when sorrows come, they come not single spies

“When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.”  (William Shakespeare – Hamlet)

While we mourned the passing of Congressman John Lewis last week with the rest of the world via amazing coverage in the media, Pretty and I felt the loss of two other folks closer to home.

Martha Faye Ketchum,  eldest daughter of Willie M. Flora, passed on July 27, 2020 in Rosenberg, Texas.  She was 73 years old. Our niece Carmen Woods said of her, “Faye was one of a kind. She definitely kept you on point.” What a wonderful way to be remembered – oh, that more of us could stay on point.

Monroe Scott, our neighbor at Casa de Canterbury for more than nine years, also passed away last Monday, July 27th. He was 84 years old. Monroe was one of the kindest people I’ve ever known – I enjoyed visiting with him early in the mornings while he stood on his front porch with his beautiful flowers he planted every year. He would laugh at my pathetic attempts to grow flowers in our back yard. He even came over one day to give me a few tips, but it was a lost cause. After we moved across the river in 2017, we still kept in contact with Monroe and his son Anthony who called us last week about his father.

Martha Faye, an African American woman I called family, and Monroe Scott, an African American man I called friend both died during our mourning for another African American man that became a national hero but was also part of a large extended family who knew him as Uncle Robert and an even larger group of friends scattered across the world. As Shakespeare said, sorrows come not as single spies, but in battalions. This past week I felt the battalions circling.

The coronavirus pandemic which continues to rage in our midst amplifies our sorrows, makes our hibernating selves more susceptible to fears about our own safety along with concerns for the well being of our families and friends. Grief becomes a constant companion for many of us who have lost loved ones and additionally lost an even more fundamental faith in our institutions.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross had this to say about grief: “The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you suffered. You will be whole again, but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to.”

We shall never be the same.

Stay safe, stay sane and stay tuned.



About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in family life, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, photography, politics, racism, Reflections, sexism, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to when sorrows come, they come not single spies

  1. Wayside Artist says:

    Sheila, I’m sorry to hear about your friends. Sometimes these losses come so frequently our hearts seem perpetually broken. One of my nieces always says, “Trouble! You got no friends.”
    No, we never are the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Susanne says:

    So sad to lose friends at any time, but during this terrible pandemic just amplifies feelings. At least they do with me. Writing is a balm and reading yours and knowing others are all in the same boat helps. Keep writing, Sheila, and keep loving your neighbours. They love you, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Susanne. I always worry that I am writing about things that are “too personal” and will anyone even want to read about whatever. But then I think, this is the truth I put out there in the universe. I hope my truth resonates with the truths of others.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Linda Ketner says:

    Beautifully and poignantly written. It’s wonderful when an author gives words to your heart’s aches. Thanks, buddy!😘

    Liked by 1 person

  4. M.B. Henry says:

    I’m so, so sorry about your friends 😦 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Anonymous says:

    Beautifully said Sheila.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.