Those rumblings underground are just Ulgrim looking for a new cask of ale.

If it can see you, it can bite you.

All’s fair in love and Chorizite mining.

If it looks like a gromnie, and smells like a gromnie, it’s probably an armoredillo.

Responsibility comes in all forms, and sometimes when we least expect it. Often, the level of responsibility is an inverse correlation to the person’s ability to handle it. I was not prepared to be my mother’s caretaker at such a young age. I was 7 when my mother began her long decline into illness by having 2 ruptured discs removed from her spine. After I graduated from college, she developed arthritis, and quickly went downhill from there, being diagnosed with COPD, heart failure, and diabetes. Two years ago, she got gangrene in her left foot, which led to having her foot amputated, and kidney failure. She has been sick for so long, that I don’t remember what she was like beforehand. My aunt tells me that she was a hard worker, and did what she needed to do to raise my brother and I on her own.

It should come as no surprise that I struggle with the responsibility of caring for my mother, and working full-time, not to mention helping my best friend who is raise her son alone since her divorce. I feel guilty sometimes for wishing that my life was different, but I keep going. Responsibility is like a prison: at first you fight it, then you come to accept it, and if you stay in the situation long enough, you come to depend upon it. What amazes me is that my mother is able to laugh given her physical limitations and the pain that wracks her body at infrequent intervals. I don’t know if I could survive what she is going through. She sucks up all the pain, nausea, and weakness and calls on her strong spiritual beliefs to support her.

Queen Elysa had a lot of things dropped in her lap in a very short period of time: the loss of Thorsten, the birth of Borelean, and being promoted to the highest seat in the land. It’s no wonder that she checked out for a while to get everything straight in her head. Even so, 14 years seems like a long time to mourn for what was.

People need heroes; they need to feel that there is something greater than themselves at work in the universe for the greater good, and heroes are the most direct manifestation of the divine. Heroes are created by their circumstances, and spring from all walks of life. One heroine, Elysa Strathelar, granted the people of Dereth a reprieve from the Olthoi menace, and lost much more in return. It is important to keep looking to the future. The past is painful, but you can either learn from it and move on, or dwell on it and stagnate. Elysa is beyond reproach for the moment, all sighing and sobbing stilled. Despite her vacillations, she has been a stabilizing influence for all of her people, and her death would be the end of hope. As an icon, she has stood against incredible odds and triumphed, and the people will not place their faith so easily in another. Long live the Queen!

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