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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sibling(s) (05/01/08)

TITLE: Oops,There Goes Another Rubber Tree Plant
By Wanda Draus


Our mom went to be with Jesus when we were just little girls. After the funeral, my sister Jenna and I went to live with our dad in a different state. Instead of being scared Jenna, who was two years older than me, held me close and whispered in my ear, “we are going to have an adventure and it is going to be so cool. Remember the song mom always sang to us at night about the ant?” With my head down and my heart shaking, I nodded yes. As we climbed into bed I snuggled so close to Jenna. I tried not to be scared and then Jenna started singing, oh so softly:

“Just what makes that little old ant
think she can move that rubber tree plant
any one knows an ant, can’t
move a rubber tree plant
but she’s got high hopes
she’s got high hopes
she’s got high apple pie
in the sky hopes

So any time you’re getting low
stead of letting go
just remember that ant
Oops, there goes another rubber tree plant.”

Jenna’s eighteen, graduating and off to college. She is pretty, smart, thin, and always looks at life with a “can do” spirit. On the other hand, I am chubby, not so pretty and scared of everything. I desperately wanted to look like Jenna. I desperately wanted to look like the “it” girls I went to school with, but first I needed to lose some weight. I started to skip breakfast. Yes! I lost five pounds. I started eating half my lunch and more pounds were beginning to drop. Yes! I reached my goal weight. I love all the compliments. I figure if I don’t eat dinner I could lose just a little more. My weight began to plummet and slowly I stopped eating.

When Jenna came home for Christmas break I was so excited to see her. Instead of showing off my thin new body however, I decided to wear a large sweatshirt and baggy jeans. I ran to give her a hug and she looked at me with horror. “Gayle, what is going on?” You wrote me that you lost a few pounds. Honey, you are wasting a way to nothing.” She insisted on knowing how much I weighed. I chalked it up as jealousy, for once I was the thinner sister, I was the pretty one.

As we ate Christmas dinner, Jenna kept a close eye on what I was eating. To put on a good show for my big sis, I ate most of my food. But later that evening I knew what I had to do. Jenna wasn’t fooled, she came in and confronted what she had suspected, my eating disorder. She held me close and cried and told me how much she loved me and that she was going to get help for me. I pushed her away and screamed for her to leave me alone but when she forcibly took off my sweatshirt, we both fell on our knees and cried. “All I wanted was to be thin and pretty.” I continued to sob, “I don’t know how to stop and I don’t think I can stop.” With tears falling she held me close and started singing, oh so softly: “once, there was a little old ant…oops there goes another rubber tree plant.”


I stood looking in the full length mirror, who was this happy woman? Jenna rushed in the room all excited carrying a bouquet of white roses with a touch of freesia and stephanotis. As her eyes met mine, she stood still, “Oh Gayle, how beautiful you look in mom’s wedding dress and how much you look like mom.”

It has been a few years since that long, hard, rehab. Many people helped in my recovery but the turning point was when I realized what made Jenna so beautiful; without fear. She loved the Lord, she had a personal relationship with the Great Physician. She taught me to look through the eyes of God and how He sees us and that has made all the difference.

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works. Psalm 139:14a (NKJV)

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Sara Harricharan 05/08/08
What a heart-wrenching journey! I'm so glad that Jenna was there for her and that they were able to comfort each other and Gayle got help. I liked the song best of all though, I think it's kind of stuck in my head now. Very well done, this is a favorite of mine this week! Excellent job! ^_^
Lynn Jacky 05/14/08
Hi, Great writing and excellent story - thank you for sharing. I had a laugh I know the ant song and I had several tears. Thank you. Keep writing.
Leticia Caroccio05/14/08
This was a great one! I was engrossed from start to finish. But what story those "*******" must've told. If you could expand this article to tell the entire painful story, how many young ladies would benefit from it? Your article was well-organized and well-paced. You showed a great relationship, even through the distance of college, in the sisters. My tears flowed. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Nicely done.