of a heart attack.. I had predicted it to my mother.


  5. Sometimes the slights never go away. Nicely written – with feeling.


  6. Dear Dawn,

    Where’s the ‘love’ icon? The last line was a beautiful clincher. Your mother sounds like mine. “You wear your heart on your sleeve.” She used to tell me. And even though she’s been gone 34 years I still have arguments with her in my head. See what you did there? Wonderfully constructed piece.



    Liked by 1 person

  7. jgroeber says:

    Gorgeous. So evocative and fitting of that strange photo. I love this.
    And yes, we argue on in our heads. We tell good news, too. Or just retell the old stories. Hope you manage some of each as time passes.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. k rawson says:

    You expertly convey the complex relationship and emotions. Nicely done!


  9. Lori says:

    Dawn- I love the words from your tender heart. Do we all share the same mothers? Same families? Same words that carry this weight? My professional friend with her MSW,LMFC (code for my therapist) says it’s the same voice you play over and over in your head- the “IBSC” always sitting right there on your shoulder! and to ask God “please don’t let anybody should on me today and don’t let me should on anybody” will we ever make peace with this voice- or at least understand truly how hurt people -hurt people. ESP mothers and daughters. It’s truly a tender trap. Thank you for your your honesty.


    • Powerful words, Lori; thank you so much for sharing them. I love that: “hurt people, hurt people.” Wow.

      Yes, it is such a challenging relationship! I continue to navigate (blindly at times), even now that my mom is gone. I work hard to heal some of it, so that my daughter and I can have a better relationship. It’s a huge balancing act!

      Thanks for visiting Tales From the Motherland, and for sharing your thoughtful feedback. It’s much appreciated!


  10. hbksloss says:

    Years ago at a funeral the minister said something profound that I found helpful and comforting: death does end a relationship, but it does change it. I have found that so useful for continuing to resolve issues and connect with those I have lost. I guess you do too. Welcome back!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. micklively says:

    “You’re dad” seems problematic?
    Good piece.


  12. Sandra says:

    The relationship between mother and off-spring is a complex affair that continues long after death in some shape or form. I think I said more to my mother (but only in my head) when she was alive than I have since. But I’ve come to understand why she was the way she was. Nicely done – I’m hoping you’re coming to terms with this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know exactly what you mean, Sandra. It’s so true… I said so much more in my head then too! And yes, I’m working through some very challenging issues, and feeling better. It’s not pretty, but I’m on it. 😉 Thanks, as always, for your thoughtful feedback; I always look forward to your words.


  13. Jan Brown says:

    Great story. The dialogue and inner voice are perfect, as is the song selection. I’d forgotten how that song can cut into my heart.


  14. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Dawn,

    Last line perfect in a perfect story. Very deep into it now, I scratch and claw my way out to write this. Well done pulling me in.




  15. gahlearner says:

    This is wonderful. Like many, I still argue with my parents who’re both gone. The older I get, the better I understand them. When I’m their age, I wonder if the conversation changes to a ‘I told you so.’

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Nicely done, Dawn, especially if torn from real life. Fortunately, my parents are both still alive and I get along with them. I do love that song, BTW.


    Liked by 1 person

  17. rgayer55 says:

    My wife has similar arguments with both our son and daughter (except for the Dad part :)). That sensitivity thing runs both ways–sometimes it’s the child, sometimes the parent. Like Doug said, you did and excellent job pulling us in. You did a magnificent job capturing the emotion.
    I love that song too.


  18. This one did touch a raw nerve. Why do mother-daughter relationships have to be so complex? You would have thought being the same sex, they would understand each other. I don’t have a daughter so I don’t have the mother’s POV. I guess it must be hard for mothers to bring up daughters who challenge them 🙂


    • Justjoyfulness, thanks for stopping by Tales From the Motherland, to read and comment. Your time and thoughts are much appreciated. I have to agree that there is something in the water, when it comes to mothers and daughters… though my sons might tell you the same thing.
      😉 Parenting…it’s just hard, complex, brilliant. A friend recently said: hurt people, hurt people. Wow! That’s so true. Thanks again for taking the time.


  19. Seems the mother is resting in peace but the child is not if he/she is still arguing with her in his mind. Great story!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. plaridel says:

    exactly 101 words. which word was for mom? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Amy Reese says:

    I love that you still argue with your mom in your head. That’s love all right. This is wonderful, Dawn! Your mom would be pleased.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. That was a lovely piece for your Mum. It is lovely that you still include your Mum in your self talk to the point that you argue about this and that. A lovely piece Dawn.

    Liked by 1 person


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