Sunday 18 April 2010

The hand that helps?

Flower’s family was small; if you were going to join the dots to make their family circle it was a line that went from A to B: Leah and her Flower.
When fifteen-year-old Flower’s mum died on the way home from work her Social Worker, Janice, had to cast a very wide net to find anyone who could take her in. Foster parent Jo, who cared and is caring still has to prepare Flower for a new life.

“Flower?” said Jo. “It’s time to meet your uncle. Remember he is ‘Great’ after all.”
She’d used the joke before.
Jo reached for my hand. The sheer force of will, the belief, in her calm brown eyes had me reaching up to clasp her hand before I had considered making a choice. Neither of us looked at Janice who was not holding her breath or paying attention to us at all.
Jo towed me over to the other, uncomfortable visitor who sat centrally on the sofa. His large feet were covered in sandals – sandals and socks – then there were jeans on legs that ranged up and then still up – long legs, constrained by the coffee table. A cream knit cardigan with lumps and ropes, my eyes swirling I followed a loop – held in the track – until I reached the head crowning this figure. He had a long face with lots of forehead – the baldness added to the effect – a craggy, pensive, mobile face where emotions chased in quick succession and the deep blue eyes. White curls rebelled at the edges of his close cropped hair.
“Flower? This is your Great Uncle Will, your Mum’s Uncle Will.”
And I felt it fall, that detached piece of heart I’d prepared earlier because she’d said the two little words I could hardly bare when put together.
“O-oh!” I breathed.
“Hello,” the deep voice whispered, “I’m here for you.”
I checked the creases and seams where his sandals clasped his socks tight.
 “Flower? We don’t have to do this now.”
But, really, we did.

The hand that holds ours, when the task is impossible to undertake alone, could belong to many people. Do you have a special someone you hold onto when things are difficult?


  1. Oh Elaine! So moving. How lovely. The hand that reaches in comfort...I love it.

    I also really enjoyed the voice and the POV here. You did so well looking out through this child's eyes. Nicely done.

  2. God Elaine that was bloody brilliant! very very touching. nice job.

    It's very sad to say but I don't have a hand to hold unless it's across cyberspace.

  3. Carolina
    Oh Bless! Thank you for your kind words. I love Flower's story but writing it makes me cry. :s

    Hey Anne, that was praise, indeed. *blush* You need a hand? You know who to call.

  4. Truly lovely writing Elaine. We know Flower in those few lines. Well done :)

  5. Hi Elaine. How cool is that - I am your 100th follower! :)

    Lovely story. My friends are the ones who hold me - those in real life, and those that connect across the miles via blogs. I feel lucky and blessed for both!

  6. Passionate and emotive. Very nice. The voice seems a little mature for the age of the child I'm envisioning, but I really like sentiments here. And I can see how writing about her would make you cry. Sorrow is hard to write, and when its done well, as you've done here, it can be satisfying to read.

    Thanks for sharing this piece of your new love. Your passion for the work truly shows.


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  8. Welcome to Kalmdown and Jayne - thank you helping me reach this amazing milestone. People are always so helpful, constructive and encouraging, I do feel that, although we are all many miles apart, we are brought very close together by our shared love of writing, reading and working hard to achieve our goals. :)

    A big *THANK YOU* to all my Followers - Friends out in the Blog-o-sphere!

  9. Flowers story brought tears to my eyes. When I am loosing grip I hold on to my Mother.