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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Weary (05/03/12)

TITLE: The Old Man's Search
By Deborah Sampson


The Old Man’s Search
The old man stood looking out over the ocean. He seemed to be looking intently at an object out there.

Mary had a good view from where she sat, and did not find anything before them so intriguing.

“Opps” she moaned, her book had fallen off her lap, and had startled the old man.

He turned and looked at Mary. “I didn’t know anyone was out and about.” His voice was barely above a whisper.

“Sorry sir, my name is Mary Donahue, I live in the yellow house there.” Looking at the old man, he appeared to be about all in.

“Mary, my name is Theodore, some call me Teddy”. He offered the information to her.

“It’ good to meet you, Teddy, are you staying with someone here?” Mary inquired of him.

“No –no I’m looking for my son. I was told to check around this area. I am coming to a dead end, I think, I’ve searched so long.” He said more to himself than anyone.

“What’s his name?” Mary asked him.

“Ah, that’s just it, I have several names. Joe Conner, Joseph Conley and Joey Canter.” None of which has helped thus far.” Teddy remarked as he rubbed the back of this neck.

Mary’s eyes grew wider, Teddy, why are you looking for him? Wait, come to my front porch and sit, you look exhausted. I’ll make coffee or tea, and maybe we can sort out things for you.” Mary added.

“I’d like that, Mary, I am plum worn out.” Sighing deeply as he said this.

Mary hurried about making the tea added oatmeal cookies to a plate and set it down on the table before them.

“This is very kind of you,” Teddy said as he helped himself to a cookie.

“Now Teddy, tell me more, please,” she prompted.

“It’s a long story, you see I didn’t marry my son’s mother, Jane Myers, I left town, joined the service and finally settled down in a small town about one hundred miles from here. I took a wife, but we never had children. My wife passed away last year, I was alone, very sad, and longing to know more about my child. So I came back to town here, and the only friend I had left, told me that Jane had left town, married and had a son “Soon” afterwards. The marriage didn’t last, there was talk that Jane’s son had died a few years ago, and then I heard he had lived around here, I just wanted to make sure.” Teddy’s eyes had grown misty as he finished. “So you see Mary, I think I’ve come to the end of my search, seems all my family is gone, and I am too sad and weary to want to go on.” He moaned.

Mary asked Teddy a pointed question. “Do you know the Lord, Teddy?

Teddy looked at Mary, My wife and I use to go to church, but we drifted away over the years, with no children, and then her sickness, we just did not cope with our circumstances. I left God out, my wife hung on to her belief, I just didn’t.”

Mary continued,” Teddy are you saved?”

“I was, but I’m not sure now, I haven’t done much for God – I –“

“Let’s pray Teddy, they both bowed their heads; Father God, thank you for sending Teddy to us, I ask you to touch him, give him strength, and peace that surpasses all understanding. Renew his relationship with you. We are truly blessed. We give thanks in all things. Amen.”

Mary could see the peace on his face, “Teddy; I have one more thing to tell you, my husband is Joey Canter Donahue, grandson to Joey Canter. Joey’s grandmother was Jane. Grandma Jane and her son passed away in an accident four years ago.”

The sadness of hearing this gave way to the news of his grandson “Oh my Lord, thank you!” Teddy exclaimed. My grandson, you say?” his smile on hearing this was radiant.

“Yes, Teddy, and he’ll be home soon!” Mary replied in awe of all of this too.

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This article has been read 303 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Nancy Bucca05/10/12
Wow, I love the way Teddy's weariness got turned to joy at the end. That was quite a surprise package. Great job!
C D Swanson 05/12/12
Loved the ending, it gave me goosebumps! What a marvelous story. I really enjoyed the entire piece.

Nicely done. Thank you for this.

God bless,

Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/12/12
This is a great story idea. You did a nice job showing the topic in this piece.

Try doing more showing than telling. Instead of the typical tag lines like she replied or he said try something that shows the reader what is going on. For example, "My life is all over, guess I'm alone now." His eyes filled with tears as his wrinkled, tough hand trembled. It lets the reader know what is going on with the speaker and helps paint a picture.

Overall, you did a great job making the characters believable. The ending was great and the message is lovely. You stayed on topic and left the reader with a sense of hope.
Cynthia Dawson05/14/12
I really enjoyed the article. I could see the weary old gentleman in my mind as I read it. I'm not sure if it is due to the limited word count or if it's just me, but some of the story seemed to be rushed through. I wish it would have been book length I think it would be an outstanding read.