Category Archives: They Live On

Today, She Swam Again

Dolly swam this morning. Like many mornings this summer. In and out. Smiling as she wades in, wagging her tail until it’s submerged. Smiling as she runs out.

She doesn’t know it’s Labor Day, doesn’t realize the significance of the fireworks that scared her half to death last night. Doesn’t realize that summer is coming to an end. All she knows is that she went swimming.

She doesn’t know that it might be the last time she swims this season. That the cool evenings will give way to cool days. That too soon, the lake will be frozen once more.

Because she isn’t cursed with that knowing, Dolly suffers no melancholy. But she also isn’t blessed with knowing that she should savor every moment because it’s fleeting – and perhaps should linger a while longer in the cool waters of the mountain lake.

I’m both blessed and cursed with awareness that things change; life is ephemeral. Yet I still fought back my desire to swim in the dark blue water under the stars last night.

Tonight, maybe I’ll have another opportunity.

-Patricia A. Nugent, September 2016



Filed under Journal Arts, They Live On, Uncategorized

Trump May Do Some Good

This isn’t what I want to be writing about. But I can’t keep silent – not when the stakes are so high.


Filed under Journal Arts, They Live On, Uncategorized

No More Time

It was so fascinating that I stayed up until I finished it. Frankly, I didn’t care for it at first, but then I couldn’t put it down. The story about two young lovers in Louisiana during the Civil War unfolded in a very stark yet intriguing way.

Entitled Penthe & Alphonse, the thin book was a gift from my friend Frank. He sent it from the hospice room of the author, Mark Morneweg. A dozen years ago, Frank had logged many hours at my mother’s bedside, generously helping to pave the way for her passing. He was now doing the same for his friend.

“Perhaps you could write Mark about his book, just a few words from a fellow author. It would mean so much to him,” Frank wrote, including Mark’s email address.

I readily agreed to do so – once I had read it. After all, I wanted to be authentic in my review and not just appease him. As a writer, I’m sensitive to the difference between concrete feedback and superficial acknowledgement.

After carrying the book around with me for ten days, I resolved yesterday morning, while traveling the NYS Thruway, to read it that night and respond to Mark. When I arrived home, I grabbed it out of my satchel and placed it in queue for my evening’s activity.

While I was working on my own writing project that afternoon, Frank notified me that Mark had died the night before. Regret flooded my consciousness – regret that I had squandered the privilege of offering a fellow writer some appreciation and encouragement, two things every writer craves – especially one hoping for a literary legacy.

Last night, I read his book in its entirety. The beauty of Mark’s 99-page novel lies not in what he wrote but in what he left out. Much like poetry, his prose painted an image, gave an impression, while trusting the reader to figure it out. That’s a challenging literary device, one that I struggle to master, so eager am I to draw conclusions for readers.

I missed the opportunity on this physical plane to commend Mark for his literary contribution. But I can commend his work to others. And share my oft-repeated lesson that time and people are finite, and we should act accordingly.

Thanks for finding me on the Thruway yesterday, Mark. I hope this tribute finds its way to you.

Patricia A. Nugent
July 11, 2016



Filed under Journal Arts, They Live On, Uncategorized

Anger on the Shore

White caps crash
Waves slam the sandy shore
Surf chases meandering feet
Back away, she roars
Back away

You’re angry, I say
And why not?
You offer bounty
And we dump plastic
Spill oil
Explode bombs
Poison creatures
Bring on your fever

Back away, she warns
Or I’ll melt my ice caps
Bust your levies
Flood your cities
Kill your food source
Deny you life

I’m angry too, I confess
My planet is being destroyed
My water, my air, my land
My life force

Back away, I roar
Corporate polluters
Military forces
Frackers and drillers
Back away
It’s my ocean too

White caps crash
Waves slam the sandy shore
Surf chases retreating feet
Is the ocean fighting back
Or just reflecting my own anger?

© Patricia A. Nugent
Earth Day 2016


Filed under Journal Arts, Soul to Soul Blog, They Live On, Uncategorized

I Miss Him This Christmas

I miss him this Christmas.
The man I said always ruined Christmas.
The man I dreaded calling on Christmas.
Because he’d say mean things about my not being there.

I miss him this Christmas.
The man who dressed up like Santa Claus.
The man who surprised me with a stuffed bear, pink bicycle, and luggage.
The man who taught me how to ride a bike and drive a car.
The man who hummed Silent Night, all year long.

I miss him this Christmas.
The playful, grinning man.
The man who loved holiday parades.
The man who loved parties.
And was the life of every one.

I miss him this Christmas.

Excerpt from They Live On: Saying Goodbye to Mom and Dad                                                                                                                by Patricia A. Nugent © 2010


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Shifting Our Energy

My recently published essay on seeking another path to internal and global peace.


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A Mothers’ Day Visit

I went to see my mother early this morning. She was sitting in a chair, all dressed up, trying to figure out which of three scarves to wear to adorn her outfit. She thanked me for being such a good daughter, for helping her out so much. I helped her stand, a challenge due to her creeping paralysis. Once she was upright, I pulled her close and wrapped my arms around her, taking in her scent. Her frail body leaned against mine, surrendering control.

“Thank YOU, Mom. For staying around. I know this is tough on you, still being here, but I’m glad you’re with me.”

Then I woke up. And remembered that it’s Mothers’ Day.

I didn’t go see my mom this morning; she had come to see me.

Happy Mothers’ Day, Mom. I love and miss you so…

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