About Me

  Patricia Hammell Kashtock

Aka: Pat Kashtock. Mother of three, wife of one. BA in Social Work and Biblical Studies. Graduate work at Virginia Tech interrupted, then derailed by oldest child’s brain tumor...

My life has not followed the course I planned. But I am not complaining. Pain is to be expected in a world broken apart from its Creator.

The miracle resides in the ability to find joy when least expected...


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Blogs of Note

Windows to the Woman’s Soul (W2WSoul)
Hope's Home
A Redeemed Life
The Writing Life
Kendall Harmon Titus 1:9
A Mom's Life
Robin's Nesting Place

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For What It's Worth

Each life is a journey. The voices of many guides try to direct us, saying, “This is the path – walk in it!” Yet each one leads in a different direction.

I believe only one Voice can be true. That Voice will lead us in ways most unexpected, into worlds yet undiscovered. It will lead us up the hill, around the river and through the forest. And sometimes, it will lead without mercy.

Or so it seems.

I have made listening for that Voice and following it, my life’s quest. I will share some of what I have heard that Voice say with you. But I am not in the business of telling people how to think or what to believe. Each has to decide for himself. Only you can decide if you find the truth of the Voice in these words. And only you can decide how much it is worth to know the Voice, and follow.

But for me, it is worth the whole world.

And then some…

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Rewrite of Jagged Edges Prologue

Jagged Edges:

 Patricia Hammell Kashtock




Jagged edges of the building, black glass and steel, push into the courtyard below. The sun, glinting off their angles, no longer seems to mock; but neither does it comfort. A woman stands contained within one of its edges, alone. Her sea-green eyes flicker with distant summers when ripples of water bubbled over her feet, making them sink into the warm sand.


Those days slip away from her memory and disappear. An angry ocean blots them out. The waves rise higher and higher. Then crash down.


Crushing, destroying, then calmly receding, the water drags all she once held dear off into its depths.


She stares over the edge. Crystalline images begin to dance on the speckled grass in the courtyard below her. Ponies jump and play dodge with barefoot children while puppies frisk between sun-kissed legs.

Her daughter turns a cartwheel among giant-sized daisies – then looks up. With eyes crackling and hair flying, she waves two-handed to her mother who stands at the window. Head thrown back, she laughs and spins with all the unbounded exuberance of seven going on eight. Suddenly she stops and leaps sideways to tag another scampering child.


Then, like soap bubbles bursting on the sidewalk, the children splinter off into nothingness.     


Slowly the images shift.


A different child dances there – the child of summers long gone. She speeds through complex steps, never faltering, never stumbling. Light sparks outward from the same-green eyes and gives strength to her steps. That joy will die too soon.


But for the moment, love enfolds the child’s dreams. The earth, moon, and stars are her tender playmates while two strong arms keep all her fears at bay.


Then suddenly, those arms are yanked away as a cannibalistic mass devours her mother’s brain.


Puppies and ponies and bare feet on the grass vanish in the cold wind.


The mother closes her eyes. Her shoulders slump as if they had lost the will to stand. For a moment, she rests her forehead in her hand; elbow supported by the other arm braced across her stomach. She tightens her mouth and tries to resist those things that seem all too well known… then waits in the darkness that sometimes seems better than sight.


But the darkness cannot hold us. Slowly my eyelids open. Standing up straight, I turn my head back towards the child cocooned within the white sheets, no longer able to turn cartwheels on the lawn below. I stare. Lifelines intrude into my daughter and emerge out again. And I think:


 It wasn’t all so long ago

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Reader Comments (1)

Wow Pat - keep going.

October 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFrances Michaels

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