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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “All that Glitters is Not Gold” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/24/08)

TITLE: Don't Rush Removing the Memories
By Julie Ruspoli
01/30/08


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"Hello?"

"Hi Natashia, Joe and I want to invite you and Jackson to dinner next week. Are you busy Wednesday evening, around seven?"

"Oh Matty, that would be great. Jack leaves for college Saturday."

"Wow, you must be excited. You'll have the house all to yourself."

"Jackson and I have so many plans. We have been so looking forward to having the house to ourselves. I'm going to make Jack's room into an office. Jackson wanted a weight room, but decided he wouldn't use it very much since we can travel now"

"Where are you two going first? Hawaii, Italy, Paris?"

"We haven't decided yet. Jacskon is going to get some information at the travel agency tomorrow. I'm pushing for Hawaii. I am so excited to finally have the house back to normal, I can't sleep."

"Joe and I went to Italy after the twins left for college. Then, when Dave finally graduated, we went to Paris. Maybe we could all four go to Hawaii, we haven't made it there yet."

"That is a great idea Matty. I'll run it by Jackson and let you know what he thinks on Wednesday. A vacation with only adults sounds perfect."

"Joe is taking me to that new Italian resturant tonight so I need to get ready. I'll call you Monday or Tuesday and remind you about dinner."

"Okay Matty, sounds great. Have fun tonight."

"We will, Joe can still plan the most romantic evenings, even after raising three kids. Talk to you later."

***********************************************************

Three months later.

"Hello?"

"Natashia, it's Matty. Haven't talked to you for a couple months. I think that dinner right after Jack left for college was the last time. I've called a few times and left messages. Is your answering machine working okay?"

"I'm sorry Matty. I've been busy trying to get Jack's room cleaned out." Natashia says while trying to hold back tears.

"What's wrong Sweety? Are you crying?"

"Oh, Matty." Natashia begins to talk and cry at the same time. "I am so lonely without the kids. I was so looking forward to Jackson and I having the house to ourselves. But nothing seems right. I wake up and the kids aren't here so I try to call them. But they are in school or working and can't talk to me. I have sat in Jack's room for weeks and can't even begin to pack up his things. What if he needs to come home and I don't have his room still here for him? I keep looking at all his pictures from growing up. Where did the time go? It seems like just yesterday we brought him home from the hospital, then he was playing softball. Now he's gone off to college. I found a box of Sally's baby clothes the other day in the attic. They still smelled like her. The little pink and yellow dresses were so tiny. Now she is grown, working in a doctor's office and planning a wedding. Everything is so different now. How could I look forward to having my precious baby's gone? Do you think I'm a terrible mother?"

"Oh Natashia. You are a wonderful mother. You are going through exactly what I went through after Dave left. Remeber I told you we went to Paris, the country of love? Well, I sat in the hotel for four days crying. Joe finally talked me into taking a walk to go site-seeing. I went to the most romantic country on earth with the best husband a woman could ever have, and couldn't even enjoy it."

"Oh no, really?"

"Yes Sweety, really. The only thing that helped me make it was turning my life more to God. I never prayed so much in my life. And you need to get yourself out of the house and keep busy. You can pack his room when your really ready. Don't rush removing the memories. Hey, lets have lunch. Meet me at the diner on Lincoln Street in an hour, okay?"

"That sounds great." Natashia says gratefully. "Thank you for listening to me, I feel better just getting all that out. I'll see you soon, I need to talk to Someone else first."

"See you then, ask God for guidance for me too. I'll be here for you every day if you want. Bye Sweety."

"Bye Matty, I would be so grateful. See you soon."


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This article has been read 552 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 01/31/08
As an empty-nester, I can definitely relate to this!

Consider adding bits of description or action in addition to dialogue. That helps your readers to better visualize the setting, and can help in developing the characters.

Good title, too.
Marlene Austin01/31/08
Good description of the mother's attitude change between the two time periods. :)
Laury Hubrich 02/02/08
I enjoyed this piece. Good writing. Keep it up!
Laury
Tim Pickl02/06/08
Making our memories memorials to the Lord is the best thing we can do! The key is to make new memories. Thank you for sharing your heart in this piece.
Holly Westefeld02/06/08
Very effective.
I'm in the midst of this process--one gone, one in college, one still in high-school--and I'm trying to not be blind-sided too badly.
Sara Harricharan 02/06/08
Your title definitely nails something that I think all mother's could relate too. The dialouge was just perfect here, I felt as if I knew both of them and wanted to add my own hug of encouragement to the bunch! Great writing! ^_^
Hanne Moon 02/06/08
This hit so close to home. I still miss my kids. It's so comforting to know that God can ease all our fears, wipe all our tears, and fill all our loneliness. Good job here.
Joy Faire Stewart02/06/08
You have captured the emotions of your MC very well and right on topic. Good job!
Joanne Sher 02/06/08
Perfect title for this piece. You certainly did an excellent job with the emotions - both before and after.

A bit more description would make this shine even more.

Very good choice for the topic, and a truly enjoyable read.
Loren T. Lowery02/06/08
Nice writing and several things came to mind while reading it. One that we tell ourselves we will be happier when....And the other, that when ever something is gone, we must replace it as soon as possible with something good. And Christ is certainly the best.
Karen Wilber 02/06/08
My kids are still little and you made me miss them already. This really tugs at the heart.
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/06/08
I think this is one of your best pieces. It represents a time with which all parents can identify. One of the hardest steps of parenthood is "letting go." You did a great job.
Betty Castleberry02/06/08
Been there, done that, so I can relate. Nice flow to this piece. I agree about adding a bit more description, but over all, this is very nice. Kudos!
Debbie Wistrom02/06/08
Great dialog-sounded just true to the situation. Keep writing.
LauraLee Shaw02/08/08
Realistic situation here. Oh, that we could all heed the advice to NOT rush removing the memories...