Just a Boy


He says, “Hand,” and I reach over and take his small hand in mine. This is the fifth or sixth time throughout the night that I’ve heard that word and each time he whispers it, I comply. His hand warms my heart.

He shouts across the room yesterday, “You’re the best grandma ever!” and I ask why. He tells me without hesitation that I am the best grandma ever because I let him have Oreos. It’s the simple things.

We turn on “Frozen” for the umpteenth time yesterday and as Grandpa turns on the surround sound to provide theater-quality sound for our experience, he looks at my husband and chastises, “Grandpa, turn it down. It’s “grandpa-loud”!

He tells me that Kings of Leon is one of his mom’s best music and I tell him that his mom and his dad went to see them play. He says he wishes he could have gone and I tell him that they went before he was born. He says, “Oh yeah, that’s before God made me,” and I say yes. He then says that God really wanted his dad to live in heaven and that’s why he had to die. I smile and reply with misty eyes, “You are a wise little man,” and he says with much exasperation, “I’m a just boy, Grandma,” and the tears dry up and laughter takes their place. Indeed, he’s just a boy.

I am filled with joy this Easter morning.

Fairy Tale

ImageHe said he would make me his queen and in my innocence, I said yes.

I have been his queen for a number of years now. My job is to sit so I sit. Day after day after day, I sit. I awake each morning alone, because it is the way of the queen and my maidservant arrives. I am washed, powdered, coiffed, corseted, dressed and put on my settee of comfort and I sit. I smile, but it never leaves my lips to reach my eyes.

I would move if I could but this damn corset is so tight it anchors me and I sit with a book in hand and an inkwell just out of reach. If I could reach the inkwell, would I pen a plea to be released from this hell? Earlier, he throws me two white roses and they remain on my floor. If I could reach them with my dainty feet, I would crush them.

Bastard. I am trapped in his world forever, but it is my penance for believing in a fairy tale.



At 13, she has presence beyond her years. The limelight is something that she neither basks in nor seeks. She simply moves in and out of it with grace.

“Grease lightning, go grease lightning,” she sings as she twirls in her polka-dotted poodle skirt. A violin solo? Her fingers and bow dance across the instrument with the light-heartedness of a minstrel. She stands tall at the Capitol rotunda on Future Youth Leadership Day and says “CHEESE” with her fellow future leaders.

A child prodigy? Ask her and she will giggle and roll her eyes. She is 13 years old and her smile melts your heart.

Born to Be With You


It’s not the day-to-day living
As we pass like ships in the night
In our multi-shift worlds
Me doing my thing, He doing his

It’s not the 20-minute phone calls twice a day
To stay in touch and pass the relevant news
What came in the mail
Did the dogs poop

It’s not that he’s Mr. Social
Cuz he ain’t
And it’s not that he always gets me
Cuz he don’t

But he tries…

I got lost in your eyes
He tells me as we said our vows
You and me, he says…
We’re forever

Why couldn’t we save him, he cries
When we hear of my son’s death
And he sleeps on the couch holding me
When the bedroom turns claustrophobic

I’ll never be a grandpa, it’s not for me
He proclaims when we learn of the pending miracle
Nowadays the 5-year old and the 60-year old play x-box
Wearing matching Lego Star Wars tshirts

He waits in quiet solitude, nerves of steel
While my colon, arms and knee
Get resectioned, reduced and repaired
And when all is said and done, he takes me home

He loves me, I mean he loves ME
Even on days I don’t deserve it
And he holds us together
When I flounder

I got lost in your eyes
He tells me as we said our vows
You and me, he says…
We’re forever

Her Hands

I’ve participated for the last two Friday’s in Friday Fictioner’s 100-word challenges. You look at a picture and write a story of approximately 100 words. For those of you who have followed my blog, you know that I have a hard time saying good morning in 100 words! This has been an experience.


Write a one hundred word story that has a beginning, middle and end.

Here, then, is today’s challenge.


Her Hands

Her hands were veined like a rooted forest.

They held a young Coast Guard man’s hand in marriage in 1937. They held four babies. They wiped her own tears over the losses of an infant son, her husband of 50 plus years, and two more adult children taken before her. They held grandbabies and great grandbabies.

They held a cookbook, measuring spoons, buttermilk and a spatula with which to flip her infamous pancakes. They held countless numbers of cribbage hands.

They held our hearts.

Her hands were veined like a rooted forest and when you looked up from them you could see the blue sky in her eyes.


My Husband, The Pet Detective/Author or Cork It!

From: R.E. B erg
Sent: Monday, March 24, 2014 11:41 AM
To: Berg, Mary A.
Subject: Ziggy and the Hidden Treasure


 Just when you might have thought our boy had lost the power to amaze, I was shown otherwise late this morning.

 I had left the Zigmeister and his well-behaved sister, Izzy (aka the Normal One) upstairs while I got the latest bill-paying efforts in order. Upon my return upstairs, I found Ziggy with what appeared to be a cork protruding from his mouth. Following the standard exchange of a food pellet for the unknown foreign object, I was unpleasantly surprised to discover that the object he had dropped was, in fact, a turd.

 It didn’t look like anything fresh. When I picked it up with a napkin, I learned that it just as solid and quite possibly lighter than a cork of that size would have been, plus it was completely free of fragrance. It was, indeed, a very, very old turd. To Ziggy’s credit, the turd bore no teethmarks, so it apparently did not fall into the snack category in his doggy mind.

I took it to the bathroom sent it on its merry way to the city treatment plant, and when I went back to the living room, lo and behold, another turd had appeared between the couch and the carpet. It looked much fresher, so I gave Ziggy the customary scolding about not pooping in the house as I retrieved the latest offering. I found, however, that, despite its right-from-the-factory appearance, the second turd was of the same vintage as the first.

I could not figure where he was getting these new playthings. I looked behind the couch as well as along the front window and found nothing.

So, I sat down to watch the perpetrator, reasoning that he had not yet exhausted his stockpile.

Sure enough, he made his way toward the glass shelving unit in the corner. I intercepted him before he could get behind the shelves and observed one remaining turd and a miniature turdlette remained in that location. Both were retrieved, and the mystery was solved.

And that concludes the highlight of my morning … so far.


Detective Berg

(My husband, Richard, and I are writing a book together about our wonderful canines. As you can see, there is so much “material” that it’s hard to decide what to include and what to leave out. While this was not intended to be anything other than a morning update from my man who works 2nd shift while I work the old 8-5ish schedule, this is most certainly now going to go into the book – verbatim! Just a “taste” of what’s to come!)Image




The Dream


Me on one side, he on the other.

I reach to touch him through the grate but he backs away – close enough to see but not to touch. He looks deep into my eyes and smiles that same sad remorseful smile. He lifts a hand and turns into the darkness. “Don’t go,” I silently scream.

Sometimes he says, “I’m sorry, Mom” but not today. Sometimes he says, “Don’t come here,” but not today. Sometimes he says, “Please let me go.”  Not today.

Different variations but the same heartbreaking dream.  I awake in tears. He’s dead and it’s just a dream.

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