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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Hum (06/06/13)

TITLE: Lola's Song
By liyide tolu


My sister, Lola and I love to share our favourite songs... one person would hum a tune and the other would hum along…
Now, I’m sitting by her hospital bed, our mother is asleep in a corner worn out…Lola had barely made it through the night. I had just gotten back from school and this was my first time seeing her at the hospital. Looking at her with all those tubes attached to her, I can’t help but ask God why it had to be her...our Lola, sweet Lola, so full of life- and full of God- she did not deserve this…for me, it didn’t make sense…I’d been the one okay with getting by and by...a free spirit is what I called myself…if there was a God and if he cared about his children, Lola and I should be trading places right now…I guess…
My eyes fall on a pile of papers by her bedside and I reach for it. They are letters addressed to me, from the first day of her stay in the hospital, 2 weeks ago. On each of them were the lyrics to our favourite songs from all the years…tunes of some, I couldn’t even remember anymore. The most recent was written the night before and it was incomplete…She had written:
‘My new favourite song- (to the tune of Gbade’s baby song)
Gbade was our little brother, now late. His baby song was a song I composed with Lola to sing him to sleep every night. I smiled in spite of myself. That was all she had written…
Mom roused from her sleep…’I’m hungry, Timi ‘she said…’could you go get us something to eat?’
I didn’t want to leave Lola, I hate to admit it but she might be gone any minute and it would really hurt not to say goodbye…when I had heard about her sickness while I was away in the university, I had found my way to the chapel...that was the first service I had ever gone for in all my 3 years I had been there so far…and all I had done, was pray, time and time again…
’come on God, you have to do something!’
I don’t know how long I must have taken, but by the time I was back with a burger and a coke for mom, Lola had had another seizure and had passed away…I walked in on the hum of the ECG machine as the nurses covered her up…I can’t really remember much after that…only that as I packed her things, I picked that letter- the one she did not complete and a deep sadness swallowed up my soul…
I would need to read Lola’s favourite scripture for the memorial service. I honestly can’t remember, it should be in her bible somewhere…Lola’s bible is filled with so many colours from various highlighter pens…As I open her bible, I don’t know where to start so I open to the page she had bookmarked…Psalm 73...my eyes fall on the highlighted words in green;
‘God, I have you in heaven.
And when I am with you
What on earth can I want?
Maybe my mind and body will be destroyed
But I have the Rock I love.
I have God forever.’**

And by the highlighted verse she had written; ‘to the tune of Gbade’s song: for me and Timi’
My tears wet the pages…

Memorial service-
So I’m not sure, it was her favourite scripture but in it was her latest favourite song…so when it was my turn to speak about our sweet Lola, I sang her song…it is good to know Lola is happy with the Lord…I have been reading her bible of late trying to make sense of things…the little I’ve read though makes me know Lola’s God is a loving God…and he’s really very wise. Despite the sorrow, I’m happy…
As I sing, some people in the congregation hum along, I see a glint in mom’s eyes, she recognizes the tune...we’ve lost so much but God will be faithful…from Lola’s song I got my own miracle, I got to really know her God…as I sing, I stand up a little straighter, and above the melody of the piano and the hum of the congregation, I’m sure I can hear Lola humming too.

*This article is a work of fiction- any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental
**- Psalms 73: 25-26 ERV

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This article has been read 370 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/16/13
This is really quite beautiful. You did such a nice job of capturing the MC's voice, I thought for sure that this would be based on a true story.

You have a few technical errors that could bog a reader down. Ellipses should rarely be used. They are to show an omission or trailing off. Numbers at least under ten should be written out. (some experts say under a hundred)These are all tiny details that a could proofreader could help you catch. You also may ant to get a book like Elements of Style by White and Strunk to review some of the rules.

I think you did a wonderful job of writing on topic. I liked how you started with the girls humming and then went full circle to the hum of the heart monitor. I think different people will draw different messages from this story. This is a sign of the Holy Spirit working you to touch people in the way they need it most. That's not always easy to do, but I believe your words will touch more people in more ways than you can imagine. Nice job.
CrisC Ramirez06/17/13
The story is lovely. I had a similar real experience with the passing of my father. Very touching how our characters had the connection of music.

There were areas while I was reading that caused me to slide away. The ellipses perhaps caused a little interruption and stopped the flow of the story for me. I personally also use them in my poems to give the effect of doubt, confusion or a pause. Perhaps using less ellipses may help the flow.

The story was lovely. Thank you for sharing.