Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Century or Centuries (02/17/11)
TITLE: The Birthday
By Lois Farrow
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“Well, you are one hundred years old today,” she said, “but I need you to co-operate.” She continued tugging until the task was complete. She looked at herself in the mirror, smiling. It seemed so funny that she was supposed to be old. Some days she was a bit slow these days, but mostly she still felt quite sprightly.
That afternoon she was taken to the Church Hall which was brightly decorated with balloons and banners. A delicious smell was coming from the kitchen.
As Lorraine moved slowly across the hall to the waiting chair, a resounding cheer erupted from the people lining the room. On a table was the birthday cake, a large 100 in glittering icing decorating the centre.
Lorraine sat down and looked around, smiling. Who would have thought that here she would be celebrating her one hundredth birthday. A century! It sounded like such a long time, but it seemed like a moment. And what was her life compared to all those represented here? These people had done great things, and were special people too. She was blessed to have so many friends. Many at her age had no one left, no one to celebrate with them or to even think of them, and here she was, a single lady, blessed beyond measure by friends and family.
The speeches began.
“I remember,” began her nephew, “when you came to our farm when we were young and you helped us when Mum was so sick.”
“I remember,” said a friend, “how you rang me week after week to check on me when I was struggling.”
“I remember,” said the Indian man flown in for the occasion, “the many years of service you gave to our country when you came to teach. Then for years you ran the printing business. God’s word has spread in our country because of you.”
“I remember seeing you bustling down the street, basket of goodies in hand, when you were ninety, saying you were going to visit the elderly,” said another.
The tributes flowed on; telling of a long life lived well for God. Her niece handed her the tissues.
At last Lorraine got to her feet. Although her legs were painful, her mind was strong and sharp.
“It is all God,” she said. “Without Him none of this would have been possible. Thank you for your tributes, but all the glory belongs to God. You, too, are special and working in God’s vineyard until he takes us home. He gives us all the strength as long as we need it.”
She moved to the table to cut the cake. One hundred candles! One hundred years. A century! And to think that eternity was coming when a century would seem like nothing.
“My life has been full and happy,” she said, “but instead of the usual song let’s sing ‘To God be the Glory’ because He is the one who made it all possible.”
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