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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Adolescence/Teen Years (07/16/09)

TITLE: Sailing Away In A Basket
By Maria Catterick
07/18/09


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I saw her when I was shopping in town. She didn’t see me. But I knew immediately that it was Amy. My Amy. My Amy with the searching blue eyes and the smile that had the ability to light up my world. I recognised the shape of her nose and the curve of her lips. I remember every inch of Amy. I have forgotten nothing.

Her golden curls danced around her sweet face as she toddled along. Her voice so sweet and melodic simply captivated my heart. She was holding tightly to her new Mum’s hand but how I wished her delicate hands were holding mine now. I remember how tiny her hands were the first time I held her.

She has my hands. She has my curls too. I wonder if she knows that. I wonder whether she will remember anything about me. I remember how she liked to be held and what made her smile and giggle. I remember how she always liked to be able to see everything around her. She was inquisitive from the day she was born.

Her teddy bear sits on my bed. It still smells of her. Photographs hang on my walls carefully framing those precious moments we had together. There are endless snapshots in my heart and mind that bring me such joy and yet such bittersweet memories.

I followed Amy and stayed close, but not too close. I watched my Amy giggle and point at a cuddly toy in a shop window and I struggled not to dash right into that shop to buy it for her. But I had signed my rights away to Amy. I feel as though I also signed a piece of my heart away too. There is a void that nothing can fill.

I was fourteen when I had Amy. Social services deemed me unsuitable. I had grown up in foster care and didn’t have the right skills, so they said. If I had grown up in a family, I might have fared better. I thought that my love would be enough but it seems that being old enough, having money, and a house and a family to support you are also important. I couldn’t do anything about those things because with only being a teenager, there was no way I could provide for myself.

I heard Amy, my Amy, say the word, ‘Mummy’ to her new Mum. That simple word sent out a dagger of loss to pierce my heart. I am her Mummy. I will always be her Mummy. I reeled and sat on a nearby bench. I watched them chatting and laughing together. I admit the woman seems nice. I am glad she has a Mum who smiles. I never had one of those.

Someone said recently, ‘These are the best days of your life.’ Not true! You can have problems even when you are young. I hope that these aren’t the best days of my life because the pain sometimes takes my breath away.

I am nearly 16 now and I’m moving into a flat by myself. I’m not a Christian, but I wandered into an old church the other day. I opened a Bible randomly and read the story of Moses and how his Mum placed him in a basket to save him. She loved her son but gave him up. She watched another Mum raise him. He became a mighty leader, you know. It makes me think that if this God is real, and if he helped Moses’ Mum cope with letting her son go, then maybe he can help me too.

I watched Amy and her new Mum turn the corner, hand-in-hand. I wanted to follow them but I stopped myself…I was letting her sail away in a basket. Perhaps one day she will come looking for me. I hope so, because I will be waiting.

I prayed, “God, if you are there…please take care of my Amy because you can see her better than I can. Will you give her a happy life and let her know deep down in her heart that I love her very much.” It’s funny but it was almost as if I heard an answer sweep around me like a comfort blanket saying, ‘You can trust me to take great care of Amy and I will take great care of you too… if you’ll let me.’


(Note: The UK has the highest level of teen pregnancy in Europe).


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This article has been read 557 times
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Sara Harricharan 07/23/09
Heart-wrenching. I could really feel for this teen girl, so young to give up something so precious, yet she was able to release a little part of her, so that Amy could have a better future, the one she couldn't have. This was great. Nice job. Lots of emotion is packed in here and I love the voice.
Jackie Wilson07/25/09
I love how you picked up on the Moses angle and pointed out that love can sometimes mean letting go.
Karen Pourbabaee 07/27/09
Touching story of a mothers love and sacrifice...very well done.
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/30/09
Congratulations on EC for this beautiful story that tugs at the heart and stays in the memory.
diana kay07/30/09
congratulations beautifully written. A well dererved win!
Mona Purvis07/30/09
Strong and raw subject matter written with emotions. Congrats on the EC.
Mona
Carol Slider 07/30/09
There is much real emotion in this tender story. Well done--congratulations!
Chris Janzen07/30/09
What a beautifully heartfelt story. I felt the young mom's pain; this story almost moved me to tears. What a brilliant parallel to the story of Moses and his mother. Giving up a baby so she can have a better life is one of the most noble and unselfish deeds a person can do. Beautifully written. Congratulations! I look forward to reading more of your wonderful writing!
Debbie Roome 07/30/09
Wonderful story - and I love the thread of hope at the end. Well done.
Loren T. Lowery07/30/09
Heart rendering, yet beautifully written. I especially liked the way you were able to present an age old Bible story and cause another to see its relevance into today's time and circumstances. Emotions, it seems, never change. Congratulations in placing with this wonderful piece. Look forward to reading more of your work in the future.
Catrina Bradley 07/30/09
Emotion packed - wow. Simply wonderful. Congratulations on your EC!