Home With the Family

The war was over.  General Turpentine stood outside the door of his house.  Inside were his wife and their children.  Beneath his feet was soft fresh snow.  It was still falling.  The street and the houses covered with the white stuff made for a pretty postcard.  The silence was welcoming.  No more sounds of war.  He was one of the lucky ones. He came home to his family.  Still, he couldn’t stop thinking about Maddie, the colored nurse he’d met during the war. 

Maddie dropped her Christmas card into the mailbox.  She hoped the General would get it in time.

100 Words

I wrote this story for Remembrance Day and in honor of those brave men who fought for freedom and so many other things. If you are interested in reading the first part of the story of General Turpentine and Maddie, click Here.

This post is for the Friday’s Fictioneers hosted by  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  You can find this week’s prompt Here. To read other stories or to participate, click Here.

42 thoughts on “Home With the Family

  1. So I went back and read the longer story, and just felt such sadness. This was not a deliberate choice to go find someone for a brief fling. Society would not approve at all, back then, and the relationship would cause them great stress, including Gen. T’s wife and children. No happy ending in sight on this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, Linda. Society would not have approved of their love at all. If they had met at a different time–like today when interracial relationships are more readily accepted and if he weren’t married and had children.

      Liked by 1 person

    • When he was in the hospital he resigned himself to the fact that there wasn’t a future for Maddie and him, because of his family, her young (whom he didn’t know had been killed in the war) and society’s views on interracial relationships. You’re right, though, if he decides that he wants to pursue a relationship with Maddie, irregardless of the reasons why he shouldn’t, then someone will get hurt.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Adele,

    That relationship would have to be kept in memory wouldn’t it? Besides the obvious question of adultery, there was the other that would’ve been disastrous during that time. Poignant and nicely done.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rochelle,

      It may have to be because of his family and the times during which they lived. Love wasn’t colorblind in those times. He came to the painful conclusion that a future with Maddie wasn’t possible. His future was with his family. And Maddie’s was with her young man (whom he didn’t know had been killed in the war because Maddie didn’t tell him).

      Thanks 🙂 I wanted to convey that while it was a blessing for him to be alive and home with his family, in his heart and mind he couldn’t let go of Maddie.



  3. I hope they both found peace, and that they both knew the gift a connection had been but also the gifts of what had awaited at home. I know of a family where the dad (later heard the story from his granddaughter) had fallen in love with his nurse while convalescing following a bad leg injury. While he and the nurse did not have physical relationship, they were very close until the war ended. When he returned home, he was able to tell his wife and his wife was able to see his ‘romance’ not as betrayal (for he was devoted to her, too) but as what allowed him to manage during impossible times. They processed it. Moved on. Made it part of their family’s story. He did not see the nurse after the war, knowing that THAT would hurt too many people, and for no good.
    Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing this story, Na’ama. I’m happy that nothing came of the relationship and that the husband told his wife and they were able to move on. General Turpentine and Maddie didn’t have a physical relationship but they connected in other ways. While he’s with his family, his heart and mind are on Maddie, whether he will share this part of his life with his wife, I’m not sure. It’s worth thinking about though after reading this incredible story which I’m so happy you’ve shared with me. And thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I thought it was wonderful when my friend told me about it after her grandpa died. It was something they’d grown up with – to look for the good, to see the gift and possibility in situations, to put love before bitterness. The generosity of my friend’s grandma took my breath away. It also explained her grandma’s deep pragmatism – she could berate him for what he could not control at the time (his need for someone to feel close to) or support him for what he DID control (not letting the infatuation go into the physical realm and therefore not actually ‘committing adultery’). That she chose the high road was a lesson in forgiveness and empathy. That he chose truth and honesty and vulnerability was a lesson in humility and trust and courage.
        Off the podium now … 😉

        Liked by 2 people

  4. If General Turpentine and Maddie stayed faithful to their partners, then they will ultimately retain the blessing of the platonic love without the misery of betraying others. Na’ama’s story isn’t the only one that could be told.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maddie’s young man was killed in the war before it ended but she didn’t tell the General. She thought it was best not to. She will not go beyond sending him the Christmas card because she believes in the sanctity of marriage. The General belongs with his family. She will continue to love him but from afar. Na’ama’s story is very inspiring.


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