Simple Moments That Make Life Memorable by Rachel Wermager

This collection of stories comes from three generations of women. The stories show the strength of a marriage and family, and how often these things are built on the simple moments that make life memorable.  

For Grandma and Papa: you showed me what love and happiness looks like.  

Grandma: I arrived with my family in Brady, Nebraska when I was a junior in high school. Naturally the first thing I did was look around to see what the boy situation was. When I first laid eyes on him I noticed his quirky smile and blue eyes. But, unfortunately at that time, those blue eyes were looking to someone else.

It wasn’t until after he graduated high school and went off to college that we went out ice-skating together. He was a perfect gentleman while we skated out at the river.

I guess we just clicked because we went together thereafter.

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Women and Love by Olive Riley

 Author’s Note:

These are fictional stories with themes form real people’s stories. Almost everything is made up, but the emotions are as real as I could make them. My goal is to make people feel less alone in their experiences, or at least somewhat understood.


She sat at her desk Thursday after school working on an assignment due the next day. Her spindly fingers urgently typing trying to get her assignment done so she could go to bed. It is 8:08 p.m. She has to wait two more hours until bed is a socially acceptable thing to commit to. Outside she hears laughter from people who are celebrating the end of their Thursdays a bit differently than she.

This happens most Thursdays through Saturdays, so she purposefully keeps her assignments unfinished until the last minute. This gives her a reason to tell herself why she is staying in. The door slams below her window and she hears laughter from the group of girls who had uncomfortably invited her to their “non-solidified” plans that evening in the dining hall. From the sounds of their laughter diminishing with the growing distance between them and her spot at the desk she concludes that their solidified plans did not include her as a detail.

Another hour passes and she is almost done with the homework that is due on Friday. Elizabeth decides she needs to procrastinate. Procrastination now meant less lonely feelings later.

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Your Flowers Sound Beautiful by Matthew Musacchio

Your roses always sounded the most beautiful. The string accompaniments of the sleepily strumming marigolds. Your planted orchestra played a symphony I never could. You were always better with your hands, dear. With the spotted lily dosing in the corner and your warm sighs, what more can I ask for?

Remember that time I tried to ape your art?

The roses I wrote down came across a gross lilac. You laughed. Of course, you would. It wasn’t my skill. Like a writer trying to garden, or a gardener trying to compose, or a composer trying to write.

So, instead of trying to replicate or imitate, I give you this.

Keep your auburn hair up. Smile with trowel in hand.

There is nothing you can say. You were really never good with words.

Instead, you choose to open your mouth, so wide magnolias threaten to spill out. You made the air a garden, glittering dust of amber rays.

My father always used to ask what I saw in you.

What happened to that boy down the road, he asks, what made you settle for the quiet one.

I could never put it into words.

But now, you. Framed in the strings of the rosy sun, I know exactly why.

I taste the drum beats of this coffee, turn back to you, and smile.

You once asked me what your voice was like to me. Colors come to mind when one speaks. Not always, but most times. The reds and blues and golds of the human voice. Your sister sounded like a quiet opera. The booming voice of my father produces the void between thunder cracks.

And here I am, basking in your botanical glow. An author wordless, what good is that?


I once heard a story from my father, back when I was a young boy, still afraid of thunder. The wife and her fisherman.

Every day he went out to sea. And every day she would draw.

He absolutely loved seeing her work. And with every completed piece, he would take them and place them in his loft, with his tools and his with his tackle. One day while looking for more canvas, she walked in on his loft.

My God, she cried out. Not a single painting was hung up. The walls were wood and bare.

So, after finishing her next piece, in the tiniest rowboat, she followed him out to sea. And what did she see? She saw him, ever so gently, slip the painting into the ocean. The gall! So, when they returned home, she confronted him.

My dear, he said, remember how I said to bury me at sea.

For that art I wish to be with forever.

What do you remind me of?

What does the sound of fireworks evoke? How do the waves that crash against the ocean smell? And what in God’s name do you do to that garden to make it sounds like that?

It’s like trying to ask what you feel when conducting. How the passion burns sweetly from every pore in your rosy cheeks.

You’d be speechless, a silence so loud even the daisies flinch.

There are many things I could say.

I could say that you sound like Dawn’s pale fingers across the sky. The long shadows of a fall sunset. A weary traveler coming home at last.

But I won’t.

I never was very good with words.

Instead, I give you the advice that every flower gave me. They whispered full bloom into my ear and wrapped me in thorns that refused to cut.

They told me to build a garden that loves you back.

I hope you will be interred within its earth, with paper trees covered in blossoming word. Trees around a rosewater pond that you or I or we may call our own.

And eventually, you’d place me in my pine box inside its gates with every marigold and rose and magnolia you ever spoke.

My dear, remember I said bury me with you?

For that art I wish to be with forever.