Free Write Friday: Kellie Elmore “Ivy Covered Gates”

Massachusetts Hall, Harvard University, Cambri...

Massachusetts Hall, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday, I kept coughing so much that i thought my lungs was gonna burst outta my chest and i couldn’t stop. i couldn’t even string two words without hacking and wheezing but when mama forced me to go to the doctor he said he didn’t hear anything so i had to pay twenty dollars for antibiotics that haven’t done a damn thing except make me feel worse. why do doctors make you feel sicker in the first place. shoulda just bought some of that stuff they show on rv commercials,  the green kind, you know the one where you open your mouth and spray like a mist?

Im my own person now, 18 years old, legal age but I dont understand crap the medical doctors and nurses say, i know they do that on purpose. just to put poor people in their place but not me, no, not me. Cuz, i’m gonna tell them, i am no different than you except i got all A’s and one day i’m gonna be your boss, yep you heard right miss little goody two shoes. I will be your boss. so just shut your damn mouth now before I shut if for you. Mama says i should calm myself but she done the same thing when Papa yells at her so i’m not gonna listen either.

i’m gonna listen to my self, my true gut. The little  voice inside me that says “i’m better than all of you” cause i have dreams and you don’t. Right there is the difference, enough for me to set my goals high instead of my baby brother who just wants to work in the gas factory with daddy.Living in a poor, little town like us, there are not many options except for ME. I’m gonna be a doctor and i’m gonna hold my head high and no one is gonna talk me out of it. That’s right.

I got all A’s this year and now i’m waiting for my community college acceptances to come in, i was in high school in a special advanced program and i’m waiting to hear if i can get a skolarship to the best school so i can be a doctor and fix people. yes, I will i tell you. Every day i wait for the mail. mama sayz it aint, I mean isn’t, gonna come any faster. but one day i know it will show up. So I may not be standing under the ivy covered gates at Harvard next year but i will be in the top of my class at communtiy school and after that you watch out because then I am going straight, yes, directly into Harvard with my head held higher than high. Because i have something you don’t got, i got my strength and my spirit and I believe in myself and i know, damn well know, i can do it with not one shadow of one doubt.

Signed, DOCTOR to be: Samantha E. Rowland

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The Whiffleball Champ

Kids grow up so quickly these days, one minute you are holding their hand at the bus stop for the first day of kindergarten and the next, it seems, you are handing over the keys to your car.  They are connected to you, and they will always need you but it changes as they get older. It’s a transition, for everyone. I never thought that it was possible but you do get used to your children/young adults separating from you. You have no choice; it happens quite naturally; although, believe me, I still sing “Sunrise, Sunset” at every opportunity.

The quick-dash of our 17-year-old son flying out the door so he can play whiffleball with his best friends, a game they have played for many years.  They built and designed the playing field with lighting that could attract a Madison Square Garden concert, with bases that the Yankees would be proud to play in. The initiative to do it on their own, drive to Home Depot a number of times, to thoughtfully design and build it; that made it special; that made it their own and they will always have that, in later years, they will have their memories.

They talk these days are about colleges, SAT’s and AP tests and how school is “technically over” with the exception of finals. The summer brings a much-needed refuge from exams and adult decisions and the dreaded common essay. These group of friends will be entering their Senior year of High School in the fall and things will proceed full speed ahead from then on, and yes, it will be different. The posse will be going in all different directions for college but I have no doubt that they will always be friends.

Topics around our house include talk of the Volunteer Ambulance Corporation and how our son felt the rush of adrenaline when he was able to do compressions on a sick adult man.  The fact that his EMT complimented him on his technique was, to him, the highest compliment ever and he was ecstatic. “If I ever had any doubts about Medical School, I don’t now, wow, what an adrenaline rush!!!.”

That young, empathic,  compassionate boy that he was is now grown and channeling his inner gifts to want to help others. He has his goals set on being an ER doctor or a surgeon; I tell him he has plenty of time to decide.   He may not be the best athlete on the whiffleball team, he may even be one of the worst players, I don’t really know but it doesn’t matter to me.

He calls, after his game, to ask if I want anything from the ice cream store. He walks in, fifteen minutes later,  dusty and tired and grinning, bearing a scoop of vanilla cake batter ice cream for me, his mom, with rainbow sprinkles.  In my eyes, he is, one true champion.