A Children’s Story

by Robby Maniscalco

Image00415Once upon a time there was a beautiful but troubled young woman who had an unwanted child.  She loved him in her way but wasn’t ready to give him all the love he craved.  So she left him with his father who did his best to raise him.  But the emptiness she left in the little boy’s heart only became deeper as he grew.  The boy became very sad.

Pat HarveyUnframedOne day the sad boy met another boy.   This boy was happy.  The happy boy was part of a large, loving family, which is probably what made him so lovable.  Not that the sad boy wasn’t lovable, it was just harder for him to see it, which made it harder for others to see.  True, the said boy was a bit clumsy, awkward and sometimes downright obnoxious.  But he tried hard.

Gang of Four Minus TwoFor some inexplicable reason the two boys became fast friends and one day the happy boy invited the sad boy to his home for a visit.  The sad boy pulled up on his bicycle, which had no breaks because the sad boy didn’t think he deserved a bike with brakes, and never bothered to fix them.  He smashed the bike into the happy boy’s house in order to stop it.  The happy boy’s mom could tell the sad boy needed lots of love and even though she had eight wonderful children of her own, she gave him lots and lots of love, as much as he could possibly want.  In fact, she took the sad boy into her own family.  And over time, the said boy’s heart began to heal.

Many years later, when the happy boy’s mom was near the end of her life, the sad boy’s mom started coming around again, which delighted the sad boy but also confused him.  When the happy boy’s mother passed out of this world into the next the sad boy was very, very sad, alone in the darkness of his loss.  AnnandRobbyHe stumbled because the tears in his eyes were clouding his vision.  Yes, the sad boy fell right into the outstretched arms of his own mother, who had arrived at the very same moment.  She had been looking for the sad boy in the darkness of her own emptiness and loss.

The sad boy cried his tears into the bosom of his mother and she cried back.  They cried together in joy and sorrow.

His own mother was a final gift to the sad boy from the happy boy’s mom; at that moment he knew the happy boy’s mom would never really be gone AND that his own mother had never really left.

Then something very strange happened: the sad boy no longer felt sad and he shared many happy years together with his beautiful mother.  And they all lived happily ever after.


This story was written shortly after the death of Patricia Harvey and is dedicated to the my mothers, both of whom continue to inspire me, even in their deaths.

After my mother’s death, we found this poem, among others she had written, hidden under her bed:

Three Days Before Robby’s Birth
Now is the quiet time.
Wait while pink smoke rises from the chimney.
Lie still my child and let me hold this moment of this day
and make it mine as you are part of me.

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