The Purge- Letting Light In

I had no intention of writing today; in fact my intention was NOT to write. There are many chores to be done around the house, and paperwork to catch up for my job. Sometimes, though, a Force greater than ourselves has Intentions of Its own and we are compelled to follow.

I threw books in the garbage today- into a big bag filled with dusty papers, used tissues, onion peels, coffee grinds, apple cores- and it was right where they belong. In the trash.

My love of reading started at an early age, thanks to my mother. She took me to the local library every week for story-time, and taught me to read before I even entered school. Curious George books were my favorite, with Clifford the Big Red Dog coming in as a close second. Just entering the library holding my mother’s hand caused what I now know to be an adrenaline rush in my five-year-old mind and body. I remember with fondness the old building, the creaky wood floor, the children’s section, and seeing the massive number of books from floor to ceiling. There was a ladder that moved around the room so the librarians could reach the books on the top shelves. How I longed for the day to be big enough to climb that ladder, knowing I would never be allowed to do so!

There are many books in my home; I designated this morning as the time to thoroughly clean the bookshelves. Since thorough cleaning doesn’t happen often enough in our house, I decided to take full advantage of this unusual burst of energy by taking down every single book to give it a good dusting. Whew, what a long overdue and much needed task! I found books I’d forgotten about, set aside the ones I haven’t read yet, and rediscovered some of my favorites. In the midst of those was a Bible belonging to my late father. It was such a comfort to open it to the last page Dad had book-marked. Leading a troubled life plagued by constant battles with depression, he came back near the end of his life to the faith he left decades before- I am so grateful for that.

Among the forgotten books on the shelf were copies of a novel my ex-boyfriend had written; those were the ones that didn’t bring forth nostalgic good feelings. A talented writer and artist, Ex could have been successful. He could have known the power of love and been enlightened by the goodness of our Father and inspired by that same good existing in our fellow man; instead he chose darkness and fear. What started out as a good premise for a successful novel about Adam and Eve became twisted and grotesque. Instead of teaching people by bringing them closer to God as he claimed he wanted to, he spent his days and nights watching and posting videos about end times. He would shout like a lunatic, declaring that we need to find a safe place to hide. He tried every scare tactic he could think of to get me to agree with him- calling me the Devil, threatening, cursing, shouting, waking me at 2am with his crazed ranting, blaring YouTube videos produced by fellow madmen as loudly as possible.  I was stupid and I let him. I was weak. Deep down, though, there was a shred of self-preservation lingering… I’ve not always been the best parent, but I don’t want my own child to live in constant fear. Our Father doesn’t intend that for His children either.

At last, the day came that Ex left- thank God.

The books that left my home today were his. Along with them went the reminders of hatred and fear. The Light is much better than the darkness.

pink clouds


Author: awhitlow2

Murder can take a long time if you’re writing about it. My name is Ashleigh, and I’m a recovering next-timer… we’ll get together next time, I’ll call you next time, I’ll write about it next time, I’ll tell you I love you next time. Then reality hit (finally) that there may not be a next time and I was stunned. What?! We only get one shot at life? Really?! I’m also a recovering slow-learner. So in light of that realization that was over 40 years in the making, I’m writing my first novel- murder, love, redemption. I’m not sure what direction it will take but am enjoying the process and isn’t that what life’s all about anyway? More importantly, I’m living with gratitude for my family; God opened my eyes to the blessings of family and I’m thankful to Him and them for hanging in there with me all these years. (Did I mention I’m a slow-learner?) I’m a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a nurse, and a writer who LOVES to sing. Loudly. Badly. When no one else is around to hear it. Except the cat. Poor cat.

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