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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Actions Speak Louder than Words" (without using the actual phrase). (02/21/08)

TITLE: A Mother's Love
By Joshua Janoski
02/25/08


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“No mommy. Dinosaur skin is green not purple.”

That was the reaction that Piper gave me as I tried to hand her a violet crayon. The green crayon was missing. I figured that purple would be a suitable substitute. However, Piper wasn’t your average four-year-old little girl. She was very bright, and she noticed the smallest of details, including the true tone of a prehistoric creature’s skin. Needless to say, I was very proud of how she was developing. She was going to be a very intelligent woman someday. I was sure of it.

However, there was a time in my life when I wasn’t sure about anything, especially parenthood. I remember the day I found out I was pregnant. I was in the doctor’s office with my husband Jack. The doctor walked into the room.

“Mr. and Mrs. Lewis, I have some good news. The vomiting that Deborah has been experiencing is morning sickness.”

The doctor paused and looked at us with a smile. Jack and I looked at each other. It took us a moment to figure out what the doctor was telling us. Jack and I both seemed to figure it out at about the same time. We quickly turned our heads in excitement towards the doctor.

“We’re having a baby? Deborah is pregnant?” Jack excitedly inquired.

“Yes Deborah is pregnant. Congratulations guys” the doctor cheerfully said.

We rushed home. Jack picked up the phone and called friends and family to share the big news. I was exhausted from lack of sleep the night before, and so I decided to take a nap. I had only slept a short time, when I jumped up startled out of bed. My flailing arms knocked a lamp off the nightstand causing a big crash. The noise alerted Jack who ran into the bedroom. I was sitting hunched over on the side of the bed breathing heavily.

“Honey, are you alright?” Jack asked in a concerned tone.

I shook my head yes and grabbed his hand.

“You’re hands are shaking dear. Is something wrong?”

Flashbacks occurred in my mind as I pondered the thought of becoming a mom. As a little girl, I had dreamt of getting married and having children of my own. That dream still existed within me, but unfortunately an event had taken place that caused me to doubt my ability to raise a child.

Two years ago, I was driving home from work late at night. A drunk driver hit me. The wreck totaled my car and left me with severe injuries. I had several cracked ribs along with a broken leg and a long gash along my left arm. The injuries to my neck and throat proved to be the worst of all. I had sustained significant vocal cord damage that left me unable to speak. Thankfully, I was blessed to have a loving husband who refused to leave my side as I endured a long recovery.

“Deborah. Are you alright?”

Jack’s voice snapped me out of my daydream and brought me back to reality. I began to cry on his shoulder as he wrapped his arms tightly around me. We had begun taking sign language classes together about 3 months ago, and I was able to briefly express to him what was wrong. I told him that I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to express my love to our child. I wasn’t very good at sign language yet, and I knew how important it was for me growing up to hear the words “I love you” from my mother and father.

“Do you really think that it was just words that your parent’s spoke that showed you they loved you Deborah?” Jack asked me.

It was that question that prompted me to begin thinking about what it truly meant to love someone. I thought about my mother, and how she would wake up early to make me chocolate chip pancakes before school. My father worked hard at the office to ensure that I always had warm clothes and a roof over my head. Sure it was nice to hear the words “I love you”, but without those acts of kindness to accompany them, the words would have been meaningless.

***

I picked up a red marker and began to draw on Piper’s whiteboard. I drew a big red heart. Piper looked at it, and then turned to me with a smile.

“I know you love me mommy. I love you too!”


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This article has been read 718 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marlene Austin02/28/08
Beautiful story demonstrating the topic. :)
Brigitte Hidalgo03/01/08
This was a creative way to demonstrate the topic. I enjoyed it very much!
Arlene Showalter 03/01/08
a very touching story...
could have also gone well w/ this week's topic...dark clouds and silver linings!
Lynn Jacky03/02/08
Well written and great story. Thanks for sharing.
Millicent Njue03/02/08
Beautiful illustration of the topic. Touching also.
Seema Bagai 03/02/08
Great story. A few tiny typos, but nothing distracting. Consider getting a challenge buddy to help you proofread. Keep writing.
Lyn Churchyard03/03/08
This is a great example of the topic in so many areas. You've done a great job writing from a woman's perspective. One could be forgiven for thinking it was a true story.
Well done.
Lynda Schultz 03/03/08
My parents were big on words either, but the actions counted. Well done.
Celeste Ammirata03/03/08
Wonderful story on the power of Love; Actions do speak louder than words, don't they? Keep writing. Nicely done.
Bill Obenauer03/04/08
Creative idea. Nice job fitting so much description into the word count guidelines.
LauraLee Shaw03/04/08
VERY well-written and creatively presented. My mom also had damage in her vocal chords after a car wreck, and it was so difficult for her to talk sometimes. I always knew she loved me, though. Great job thinking outside the box.
Glynis Becker 03/04/08
I agree that this was a great, creative take on the topic and very well done! Great job!
Debbie Wistrom03/05/08
Perfect for topic, I loved Deborah's character! Keep up the good words.
Holly Westefeld03/05/08
Great illustration of the topic. I think you did a fine job with the female perspective.
Joanne Sher 03/05/08
Tender and sweet - and I am VERY impressed with your sstreeetttchhh to write in the female POV. Love the message too - and how well you showed it.
Kristen Hester03/05/08
Great creative story! It's great on the topic!

At first I was thinking I would have liked a hint that she couldn't talk because somehow the sign lanuguage caught me off guard. However, after re-reading I realized this was "my bad" and you described it when talking about the car wreck. (Blame it on my ADD)

This really is tender and I especially like the ending where we see the mother's fears were unfounded. Her love is clear to her child. Really, really great!
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/05/08
Very well done at showing how love is revealed. I thought the husband's questions about her parents' showing love was excellent.
Marita Thelander 03/05/08
YAY , Josh! Good job on female POV. Good job on the topic. Good job on improving your writing. What else can I say? Good Job!!!
Julie Arduini03/05/08
I loved this! You captured a precocious 4 year old perfectly, and the emotions from the MC were great. This is very strong writing.
Mandy White03/05/08
Beautiful Story. I too am impressed with the mother's POV you used. Great for this topic!
Sherry Castelluccio 03/05/08
Ok, I just have one question- how is it that you know how it feels to be pregnant? I can't get over how well you got into Deborah's head. This was wonderful, Josh. Very touching and believable in every way. I'd like to challenge you to write about Deborah going through menopause. If you can do that, I'll hire you myself.
D. Phenes03/05/08
Cute and Creative take on the topic. Good job
Mandy White03/06/08
Congratulations! You did a great job with this!
Lauryn Abbott03/06/08
Beautiful entry here - thank you. Congrats on the 'Highly Commended', you really did a great job on this piece.
Sheri Gordon03/06/08
Congratulations on your highly commended. This is a beautiful story, and written very well. Excellent job with the topic.
Sara Harricharan 03/06/08
Oh this is cute. I liked the twist with the sign-language. and yes, how true it is that with out the actions behind them, 'saying I love you' can be meaningless. Very well done, congrats on your highly commended. ^_^
LauraLee Shaw03/06/08
Congratulations on your highly commended. AWEsome piece!!!!
Chely Roach03/06/08
Congrats on the highly commended ribbon! What a wonderful piece of writing.
Laury Hubrich 04/12/08
Oh Josh, you make the perfect mute pregnant lady. ROLF! What great writing! Maybe you should write from a woman's view point again. Just a thought:) I love this story. It had everything a Lifetime or Hallmark movie is known for. Great job!
Laury