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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Mothers (05/02/05)

TITLE: Tears
By Jan Ackerson
05/02/05


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I had no idea, she thinks. Why didn’t they tell me it would be like this? She opens her baby’s clenched fist and places a finger inside, marveling at the way the infant’s mottled pink hand curls back over the finger and holds it tight. With her free hand, she hesitantly strokes her daughter’s cheek, then rests it on that softly pulsing spot under her downy scalp. Oh God, thank you for this precious gift.

She is barely aware of the tears coursing down her face. Exhausted and a little bit dizzy from the labor of this past day, she is astonished that the weariness is nearly obliterated already by this unexpected love which now occupies her heart.

* * * * * * * * * *

The months fly by, and her daughter is now a curly-haired toddler with dimpled knees and a sweetly rounded tummy. The little girl never stops moving, never stops talking, as she masters her wondrous world. So the mother’s heart lurches and thumps one afternoon when she realizes that she has not seen or heard her curious child for all of five minutes.

Nearly blinded by tears of fear, she searches each room of the house with mounting dread. Oh Lord, please help me she cries, then collapses with relief when she sees blonde curls under the desk in the study. Her daughter is napping, with one dimpled hand cradling her kitten’s fluffy head.

* * * * * * * * * *

Five thousand sunsets later, a long-limbed and sleek-haired beauty now occasionally alights for a moment in her home, but only long enough to shed articles of clothing and to leave piles of books and make-up for her mother to find and put away. She transforms herself, then the glorious creature disappears again into a colorful and giggling flock of birds just like herself. She gives her mother only a swift sideways glance as they take their flight.

Hot tears sting the mother’s eyes; where is the little girl she remembers so clearly, who would bring her bouquets of wilting dandelions and clover? Where is the child who would rest a cool hand on her mother’s neck after a difficult day? I miss her, Lord. The mother closes her eyes to pinch back the tears, but they are kissed open by her daughter. “I forgot to say good-bye, mom,” she whispers. “I love you.”

* * * * * * * * * *

And now the mother stands in the front of a church, looking back at the veiled blonde princess clutching her father’s arm. The scent of roses fills the sanctuary, and the notes of the bridal processional. There is a radiance from her daughter that pulses between her and her solemn prince who waits a few yards away.

The mother’s throat fills with tears. How lovely my daughter is, she thinks. Oh, heavenly Father, I have not deserved this wonderful child. What a blessing it has been…to be her mother.


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This article has been read 1510 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shirley Thomas05/09/05
Bittersweet tears of a cherished daughter. Your story is well-written and a reminder of how quickly our children grow from one phase of life to another. We are blessed to be a part of those phases.
Florence Nathan05/09/05
I like the way you wrote this in paragraphs.
Thank you for a pleasant moment reading your text.
Mary Alice Bowles05/10/05
Thanks, this is beautiufl and well written: Thanks for taking me back through the years with my four girls.
Phyllis Inniss 05/16/05
Beautifully written as you go through the various stages of your daughter's growth and development and the love you shared with her.
darlene hight05/16/05
Beautiful! Congratulations on the win :)
Darlene
Deborah Porter 05/16/05
Congratulations on this wonderful win Jan! Well done. 1st place in the Level 1 Challenge, but also, 8th place in the Editors' Choice. What a great win when you consider the competition there was for this Challenge. It was a big week. Well done. So, I think it's definitely time for you to move up a level. You're ready for it. Love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)
Debbie OConnor05/16/05
Okay, your tears brought tears to my eyes. A lovely piece. Congratulations!
terri tiffany07/25/05
What a great story! I have an only child..daughter... about to be married and it did bring back so many memories!
Jacquelyn Horne08/31/07
This is so touching! No wonder it was a winner.