The Road not taken


Road 01… is there someone you know, you’re loving them so, but taking their heart for granted?
You may lose them one day, someone takes them away,
and they don’t hear the words you long to say …

Bread, “(I would give) Anything”


Road 02When I got married to Travis Ball, I would have proudly told you that I was the happiest person in town … heck, on earth. Travis n’ Ruthie, Ruthie n’ Travis. He and I made each other happy, just the two of us.

Road 03Before long, it was the five of us. I was happy. He seemed happy, but I knew that sometimes he wished it was just the two of us again. Tough, I told him. He had to work and I had to take care of the kids. We couldn’t go back to the way things were.

Road 04When we put the youngest on the school bus for the first time, Travis changed his work hours. He missed being with me, he said. He wanted to do the things we had done when we were first married … like go out to the movies, and eat breakfast together, and go on walks.

Road 05So we went to the movies–even if they were all terrible.

And we ate breakfast together–even if it was just corn flakes.

Road 06And we went for walks along the seashore–but I only ever gave myself thirty minutes. Things to do in the house, you know. The cleaning and the cooking and the dusting, the finding of toys and dirty clothes under the bed, the weeding and bill-paying and counter-washing. You know. That stuff.

Road 07“C’mon, Ruthie,” he begged every day. “The housework can wait. Let’s take the mountain path. It’s only thirty more minutes. It’ll be beautiful.”

But every day, I told him about all of the chores at home. You know. That stuff.

Road 08One day, I decided to take the mountain path. And I’ve taken it every day since then.

Road 09Travis was right. The flowers here are so different than the ones on the beach. The trees are grand, majestic, standing proudly in their niches. The butterflies glide carelessly through this sanctuary that almost no one ever visits. When I reach the first plateau, I can see the people on the beach who have only seen this mountain from a distance and couldn’t care less.

They don’t see what I see.

And after I turn away from the cliff’s edge, I always murmur, “You were right, Travis. It IS beautiful.”

Road 10… and then I always cry.



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