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  • Writer's pictureMj Pettengill

A Regrettable Turn

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Traces of past beauty mingled with her expressions, tangled hair, and lined face. She had lost most of her teeth, but her smile was from her heart and remained warm in spite of it.

Once a Christian woman of high moral standards, she bravely faced a mountain of earthly troubles, endin’ up a poor soul without a full dress to her back or pot fit for stew. Mamma said that her husband was gravely ill for many years, barely able to get out of bed, and her son never returned home from the war. She continued to wait and spoke as if he would walk through the door at any time.

Since there was no one left to care for her, she became another inmate at the Farm, leavin’ the world beyond the fence behind. Her story was like the others that we pretended not to know—an unspoken history of a life that took a regrettable turn.

~Samuel Hodgdon II, July 4, 1878 ~



If you are reading this and are familiar with books one and two in the EIG series, you have a feel for the part of our society that we were unable to integrate (then and now). It was and is a source of trauma if it remains manifested in the dark.

This lack of possessing the ability or skills to comprehend the trauma of loved ones and others throughout time, of all ages, and under various circumstances ending up institutionalized, has led us to where we are today.

Nothing really begins solely with you. We do have a shared past.

It is possible and essential to acknowledge and re-"member" these souls. If it seems complicated at first, just take baby steps away from the dark and into the light.

Mj Pettengill, Author

Etched in Granite Historical Fiction Series




Coming Soon!

Places to find me: … … … … …

1 Comment

May 05, 2019

I always think about those images of celebrities we are bombarded with which are the polar opposite to those you show. As a society we are far too impressed with fashion images etc .... that are designed to impress . The integrity of the person within plays a subordinate role to the clothing . At least your photos focus on the real people who have no such pretensions.

Interesting quote you use of the meaning of " re-member" . Yes to invite the dispossesd back into the social family , even if they are long since departed . It is never too late to change attitudes .

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