Carry On, My Wayward Son: A 99-Flash Piece

This week over at Carrot Ranch ( ) the prompt Charli Mills set for the Word Wranglers was to write a 99-word (no more, no less) story using the phrase “carry on.” It can be an expression of perseverance or behaving in a particular way. It can even be luggage you take when traveling.

Here is this pedometer geek’s take on the prompt:

Carry On, My Wayward Son

The phone would ring, and my son, who rarely calls, would be on the other end. “I’m being deployed,” he said. He would follow with the particulars of when, how long, his address, but never where.

Only later would I know, for sure, where my son was stationed during his time away. The first time it was Iraq for six months. The next three times it was Afghanistan even though they were shorter deployments.

For this mother, it was a time fraught with anxiety and worry. Yet, I had to carry on, counting the days until he returned home.

~Nancy Brady, 2021

The title was borrowed from the song lyrics of Kansas, and I suspect you are singing it (or at least, I now have it going around in my head).

To read all the stories of carrying on, check out the blog at . Or even submit one of your own.

PS. My son is no longer in the service, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t worry about him as well as his brother.

About pedometergeek

A pharmacist by profession, a haiku poet by nature, I read and write. I have a book of haiku, Ohayo Haiku, and another somewhat alternative haiku book, Three Breaths, but write other genres. I also read...lots of novels! My favorite is, and remains, Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged but I am also a big Harry Potter fan. I truly am a pedometer geek strapping on my pedometer as soon as I awaken.
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8 Responses to Carry On, My Wayward Son: A 99-Flash Piece

  1. Stark and perfectly expressed. I can’t even imagine your worry, Nan. Yes, we always worry about our kids, but knowing they are in harm’s way makes it even worse. Bless him for his service. Glad he’s home safely now. Sending hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the compliment, Barbara. I think it is in the Mother’s Manual to worry for our children since they feel invincible, and we know better. I am glad he is no longer in the service,That doesn’t mean, though, that I don’t worry.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jules says:

    Our young famliy members in the Army have been away for those silent stretches.
    Yes – we will always worry.
    As I did for every fire call I know about as well as the HazMat (hazardous Material) calls.
    The saying goes… ‘No news is good news’.
    The waiting for safe return is difficult.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Agree with you, Jules. With everyone so spread out, it becomes easier to break those bonds. When multi-generational families lived either together or in close proximity to each other, I think it was easier (expected?) to lean upon the family for support when needed.

    I know you do it now with your grands; I see it with my sisters with their grands so there is hope.


  4. Congratulation on being published in the journal! I can’t imagine the worry and anxiety you felt with all of that uncertainty, for such long periods of time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Michael B. The worry was there, anxiety too, but I am not the first mother who worried about her child’s time away on a deployment, and I won’t be the last, unfortunately. Hopefully, there will be a time when there are no more wars. ~nan.


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