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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Music (03/08/07)

TITLE: You are my sunshine
By Chrissi Ellankoon


Queenie sits quietly, staring out into a sleepy suburban street. There is no noise of children playing, they’re off to school. There is no sound of the men in their gardens and women sweeping the stoop, they have all gone off to work. The days seem so much longer now, even the clock seems to tick just a little louder as if to mock her, reminding her of her confinement and these long grey days.

It’s Tuesday and still too early to go to breakfast, perhaps she shall just wait another hour. The rest of the residents should be rising soon then the silence will be broken, Marie will burst in and announce the activities for the day. Perhaps a trip to the local shops and bingo in the afternoon, or perhaps some local children will come and sing to them.

But for now it’s just Queenie and the silence, these are the hardest times, the times she feels every one of those ninety-three years. While her mind is still active and alert, time has taken its toll on her body and she is no longer as active as before. Years earlier Queenie never would have been sitting at her window in the morning, you would have bumped into her as she walked through the local park, admiring God’s creation and praying for her family and friends. If you met her, you would have known, she was the one with a wild flower in her hand and a smile on her face, she definitely would have stopped and said hello. Now, however things are different.

With an hour to go she reaches out for the radio, anything to break the silence. It’s just loud enough for her to hear and the tune begins to play, “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey…………”

As if by magic Queenie is transported through time, these were better days, days of singing and dancing. As she hums, she can’t resist tapping her feet to that familiar rhythm. A smile creeps across her face, Leo used to love this song. As they took long walks on Sunday afternoon to digest their roast they would talk about their week and the future that lay before them. They would make plans for holidays and bigger houses. Every now and then the conversation would stop and Leo would slip his hand into hers and begin singing softly, “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey. You’ll never know dear how much I love you, please don’t take my sunshine away.”

As the song continues Queenie loses herself in the smell of pines trees, it all seems so real, the air is warm from the afternoon sun. Another perfect day, so full of promise, and there is Leo still in his Sunday suit. As they walk they begin to make plans for the future, there is so much to look forward to. Leo extends his hand and without hesitation Queenie reaches out for it, its just like she remembers nothing has changed. As they walk hand in hand the conversation draws to a close. There will be plenty of time for talking and making plans later, as they walk along the familiar path Leo begins to sing to her, “you are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey. You’ll never know dear how much I love you, please don’t take my sunshine away.”

It’s time for breakfast and all the other residents are there. Marie burst into the room as expected to find out if Queenie prefers a game of bingo or a trip to the shops, but there is no response. As Marie draws closer to her she sees the smile on Queenie’s face. There will be no more early morning silences and grey days for Queenie. No, now you will find her walking in eternal sunshine.

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This article has been read 704 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jacquelyn Horne03/16/07
What a wonderful nostalgic piece. Good writing. I wandered into the past with Queenie and enjoyed the walk.
Kathie Thomas03/17/07
What a lovely story. I used to sing that song a lot in my teens. Reading Queenie's memories almost brought a lump to my throat, and yes, I could have been there with her too. Thank goodness I'm not 93 yet and still have lots of life left in me, God willing. :-)

Thanks for the good read. Well done.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge03/22/07
Congratulations on your Second Place win with a well deserved piece. I've been singing this song to me grandson when putting him to sleep since he was born (he's 18 months). The second verse I changed... "You are my grandson, my only grandson... so please don't take my Jordan away" :)
c clemons03/22/07
Well deserve win, keep up the good work!
Pam Carlson-Hetland03/22/07
Wow. This is really good. Congrats on your 2nd place win. I loved the ending.