Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Control (01/30/06)
TITLE: Grandpa Bob
By Valora Otis
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A man and a small boy sat intently inside their small craft watching the gray-black clouds surround them as if to encompass them in a terrible death-shroud.
The weathered man had been through many hardships in his life. When Bob Hensen, was only seven years old, he carried dynamite by pack mule through the Okefenokee swamps, to the mines beyond to support his mother and six siblings after the death of his father. When the “Great Depression” came about, he was able to make an honest living building bridges and supplying hard labor. This explained his stature; Bob was a very large, weatherworn man. But he had a kind heart, and had loved and protected his grandson like no other.
Grandpa Bob was wary, yet not quite as shaken as my father, the boy in the boat, was of the storm. The waves started to rise so high, that they flung spray and blew spume into their faces. It was going to get rough and they both had to face it together. All they could do was cling tightly to each other and have faith that a loving Heavenly Father would hear their prayers, and wait for what was to come. They couldn’t outrun this storm. They had to face the cold fact that it would take control of the small craft in seconds.
Seconds seemed like hours before they felt and heard the crashing tune of the rocks beneath their boat. The craft had been pulled so quickly towards the rocks, that even if they could, there was no time to steer it to safety. The grinding noises of rock on wood shredding the planks apart, threw their bodies against the bow of the boat! It shocked their thoughts to the reality of what was to happen. They were going to sink! The gale force winds had control of their craft, and of their lives!
The wind cut at their faces like a whetted knife. Familiar faces and pictures of home flashed through their minds. Would they see but the bottom of the ocean again?
The boat went down quickly. My father, DeWayne didn’t know how to swim, so grandfather held him in his arms that would not give into the control of the currents beneath them.
Every time DeWayne would start to go under, Grandpa Bob would push him up out of the water to catch a vagrant breath of air. Bob did this for about an hour-and-a-half before help finally came. Their prayers had been answered!
Later, in the hospital, DeWayne found out that while Grandpa Bob had been throwing him up above the water line, he was also being pulled down by the weight of the anchor that was entangled around his legs! The doctors were in awe of this man who had saved my father’s life. Because of his heroic efforts to save my father, my Grandfather suffered from temporary paralysis for two weeks after the accident.
I was always a little in awe of the big, yet gentle man, who was my Great Grandfather. He raised my father to be honorable, and good. He saved his life that day, and proved to be a positive roll model in the years to come, teaching him self-control, faith, and love for his wife and family.
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