Photo Challenge #73: A Mother’s Wise Words


“Never marry for love,” her mother often told her as a child, while fastening her corset, while teaching her to sew and cook, and even as she was being tucked into the bed.

“Marry for money,” her mother would say as she pecked her forehead with a soft kiss. “Don’t disgrace the family name.”

She never took those words seriously and fell for a coal miner instead. Everyday, her husband came home with a face full of black soot. While her husband went to work at the mine everyday, she was alone. No maid, no cook, no one to keep company, just her in a lonely cottage at the edge of the woods. She wore the same dress everyday as she got down on her hands and knees to scrub the floor clean. Every night, she would sit across from her husband as they shared a plate of bread and fish.

They never said much to each other but whenever she mentioned the need to go to the market, as he handed her a bag of pocket change, he’d say, “Be careful what you spend it on. The market’s a dangerous place sometimes just like my job.” She’d duly nod her head.

One night, she waited for him as usual with three wooden plates on the table, one with bread, another with fish freshly bought that day at the market and a plate of various cheeses, along with a jug of his favorite wine. He never came back that night. Early the next morning, someone knocked on her door and informed her there was an explosion in the mines the day before.

Five days later, in her black dress, she attended her husband’s memorial. There was nothing left of him she could treasure as she threw a handful of black coal dust into an empty hole in the ground.

A tear slowly trailed down her face as she stood there and realized that not only she had lost her husband but she had lost everything else as well. Her family no longer recognized her as one of their own and worst, she had no money, no one. Why didn’t she take her mother’s words seriously?

A response to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie’s Photo Challenge.

4 thoughts on “Photo Challenge #73: A Mother’s Wise Words

  1. A heartbreaking tale. It’s funny how mom’s advices come back to haunt you even when you have made right choices. the words echo. Maybe, her mom always knew that there won’t be coming back if she left for love. Poor soul. Wonderfully written

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks and very interesting question. I think if she had married for money, her family wouldn’t have disowned her and she’ll probably don’t have to worry about losing her husband.

      Liked by 1 person

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