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Carmen Ruggero

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Member Since: Nov, 2002

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Twenty-Four Hours
By Carmen Ruggero
Saturday, September 13, 2003

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           >> View all 9

One day in the life of a single parent.

The alarm blasts out.
Five thirty.
God Bless this day.
My feet hit the ground.  I get in the shower before I even open my eyes.  The water feels good -- no time to indulge -- I've got to run.
I think about working another day for that madman and want to cry ...  no time for self-pity either ... another job will come up.
I go to my closet wishing something new had turned up over night but no luck; my wardrobe contains nothing but old hand-me-downs.  Nothing looks like me, nothing fits me right.  So I pick up who-knows-whose two-piece suit, someone else's shirt and ge dressed.  I look fine, I think gazing in the mirror.
I look fine.
Time to put out the dog.
"Mom I need money for lunch!"
"Take what's in my wallet!"
"All you have is a five -- what about you?"
"Take it I'll be fine."  No use wondering what I'm having for lunch.  I fix scramled eggs, no bread for toast, and we eat standing up -- dishes will wait -- I've got to run.
We kiss in a hurry; she's catching the bus.
I bring the dog back in and head for the car.
"It won't start -- piece of junk!"  I call a friend and get a ride.
Arriving at work late, I know I'll catch hell.
"You are late!" he groans.
"My car wouldn't start," I say hoping he'll drop it, but catch hell just the same.
I've got to clear my mind, I can't make mistakes.
The phone rings twice.
"Answer the phone!" he yells.
"Yes sir." I've got to clear my mind.  Fifty reports to get out if there's one.  I've got to do payroll and I can't forget, or make mistakes.  I rush all day -- no time for lunch anyway.
Back home at five, I find a note taped to the door.  The electricity is cut off.
"I don't get paid till Thursday!" I yell.
I kick off my shoes and watch them fly across the room.
Sometimes I wonder if God know I'm alive! I'm told He has a plan.
I know ... He wants us to eat by candlelight.  I fix sandwiches for dinner -- can't cook without lights -- dishes will wait a little longer -- I've got to figure things out.
Taking off my hand-me-downs, I feel like nobody's child; tired, lonely.  Sweet death crosses my mind.
But no time for that either.  No hot water to bathe.  I slip on my worn-out jersey.  I like feeling sexy at night.
I call Mom and ask her to call me in the morning.
"I don't have electricity, please help me wake-up."
She offers money.
"No thanks Mom, I'm fine."
My daughter calls from her room.  "I need ten bucks for cross-country..."
God Bless this night.


Carmen Ruggero .2002 & 2003

       Web Site: BeWrite

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Reviewed by m j hollingshead 3/4/2005
well done, for a time I was a single mom. life do get difficult at times.
Reviewed by Fritz Barnes 2/7/2005
God Bless this day...God Bless this night.

Nice writing, Carmen.
Reviewed by Dan Summerfield 1/8/2004
Though I've never known the joys (?) of parenthood, I have had the job, the car, and the mysterious shrinking wallet. The story of your life is the story of mine, Carmen, and you handled our mutual biographies well. (drs)
Reviewed by Robert Montesino 12/10/2003
Twenty-Four Hours captures the struggles of single parenthood, the reality of hard ecomomic times, and the maddening desparation there is in a hectic rat race driven society. Through it all though the hopes, dreams & faith of one woman shines through this piece in the end! Well done Carmen!
Reviewed by RD Larson 9/13/2003
A friend once answered my question of "How's things?" The answer was "One crises after another." I said, "I'm so sorry." He said, "Well, that's how we know we're alive."
Dang it's too true. Nicely expressed.
Reviewed by Heather Bricklin 9/13/2003
Sounds familiar; I greatly appreciate the absence of both saccharine and self-pity.
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 9/13/2003
Oh!! Dear me I know this feeling...and i am not even a single mom!!
Life can be so damn hard to handle!!

love Tinka
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 9/13/2003
Excellent story, Carmen! Thanks for sharing! (((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Texas, Karen Lynn. :)

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