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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Favoritism (02/28/05)

TITLE: Licorice and Loonies
By Linda Stauth


With an ominous, gut-wrenching feeling, I bolted upright in my bed. I knew, beyond a doubt, when the ringís intensity broke the nightís eerie silence, that this call was a harbinger of bad news.
Quickly, I learned the shattering truth. My father had passed away. How could it be, he was just diagnosed two weeks ago with cancer? I didnít even get to say good-bye!
My poor mom was really suffering. After a marriage of forty-three years, she was being swallowed by griefís unyielding grip. When she reported seeing little men in plaid suites hiding behind the furniture, we began to be extremely concerned.
Soon after, Mom came to live with us. I was looking forward to this change in my life. Little did I realize how hard it would be!
Grandma began doing extra-special things for some of her grandchildren. On returning from the corner store, Tim was often presented with a bag of licorice. Connie was given a loonie (Canadian dollar coin) for digging a very small hole in the garden where Grandma could plant a perennial. Connie was also invited into Grandmaís room to watch the hockey game each week and lavished with candy treats.
The problem was my daughter Erin. She was not only neglected but blamed for anything and everything that went wrong in the house.
One day, Grandmaís bird was found dead in its cage. Of course, it was Erinís fault. How she could blame her? We never understood.
If the girls were arguing, as siblings so often do, Erin was always the instigator.
Erin bent over backwards to do kind things for her grandmother. Sadly, they went unnoticed.
I took it for as long as I could. A year and a half later, things escalated to the point where I had no choice but to confront Mom.
She didnít take it very well and moved back to her hometown in a huff of hurt feelings. I had been as patient as I possibly could, trying to understand that maybe intense grief was the driving force behind her actions.
Several years later, Mom actually apologized for all that she put me through, during that time. Sadly though, she has never understood the pain and hurt she brought upon my daughter through favoritism.
Today, Erin is happily married, with three children of her own. She is a fine Christian woman but she still carries with her the pain and rejection she experienced and still experiences from her grandmotherís sinful behavior.
Favoritism! Donít partake in its selective self-serving actions, with heart-breaking legacies and painful casualties.
Choose fairness, goodness and love, for in true love favoritism doesnít exist.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Delores McCarter03/07/05
I loved the story. I reminded me of my own family. Our older generation tended to favor one child over another (especially the males over the females). However, please note that "favor" can be used positively as well. Our society just focuses on one particular definition: unmerited favor.
Great job with this story.
donna robinson03/09/05
My mother in law came to live with us when she was approaching senility. My 4 year old daughter tried hard to please her but nothing would get through to my mother in law. Then I had my son and she lavished all her love on him. It was hard but I knew she only had sons and a girl child was unknown to her. In her senility, I guess it made sense. Luckily she had so much love from her other grandma it didn't matter too much. So this story brought back memories and not how my daughter dealt with but how it made me feel as the parent. that's the hard part as you show here.