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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Park (10/25/12)

TITLE: In Her Last Days
By Christine Ramey


The beaming sun fell across Grace while she knelt weeding her rose garden. Frank, her husband, sat beside her rubbing his hands across his forehead while drops of sweat fell from him. He stared at Grace, watching his bride of forty years, and was amazed by her beauty. “How is it that you look more beautiful today than ever before? I can’t remember the last time I saw your smile shine as bright as the sun up above.” He said kneeling to aid her.

Tears streamed down her face and she tried to catch her breath. It was the first time in a long while that her husband said she was beautiful. Grace smiled and choked back the tears. “Honey, at my age you learn to take things as they come. I’m just enjoying life. It’s just a walk in the park.” She gently explained leaning over to give him a hug and a kiss.

Together they finished the work as quickly as they could. When they stood, he told her, “Then, let me help you enjoy the scenery a bit while you are here. I don’t want you to miss anything babe.” He explained walking to the front porch.

Sitting in the swing he snuggled closely with her. Letting the fresh air comfort them, but Frank’s thoughts were on one thing—what if today were the last time he’d ever see her again? The thought left him breathless. He could not worry about that. He just had to enjoy his time with her now.

Grace had always been a strong woman in both her faith and in her fight against breast cancer. A beast it was. . .really. He could not think about losing this woman he loved so much. “Darling, I just want you to know how much I love you. I can’t imagine my life without you. What am I to do?” he questioned.

She paused only for a moment, “Live!”

Puzzled, he asked, “What do you mean?”

“Live your life, Frank. Let it be pleasing to God. That is all I want for you to do. Don’t question about today or tomorrow—just live.” Just as she was about to say more, Grace took her last breath and went into Heaven.

“Live your life. Let it be pleasing to God?” He wondered what she meant. Those were words he did not know the meaning of. His life was always way to busy and work always came first. For years, he had been chasing a dream that he could never achieve. He had always wanted more of everything.

Looking deep into his wives pale blue eyes, there was one thing that was clear to him in keeping her close to him—she had lived! Grace lived her life like a walk in the park—over and over again. It was evident now that she had true joy and contentment because of it. But, what did Frank have—nothing. He knew he needed Christ.

He called the paramedics while sitting there and waited for their arrival.

In doing so, he held his wife closer taking in each moment that he could. Grabbing her Bible from end table, he opened it and read familiar words that she had quoted for years. It read, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 NIV.

He felt his fingers go numb as he read them. The words had bled deep into his heart. For the first time, he knew what they meant. It was clear. In the distance he could hear the sirens blaring and he held her hand tighter than before. This was the last moment they had together and he told her, “I get it now!” he said. “I get it!” he repeated. “I’m to live with Christ.”

When the men pulled into the driveway and immediately began to get her onto the gurney, and into the ambulance, Frank continued as the men shut the doors, “That’s how you have lived like a walk in the park. You have lived with Christ all of these years.” Frank went to his car and started the engine. “Knock and the door will be opened.” He muttered to himself while turning onto the main road. “I get it. . .seek and you will find.”

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This article has been read 354 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sharon Eastman11/02/12
This is truly a beautiful story which moved me to tears. I like how the phrase "a walk in the park" introduced the themes of this piece.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/03/12
This is such a sweet story. It shows we never know when our words will make a huge difference in someone's life. You also did a nice job of showing. This sentence did a great job of helping me see the picture in my mind: Frank, her husband, sat beside her rubbing his hands across his forehead while drops of sweat fell from him. I also love the wife's wise last words. it's a powerful message.
Allison Egley 11/04/12
Oh, this is good.

One bit of red ink... I'd start with Grace, rather than the sun. :) Something like "Grace knelt in her rose garden, the beaming sun falling upon her. Or something like that.

Nice job.
Lillian Rhoades 11/04/12
I like your unique take on the topic. You did a great job of showing the husband's devotion.
There are a few areas that need polishing. Overall, a good job.
Beth LaBuff 11/04/12
On a reread, it made sense why her "smile shone as bright as the sun up above" that day. I felt like I was there for their tender moments, right before her passing. You have an endearing story with a triumphant message.
Margaret Kearley 11/05/12
What a beautiful story, so tenderly told. I love how it emphasises how God goes before, in preparing us for what is to come. Some wonderful truths here.
Just one small thing - I believe it should be the singular 'wife's' rather than 'Looking deep into his wives pale blue eyes' - otherwise he has multiple wives!
Thank you again. Hope this does well.
Deborah Sampson11/05/12
This was a beautiful story, It was sad for one, but so joyous for the one going home. I enjoyed this, it had deep meaning.
God Bless.....
lynn gipson 11/05/12
A beautiful, powerful message. This is really very good....well written and touching the heart.

God Bless, Lynn
Loren T. Lowery11/06/12
What a great way to deliver a powerful and important message. With your MC's words you captured this reader and had me nodding his head, saying great job!
Bea Edwards 11/06/12
Your words wrapped around me in a bittersweet, convicting way. We never know when it will be the last time we look in a loved ones eyes.
Superb reminder to cherish the people God has put in our lives.
Thank you.
Myrna Noyes11/06/12
This is a very touching piece with a good message. There were a few minor "mechanical" errors, but they did not diminish the story's impact. Nice job! :)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/07/12
After seeing your brick, I thought I'd reread it. It is still a griping story. One thing I noticed is a POV shift. When you tell a story the reader can only know what the MC sees, feels, thinks. You start off with Frank's POV when he is amazed at her beauty. But later on you switch to Grace's POV when her strong faith is noted and later when she starts to say more but dies before she can. Both of these things would call for the MC to know what is in her mind. By not switching POV it also helps you do more showing than telling. For example knowing that Grace was about to say more would mean we could read her mind but if you say she opened her mouth but only a gargled sound escaped as she took her last breath. It's a tricky thing and something I'm working on myself. I always thought if I told a story in third person I could peek into any character but unless you are telling the story in an omniscient POV which is considered old-fashioned by must publishers and often the narrator will talk directly to the reader you need to only see, hear, feel or know things that the MC experiences. Again you did do some great showing and the story touched my heart but working on not allowing a POV shift will make a huge difference in your stories. Hugs, Shann