May Day Serenade

May Day 1

Sally Morrison shifted her weight to the right, steadied her hand upon the cumbersome wooden cane and warily lifted her frail body from the over-stuffed beige recliner, letting out an unconscious mandatory groan of willfulness. Once upright, her hand fleeted to wipe a stray, graying strand of hair from her left eye as she proceeded, systematically, toward the entranceway door. Careful to keep her balance, she turned the door handle to the right and exited onto the front porch.

The smell of freshly dewed grass, fragrant hollyhocks and daffodils filled her senses while the ever-chirping bluebirds brought melody to the morning’s silence. She hesitated before venturing to the white wicker love seat, to take in the glory of the moment.  She knew a person could not recapture the initial experience of seconds in time when you had to let it all in and later reflect upon the pleasant memory.

Sally managed to plop herself into the confines of the damp, yellow-flowered seat cushions without teetering and falling. This in itself was a mastered maneuver. With the beauty of the dawn, came the realization she was lonely, in fact downright sorrowful for the lack of any human interaction or companionship. She hadn’t given much thought to growing older; always-believed Arnie would be at her side, holding her hand, tending to her when the body gave way to the ailments of age. Too soon he fell victim to cardiac failure.

Oh how she envied those grandmas who doted over their grandchildren, telling stories of the deep bond and love they had developed. Childless, she had no such tales to relate, nor any deep friendships to carry her forward to another day. Sally wondered what purpose she held now. What difference would it make if she disappeared from the face of the earth? After all, who would miss her or even care that some old woman was gone.

Tears welled from her eyes. Stupid, stupid, stupid, she thought, me crying and feeling sorry for myself when for so long I have been the strong one. She hated what she had become. Once a lovely, charitable, compassionate and active woman, it had all come down to this facade of life. Sally closed her eyes, lost in the memories of yesterday, a time when she touched peoples’ lives and they touched hers.

Michael stood at his window, peering across the street at the figure who sat on a settee upon her porch. It had become his routine to check in on Sally Morrison, though he never ventured for a visit nor let on that he viewed her activities. He felt as if he were a Peeping Tom, at times yet could not cease his curiosity.

Today was May Day that brought with it a mood of renewal and bright beginnings. Yet he wondered how bright Sally’s life was after the passing of her husband Arnie some four months ago. What the hell could he do, after all, they were not friends or even formal acquaintances for that matter. With one last look across the street, he backed away allowing the curtain to swing into its intended placement behind the window.

May day 2

Sally hated the evenings the worse. The dusk would be setting in soon, replaced by darkness, blackness that brought the full reality of her existence. She heard a doorbell ring, once, twice then a third time. It certainly sounded like her bell, but who in the world would be calling on her? Though a bit apprehensive, she slowly rose to her feet, walked to the entrance, pulled the door slightly ajar and peered outside. She glanced left to right, saw no one and then noticed at the foot of the door lay a small gold and crimson box with a small envelope attached.  With much effort and pain, she crouched down and picked it up, closed the door and hurried as fast as her body would allow to the kitchen. Placing it on the table, she set herself down into the accompanying chair, stared at this small token, mystified and delighted, yet a bit hesitant to reveal the contents. “You old fool”, she thought to herself. “What could it hurt to open it, hell, worse that could happen is it would explode and then you’d have no worries.” Sally carefully pulled the ribbon and removed the golden and crimson wrapping to reveal a black embossed box. She opened it and gasped. It was stunning; a white and gold-ridged rose pin with a glistening pearl embedded in its center with the most delicate, two-toned light and dark green leaf protruding from the left side.

May day 3

Sally pondered, who in God’s name would have sent this to her. But wait; there was that small envelope. She had forgotten, for with age comes loss of memory. It took a moment to open the envelope; the fingers just didn’t work as well anymore. She read the words and when finished, she wept tears of joy and delight.

Seventy-two words would change her life…

This small gift cannot express our gratitude. Helen and I shall never forget your unselfish acts of kindness, love and care. You gave my little Gretchen such comfort as she battled brain cancer. It’s been fifteen years since her passing. So deep in remorse, we never took the time to thank you. Please come over for dinner tomorrow. Time all of us began to celebrate life. All our love, Michael & Helen Lawrence


Monica M Brinkman believes in ‘giving it forward’; reflected by her writing and radio show. A firm believer open communication is the most powerful tool to make positive change in the world; she expresses this in her book, The Turn of the Karmic Wheel and It Matters Radio. Monica resides in the Midwest with her husband, two dogs and five cats.

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12 thoughts on “May Day Serenade

  1. Adele Park

    Happy May Day, Monica. Thank you for the beautiful story. It is a good reminder that we are all interconnected and have an obligation to care for one another. This was a beautiful illustration of the power of the human spirit.

  2. Martha Love

    What a beautifully written story, Monica. I read it three times!

    Besides being a lovely story about renewal, it is an important reminder that when we are suffering a loss, others too may be suffering and it can be very important to show some caring for them. We can get so absorbed with our own pain that we forget about others around us. It is when we can finally care for others that our own pain has a chance to find some comfort too. Thank you, Monica!

  3. Mary Firmin

    Dearest Monica, This is a lovely story and I enjoyed it very much. Unfortunately, I identified with Sally in so m many ways. Fortunately, I am surrounded by my wonderful Social Media Group who take away so many of those sad, lonely feelings. I did not know that writing my book would open me up to so many incredible people and situations. I am going to look in my mailbox now and see if there is a gold ridged rose in there for me. If not, I still have my Twitter Group, my Blog Group, and all my Twitter and Facebook friends. Now that’s a miracle also. All the best to you all, Mary Firmin.

  4. Salvatore Buttaci

    Besides having the ability to tell a story and move the reader, Monica Brinkman uses such varied description that all senses come into play. We see, we hear, we smell, we taste… When I think of her novel The Turn of the Karmic Wheel, I can easily recall the images, some quite frightening, that she presented in the telling. This woman’s got it all together!

  5. Sharla

    Monica, what a heart-warming story. It was just yesterday upon working on a piece about May Day for my blog Awakenings, I came across a piece written by Micki Peluso. She had forwarded it to me to ‘polish’ and publish on my blog last year. It was in rereading her article that I was reminded of the small gift tokens left on doorsteps or hanging on doorknobs. What a wonderful and pleasurable gesture of love. If you have not read Micki’s article, it is here:

  6. John B. Rosenman

    Such a beautiful, heartwarming story. It renews our faith that people simply don’t forget our acts of kindness and love but do reciprocate. May day, a time of rebirth. How wrong that Sally, who had give so much, should be so lonely and alone at the end. And how right that bereaved parents should remember her and pass their love and gratitude forward. Monica, thank you so much for sharing.

  7. Micki Peluso

    Thank you for sharing such a lovely, bittersweet story. It reminds me of my 98 year old mothe-rin-law, who lives alone, having outlived all her loved ones, and mild dementia keeps her from memories.

  8. Linda Hales

    Every so often, a piece goes up that paints a lovely picture and fills up our many senses. Tlhis is one such story Monica. You took me there and I t hank you for a well written story.


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