Once upon a time there was a handsome man.
and once upon a time there was a beautiful woman, who had no idea she'd meet the handsome man who had a wife and couldn't keep her. The handsome man put down for good his bottle of amber liquid and asked for the hand of marriage of the beautiful woman who lived on a farm. They were married - what a nice-looking couple! but oh oh! Little did the beautiful woman know that the handsome man's three children would need a home!
The three little children came, one...then two...then three. . . and blew their house down! The three little children came to live with the beautiful woman and the handsome father. One of those was a little west virginia pigtailed girl. Her shoes were too tight, but she never cried.
Then SURPRISE! the beautiful woman became pregant and had two of her own! Five children! Oh, but little did the beautiful woman know that one day, far and yet not so far into the future, she would lose one of those children born from her body. Her beloved son and beloved brother to all the children, for there were no halves and steps when it came to the four brothers and the pigtailed sister-there was only: brothers and sister. But, what choice would the beautiful woman have made if given it? To lose one from her own body? or . . . one of the three who came along one day, from another mother's body? What a terrible question! But it was asked by the three children who came to live with the beautiful woman. Yes, the terrible question was asked, "Did she wish it was me instead of her own?" . . . Oh, sad tales are told, sad tales are told, sad tales are lived within the hearts and minds of those who have loved and lost and lost again and forever.
But before that terrible day when the beloved son and brother left, the family was made into a whole, all the pieces come together like a broken tea set where one goes to garage sales and picks up a cup here, a plate there, a saucer here, and takes them home to make one complete, but imperfect, set.
And no one would know by looking at this picture that one would leave them forever; that the father would leave another home and wife; that the sons would scatter to other places save for one; that the pigtailed girl would one day tell fictional tales about families and love and belonging -because she does and she must.
But there are happy endings to this tale, to this broken-tea-set family. Yes . . . so do not fret, for the happy endings are there to soak up and take into your marrow. The beautiful woman found her another handsome prince and is living happily ever after. The brothers and the sister watch out for each other, linked by familial sibling love. The handsome father found him another beautiful princess and they live happily ever after, too.
the end . . . (yet not).