Love Poems and Sad Stories - The Train Ride

The Train Ride

Waiting for the Train
Waiting for the Train
The Train Ride
The Train Ride

====================

A woman and her two small children had fled from an abusive husband and had returned to her parents potato farm in North Central Wisconsin. Her parents were too poor to support them so she had asked the county for assistance.

---------------------------------

At first they reluctantly complied but after awhile they decided to ship her and her children back to Milwaukee because it was their responsibility to feed them. They had no choice but to return not knowing what would happen when they got there. The story begins at the train station.

====================

The Train Ride

====================

She was cold and hungry as she huddled with her two small children, waiting for the train to arrive to take her back to the city, which still held such terrible memories for her. It wasn’t that long ago that she and her children had escaped from a drunken, abusive husband. Using a five dollar gold piece, that her father had secretly given her on her wedding night,

-------------------------------

She had fled while her husband was at work and returned home to the poor potato farm where her parents still managed to eke out a living. Then, she had a sense of relief, knowing that she and her children would finally be safe and looking forward to seeing her family again. Now, she was filled with concern, not knowing what lay in store for her.

-------------------------------

The man from the county had told her that they would no longer provide her with assistance and that they were sending her back to where she came from. "It was Milwaukee county’s responsibility to provide food for her and her children, not theirs", he had said. Since her parents were so poor, she had no choice but to return.

------------------------------

She could stay by one of her sisters, who had left home and moved there before, but she would have to find work perhaps as a waitress which she used to do before she got married. She would have time to make plans on the six-hour train ride.

-----------------------------

Right now, all she could think about was the fact that she and her children were cold and hungry. They had left home hours earlier to drive the seven miles to the station with the man from the county. Her mother had managed to provide them each with a small bowl of oatmeal but it was almost noon now.

-----------------------------

The man from the county had promised to give them food for the trip and she hoped that the train would hurry up so that they could get warm and that she could give her children something to eat.

----------------------------

The train finally arrived and she managed to drag the cardboard suitcase with all of her worldly possessions with one hand and her children with the other up the steps into the passenger car. Suddenly she remembered the food and called out to the man who had brought her there, "Where is the food that you promised us?"

-------------------------------

Almost as an after thought, he handed her a package wrapped up in a brown paper bag. With all of her other concerns, she hadn’t noticed that he was holding it as they waited for the train. She somehow was able to hold on to that too as she guided her two children to their seats.

-----------------------------

As the train pulled out of the station, she noticed that a young woman with two small children had settled into the seats across from them. The woman was well dressed with a fur collar on her coat. Her children were well dressed too in warm winter coats unlike her own children who only had light well-worn jackets. The conductor had helped the woman to put her large suitcase into the overhead compartment but she kept a smaller bag on the floor by her feet.

------------------------------

As the train moved along, the woman seated across from them reached into the bag and started to remove food for herself and for her children. She even had cloth napkins for them to eat off of. There were biscuits with butter and honey, fried chicken and even bananas for dessert. Her own children couldn’t help but notice this wonderful feast that was being devoured nearby and cried out that they were hungry too.

-----------------------------

The woman decided to find out what the man from the county had provided for their lunch so she began to unwrap the package that he had given her. To her surprise and dismay, she quickly saw that it contained only a loaf of day old bread and not even a knife to cut it with. The woman had no choice but to tear off pieces from the loaf and hand them to her children.

-----------------------------

At first the children protested and asked why they couldn’t have what the family across from them had. The woman tried to explain that the stale bread was all that they had but the children did not understand. Eventually, however, hunger won out and the children began to chew, hungrily, on the pieces of dry bread.

-------------------------------

Now it was the young mother who sat across from them, whose turn it was to take notice, She saw the two children in ragged coats eating stale chunks of bread while her own children were happily munching on fried chicken and biscuits. At last, she couldn’t stand it any longer so she took the bananas away from her own children and handed them to the children seated across from her.

--------------------------------

Greedily, the recipients began stuffing the bananas into their little mouths. Their mother was too amazed to even say thank you, but large tears began rolling down her cheeks forming a huge wet spot on the front of her dress.

============================================

The story of the woman and her two small children continues several years later back in Milwaukee. She has remarried and the children are now teenagers. It is in the depths of The Great Depression, her husband has lost his job and they are struggling to survive.

Rags Bottles and Paper

The winter Coat

============================================ 

North Central Wisconsin where this story takes place.

show route and directions
A markerWausau, Wisconsin -
Wausau, WI, USA
[get directions]

B markerMilwaukee, Wisconsin -
Milwaukee, WI, USA
[get directions]

More by this Author


Comments 13 comments

CarltheCritic1291 profile image

CarltheCritic1291 5 years ago

Wow, that was very sad, and beautifully written. Keep up the great work, voted Up and Beautiful


rjsadowski profile image

rjsadowski 5 years ago Author

The story wrote itself because it is based on a true story that my mother told me many years ago The woman was my mother and the two small children were my step brother and sister who are dead now.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA

This was a beautiful story. How sad though, that they had such a rough life. My mother does things like this for people all the time. She can't stand to see anyone poor.


rjsadowski profile image

rjsadowski 5 years ago Author

I agree that we should help people who are less fortunate than ourselves because you never know when we will need help ourselves.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Heartbreaking but beautifully written story.


rjsadowski profile image

rjsadowski 5 years ago Author

Thanks for your comment.


shea duane profile image

shea duane 5 years ago from new jersey

The story caught me right away... wow. Really fine writing.


rjsadowski profile image

rjsadowski 5 years ago Author

Thank you. I appreciate your comment. I try to write from the heart.


nenytridiana profile image

nenytridiana 5 years ago from Probolinggo - Jawa Timur - Indonesia

Sad story that served with good words. Beautiful.


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

A sad and heartbreaking story and even more so to that that it happened to your mother and siblings.

Beautifully written


raciniwa profile image

raciniwa 5 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

so sad, according to an author, the greatest crime we can commit against humanity is indifference...while living a lavish life and watching our brethren suffer...you clearly depict the sad plight of our fellow men...


rjsadowski profile image

rjsadowski 5 years ago Author

I was sad because I had no shoes and then I met a man who had no feet.


klarawieck 4 years ago

Amazing, rjsadowski! What a mother wouldn't do for her children! You are lucky to have these memories. Thanks for sharing them.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working